27 JULY 2002, Page 60

Q. Unlike the orderly Germans, many British people think that

the best time to mow their lawns is on a Sunday, especially if it's sunny and if they own an unsilenced mower. Here, despite the high proportion of the population who are retired, the intrusion upon a contemplative Sunday is almost constant. Oddly, the congregation of our church contains many of the worst offenders. Village politics and bickering are had enough and I dare not raise the matter directly with the worst offenders. Please tell believers and unbelievers alike how to achieve just one day a week of peace and quiet this summer, and in future summers.

M. W., Taunton, Somerset A. Circulate a questionnaire to everyone within earshot of your dwelling announcing that you have been asked to see if there was any local support for a 'Keep Sunday Special — No Mow Day'. Ask questions such as, 'If you knew that the noise of your mower on a Sunday was causing offence and distress to neighbours, would you: a) try to mow on another day instead; b) pay no attention and continue mowing when it suited you; c) agree to mow on another day but only in return for a cash consideration? (EU money may be available for anti-noisepollution schemes where severe levels of nervous debilitation in response to Sunday mowing can be shown.)' In this way you will open a debate and set tongues a-wagging. When your findings have been collated, release them to the local newspaper. This may be the time for you to announce that, sadly, EU funding will not be forthcoming, but, as people are aware of the huge environmental problems caused by Sunday mowing, the high level of consideration for others which characterises this small community will ensure that the distressing practice becomes a thing of the past'. Photocopy the news story and circulate this in turn.