The sounds of Surrey are the petrol hedge trimmer, the chainsaw, the petrol mower and – of course – the leafblower. Time spent in Surrey, in an otherwise peaceful valley, was a time of extreme frustration with having left behind the noises of London only to be faced with new ones.

It is a great shame that the well off residents of Surrey have such a poor view of their leafy environs that they choose to ruin it with incessant noise. Leafblowers are particularly vile. They don’t even seem to work very well.

The prime mover in all this noise-related madness is money. The residents, often either elderly or commuters, have neither the time nor the inclination to do their own garden maintenance. The companies (calling themselves ‘arboriculturists’ or ‘landscape consultants’) who live off their wealth try to maximise profit.

There is a zen-like pleasure to be had from using hand tools: scythes, hedge clippers, handsaws. Some jobs can be done a little at a time so that they never become too onerous. It would revolutionise the country, not just Surrey.