Fences to come down on Stray in Harrogate as council gets on with repairs

Harrogate Borough Council has talked to the Harrogate Advertiser about the huge scale of the task on its hands to repair the mud-ravaged, water-logged and fenced-off Stray.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 2:51 pm
Updated Friday, 15th November 2019, 2:52 pm
The clear-up on the Stray in Harrogate (before the handover to Harrogate Borough Council).

But it told the Harrogate Advertiser that progress was already starting to be made on all fronts and fencing was already starting to be removed and paths partially reopened.

Work to restore the parkland to its former glory after the organisers of September’s UCI Road World Championships handed it back has been hampered by the severe wet weather which shows no signs of abating in another blow to the Stray.

The council admitted conditions were “challenging but says half of one major footpath at West Park Stray has been reopened and it is optimistic the rest of it will be reopened by the end of the week.

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A spokesman for Harrogate Borough Council said: “We are under no illusion about the size and scale of the task at hand.

“The ground conditions on West Park Stray remain very challenging.

“We are working with an agronomy specialist to develop the plan for reinstatement. The expert’s comments are helpful and confirm what we already know.

“We are also considering additional drainage work to improve the Stray.”

What has been done so far on the Stray - and what happens next?

As well as ongoing repairs to the grass verges and bedding, some of the fencing around the Stray will be removed in the next few days.

But the council has confirmed that it is now considering additional drainage work to improve the Stray.

As for the major task of reseeding and restoring the grass, the council expects to come up with a definitive timeline after talks with an agronomy specialist later this week.

A spokesperson for Harrogate Borough Council said: “Many areas are still water-logged and the short-term forecast is not encouraging.

“We do not wish to bring works machinery on to the site for fear of causing even further damage.

The spokesperson continued: “We intend to remove the Heras fencing from where the VIP area was positioned in the next few days, but we will use plastic netting and stakes to protect certain areas.

And the spokesperson added: "Other Heras fencing will stay in place as there are ongoing health and safety concerns. We have a duty to ensure no one hurts themselves.

“All damaged verges along West Park, Beech Grove and York Place have been repaired.

“Bedding areas along West Park Stray have also been restored.”