Council signals support for Stray re-planting plans to make Harrogate buzz and bloom with wildlife

Harrogate Borough Council has signalled support for plans to boost biodiversity by planting wildflowers at the Stray.

Thursday, 15th October 2020, 4:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th October 2020, 4:31 pm
Green Party campaigners want to see wildflowers planted on the Stray. (Photo: Harrogate Green Party)

However, the authority said it can't yet make any commitments and would reveal more at a later date.

It comes after the Harrogate and District Green Party launched a petition for a wider variety of flowers to be planted at the parkland which was severely damaged during last year's UCI Road World Championships.

Party campaigner Rebecca Maunder told a meeting that larger areas should also be sown and left to blossom into mini meadows.

She said it would show Harrogate is a "forward thinking town fit for the future."

Councillor Andrew Paraskos, the council's cabinet member for environment, waste reduction and recycling, said the authority would "absolutely" get behind the proposals.

However, he added this would depend on negotiations with the Duchy of Lancaster - the ancient body which owns the Stray.

Councillor Paraskos said more details on plans for the Stray and areas across the district would be revealed soon.

"We are finalising our horticultural strategy for the next 10 years," he said.

"Although the strategy hasn't been approved yet, I can confirm that biodiversity is a strong theme.

"The report will be out shortly and you will see some of the projects we have in mind."

Large areas of the Stray at West Park were damaged when it was used as a spectator area during the UCI Road World Championships in September 2019.

The parkland has now recovered after a £35,500 repair job - almost all of which was paid for by the event organisers.

An extra £95,000 of council cash has also been spent on upgrades.

Last month, the council called for volunteers to help plant 60,000 crocuses at the parkland in the hope that it will bloom better than ever next spring.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter