Local green thumbs have been left reeling by the savage removal of a generous free mulch supply that’s been available near Kalparrin Lake for over a decade now. The recent installation of 24-hour security cameras and aggressive signs at the site have warned off opportunistic amateur gardeners, with some claiming they’re just not ready to start paying for mulch.

The large pile, once nominated to become the 8th natural wonder of the world, has been a popular feature of the region for many years, with many locals considering it a gesture of goodwill from the local council that access to the resource was quite easy. However, the erection of “nanny state fencing” early last year was an indication that the local council was starting to clamp down on the free-for-all, with the introduction of surveillance cameras all but confirming the new regime.

According to one disgruntled local, the mulch wasn’t even that good anyway. The Greensborough man, who requested strict anonymity, told The Watsonia Bugle, “Mate, that mulch was pretty crap. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still filled up the trailer a couple of times a year, but it was full of weeds and all kinds of junk. Not that purebred stuff you get from the nursery. Sure, I’m still pissed off about them cameras going in, but this is all probably for the best.”