Their true place is surely as garden ornaments, but amateur divers in the Lake District recently revealed one of the quirkier aspects of their hobby – the concealing deep underwater of garden gnomes.
The BBC reported at the end of last month on the gnomes lurking beneath Wastwater – England’s depeest lake. With depths of some 260 feet, it is not a place for the inexperienced lake diver, but it turns out that some old hands have been placing the garden statues there for years.
Kendal and Lakes Sub Aqua Club diving officer Paul Fray told the Beeb that the gnomes popped up in pictures on diving websites and forums, and the practice was common in many lakes around the world.
“It’s the funny thing with divers, they do pop up in some odd places,” he said. “Mind, it’s the best place for them because I think they look silly in a garden.”
The authorities are not so amused. Police divers have on several occasions tried to remove the gnomes, fearing their attractions might literally lure novice divers out of their depth. The gnomes have always been replaced by other divers, however, so it appears the gnomes of Wastwater are here to stay.