Page last updated at 18:49 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 19:49 UK

Boy, 4, swaps toys for lawn mower

Samuel and Alex Buswell with their mowers
Samuel now has his own rotary mower

A boy from Cornwall is shunning trips to the toy shop in favour of regular DIY store visits to indulge his growing obsession with lawn mowers.

Samuel Buswell,four, began showing an interest in the machines a year ago.

Now every Saturday he insists on visiting B&Q at Penryn where he knows every detail of the mowers on sale.

"He can look at the display and can instantly tell which mowers are missing and have been sold and which are new," said his mother Natalie.

"He frequently has customers standing watching in amazement as he explains what each machine can do."

He also insists on picking up a new brochure each week so he can keep up to date with any changes in the range.

Lawnmowers can seem to have their own individual characters
Brian Radam, British Lawnmower Museum

Store manager Lee Billington said he was "delighted" to hear about the four-year-old's interest.

"Every customer, old or young, is alway welcome here," he said.

For his fourth birthday Samuel's parents even bought him a proper rotary mower, which he now uses most days to cut the lawn at their home in Falmouth.

"People often look horrified when we tell them that he has a full-on working mower of his own," said Mrs Buswell, 35.

"But he is very intelligent and knows not to ever touch the blades - he empties the grass box himself, and keeps the garden looking lovely."

'Vivid imagination'

Brian Radam, curator of the British Lawnmower Museum in Southport, said he was not surprised to hear of Samuel's obsession.

"I think it's because, if you have a vivid imagination, lawnmowers can seem to have their own individual characters - especially the older ones," he said.

"I'm not sure if it's perhaps the colour or the shape, but children do love them."

Samuel's parents say they have no idea what sparked his obsession but his brother, 16-month-old Alex, is now developing a similar interest.

"Alex is always playing with his toy mower," said Mrs Buswell. "I think he may go the same way."

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