The North Devon Express has launched a gnome hotline in attempt to put an end to an unexpected garden pest - a burgeoning population of gnomes in the garden of a Lynton homeowner.
John Hoyles, a former Mayor of Lynton and Lynmouth, claims to have no idea where the gnomes are coming from. While he admits to having introduced the first gnome to his front garden, since then nine further gnomes have appeared.
Mr Hoyles said: "I don't know where they come from and I never see anyone put them there. But in the morning when I get up there is another one out there."
In a sinister development, Mr Hoyles has also received a demand for a £20,000 payment from an anonymous source. He said: "They say if I don't pay up, the gnomes will get it."
- Gnome hotline: +44 1271 347420