A topiarist says he is having to make regular repairs to his hedge due to drunk people pretending to have sex with it.

Keith Tyssen has maintained his "privet lady" at his Sheffield home since 2000, but is often woken up in the night by distracted passers-by.

"They're climbing on top of her and pulling her legs apart - you know, it's disgusting," he said.

Mr Tyssen has considered putting up a sign or an alarm to curb the behaviour.

The hedge, which he has sculpted over the past 40 years, started off as a Greek god but he changed it into a reclining woman at the turn of the millennium.

"I just peered out at about 04:30 in the morning and there was a guy on top of her and going through the motions of having sex with her," he said.

"It makes me feel a bit sick, really. That's just not the way to behave - in lots of ways."

He added: "It's not always a guy actually, sometimes it's women who climb on her."

The artist and silversmith said the idea for the woman was inspired by a renowned 16th Century gold sculpture by Benvenuto Cellini called the Saliera.

Mr Tyssen added: "I don't want them to behave like that with my privet lady.

"She's too privet, or private you know?"