Plucky pensioner ‘needles’ Asda into action over trees

Helen Bonner and her mum Dorothy Foster are upset with the inconvenience caused by falling pine needles from trees on the Asda Enniskillen site onto Dorothy’s property

Helen Bonner and her mum Dorothy Foster are upset with the inconvenience caused by falling pine needles from trees on the Asda Enniskillen site onto Dorothy’s property

AN 85-YEAR-OLD Enniskillen woman has taken on the might of Walmart over a “needling” problem that has been ongoing for years, and won.
Dorothy Foster from Derrychara lives directly behind the carpark of the Asda Enniskillen store, and each autumn is faced with a persistent problem with pine needles, which are falling from trees in the store’s car park. The little needles cover her normally pristine garden, cover any cars parked at her home, and get into every nook and cranny in her usually spotless home.
Speaking on her behalf, Dorothy’s daughter Helen said it wasn’t the number of pine trees that were the problem, but the number of branches.
“The needles are carted all over the house, they get everywhere,” said Helen. “Mummy actually paid for a boy to come up a fortnight ago and sweep them up, but the very next day it was as bad as ever. We also came up and power-hosed  it for her, but again, it was just as bad the next day.
“She is fighting a losing battle. It lasts up until around Christmas, and if there is any wind at all the needles are just everywhere. They are very hard to lift up too, you have to get down and use your fingernails to get them out of the carpet.”
Helen said they had repeatedly pointed out the problem to Asda staff, but the store had not been forthcoming in addressing the problem that has been stressing out the 85-year-old house-proud widow.
“One year Asda did send someone out to sweep them up, but that was a once off,” Helen said, adding it had been “going on for years” and was also affecting neighbours’ gardens, though not to the same extent.
“They just don’t seem interested. They said they are not responsible for cleaning up leaves, but she has told them it’s not leaves that are the problem, but the pine needles. I have asked them if they could not send someone up to clean it up, but they said that was a health and safety issue.”
Helen said she had contacted staff at the store, with no joy, and had also contacted Asda headquarters, in recent weeks but no one had returned her calls. She said she then contacted MP Tom Elliott’s Ulster Unionist office, which appears to have had results.
After being contacted by the Herald, a spokesman for Asda Enniskillen said while they had not received an official complaint from any residents, they had been made aware of the problem by local MP Tom Elliott. They have now arranged an internal meeting to put a plan in place to look at solving the problem.
Mr Elliott welcomed the statement from Asda, and said: “It’s good when local businesses react to local concerns. Good relations with your neighbours is always a good thing. We can be quick to criticise, but we have to give credit where it’s due.”

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA