Michael Cornish admits to not even liking gnomes but said he is happy for them to remain in his garden as long as they keep making money for Leukaemia UK.

The Orpington man, 53, who has lived in Chelsfield Lane for over 30 years, lost his dad to Leukaemia and his friend’s little boy has also now been diagnosed with it.

He first gave a gnome to an ill young Polish boy next door, who continues to show an interest in them.

"That’s how it started," Michael told News Shopper. "Then I started collecting them."

The gnomes inspired such an interest that Michael left out a collection box and a note to say donations would go towards Leukaemia UK.

He has since had kind letters left on his doorstep and drivers stopping on the road to take pictures.

News Shopper:

"It’s the talk of Orpington at the minute and I don’t even like gnomes," Michael laughed. "I’ve only been doing it a little while but already there is a few ten-pound notes there."

Leukaemia UK has written to Michael thanking him and a new official sign is being made for the garden.

"I want the sign because I don’t want people nicking them," Michael said. "It’s for charity and a few weeks back a boy was on the garage and I caught him about to steal them.

"He said he didn’t realise they were mine and he gave me £20," Michael laughed.

Michael has bought all the gnomes from Asda and even paid £300 on Ebay for more of them.

He said that despite not being a fan of the gnomes, he will keep them on display if they keep spreading joy and raising money.

"I get loads of people coming up to me about it," Michael added. "I come home some days and there’s a note outside my house.

"One person offered me gnome to add to the collection. Things like that make me smile going to work."