A well-known member of the Canvey Island nudist community has thanked people for their kind wishes while he recovers in hospital from what a paramedic has described as ‘one of the most horrific chainsaw-related injuries that he has ever seen.’

Clive Wand, 54, of Roscommon Way has admitted that he feels lucky to be alive after he slipped and fell while trying to trim a particularly unruly leylandii tree in his front garden on Friday morning – however he hopes to be back on his feet within a couple of months.

He spoke to our Chief Reporter by telephone on Saturday morning. He said: ‘My wife has warned me on a number of occasions that gardening without any clothes on comes with a number of risks, and so she made me promise her that I would put on a minimal amount of garments before picking up any power tools – I feel really stupid for ignoring her advice now and she is going to give me a lot of grief over this.’

‘In many ways I actually feel very lucky at the moment. A couple of female university students have moved in next door and if they had been sunbathing at the time my injuries could have been ten times worse.’

‘At the very least I will try and wear something like a cricketer’s cup in the future. Sometimes nudists will hold their hands up and admit that some things are more important than the feeling of pure euphoria that you get from leaving your most intimate areas open to the elements of nature.’

A spokesperson for Essex Police confirmed that although a number of reports have been received about anti-social gardening on Canvey Island, they are powerless to act until a criminal law has been broken in some way.

Community PC Edward Rection added: ‘Although it is clearly inconsiderate to use a noisy gardening implement at an early time of the morning, this would be classed as a civil matter and therefore not something that a police officer could deal with.’

‘In the unfortunate case of Mr Wand, we would have only been able to intervene if he was caught waving his power tool menacingly at a member of the public or something like that.’

‘Although a member of the public has complained that they are unable to hear the noise of local car cruise enthusiasts over the sound of his chainsaw, there is very little that police officers can do to help in this situation.’