Letter: Valley Gardens - Trashed by events

Streat Food Festival. (1608273AM6)
Streat Food Festival. (1608273AM6)

I returned from Valley Gardens with a heavy heart feeling every bit as demoralised as the gardeners who were dealing with the damage and the mountains of rubbish bags left behind by the four day Streat Food Festival over the Bank Holiday weekend.

I am a Friend of Valley Gardens and the project manager for the proposed new Green Park entrance gate which you reported on in June after we had received planning permission.

We now have the mountain to climb to raise the £60,000 to fund the project but I am not sure I have the will for the challenge if the gardens are going to be trashed every few weeks with commercial events lasting several days.

HBC’s parks department needs to make a decision: are Valley Gardens to remain a cherished ornamental garden with very well-used recreational areas or become a summer showground for major commercial events?

I don’t believe it can sustain the former if the latter is allowed to gain prominence which seems to be where things are going.

I have nothing against the festivals but I feel Valley Gardens is just too fragile to host these multi-day events.

David Mason

Chapman Square, Harrogate