Gnome Reserve, Devon

Gnome Reserve, North Devon © David Masters

Which British town has the most garden gnomes per person? Bet you’ve never stopped to ask yourself that question.

Well, in the pitiful absence of reliable gnome census figures, we’d have to take a guess at West Putford in North Devon.

Not least, because West Putford is where gnomes go to take refuge from the cruel prejudice towards them. They find sanctuary at the town’s Gnome Reserve and Wild Flower Garden, a mini theme park in their honour.

More than 1000 of the little fellows hide amid the greenery in this 4-acre wooded garden, which lies near Bude and about 7 miles from the border with Cornwall. That’s about 5 gnomes to every human living in the town.

Gnome hats are handed out on entry, as well as fishing rods, ‘so you don’t embarrass the gnomes’ apparently. While you’re here, take a moment to see tiny pottery pixies being made in the workshop, and stop by the gnome museum to meet some wise old elders too.

Written by - Photo by David Masters

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