NEIGHBOURS who borrow each other's gardening equipment will have to be registered with the National Lawnmower Sharing Agency, it emerged last night.
The government is to introduce tough new regulations after a police officer from Milton Keynes loaned her colleague a Flymo Vision Compact 380 without telling anyone.
Detective constable Mandy Cook, said: "My friend Emma mentioned that her grass was getting a bit long, but her lawnmower wasn't working.
"At that point I may have said something like 'why don't you borrow mine, it's really good, but make sure you keep the cable well out of the way'.
"She accepted my offer, telling me not to worry as she would be very careful, before adding that she would be more than happy to give me a loan of her garden strimmer, which she subsequently did.
"I think she had my lawnmower for just over a week and cut her grass twice, and I had her strimmer for a fortnight during which time I used it to do some edging around my greenhouse and attack a local child. I had no idea we were breaking the law."
A spokesman for the Department of Lawns said: "Grass is this country's most precious resource and we cannot allow it to be cut by people who may be dangerously underqualified.
"If lawnmower sharing is unregulated then tens of millions of lawns are going to end up being cut at the wrong height. In the worst case scenario, some may even end up having slightly irregular patterns and at that point someone is, inevitably, going to die."
He added: "The last thing we want to do is come across as heavy handed but if your name does not appear on the National Lawnmower Sharing Database you will have to sign the sex offenders register and we will give your lawn to some social workers."