Harrogate council: 'The Stray's grass WILL grow back, and it WILL be returned to normal' after UCI cycling championships

Harrogate Borough Council has vowed that the Stray will be returned to normal, and insists that the grass WILL grow back following the UCI Road World Championships.
Harrogate Borough Council has vowed that the Stray will be returned to normal, and insists that the grass WILL grow back following the UCI Road World Championships.

Harrogate Borough Council has vowed that the Stray will be returned to normal, and insists that the grass WILL grow back following the UCI Road World Championships.

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It follows a heated public meeting about the impact of the global cycling event on Harrogate businesses, where the condition of the Stray was compared to the battlefields of the Somme, after playing host to the UCI Fan Zone for nine days.

The Stray Defence Association slammed the damage caused to the historic parkland as "atrocious."

In a new statement to the Harrogate Advertiser issued today, a council spokesperson said: "As soon as the West Park area of the Stray is returned to us from the event organisers we will be ensuring it is restored.

Shocking new aerial pictures show extent of damage to the Stray in Harrogate following UCI cycling championships

“Without minimising what needs to be done, the ground can recover quickly and faster than many would expect. The grass will grow back, and it will be returned to normal."

The council said the long-term benefits of the cycling championships will endure well beyond the grass growing back.

The statement said: "Long after the grass has grown, people locally and the estimated TV audience of 250million across the world, will remember the spectacular scenes of Ripley Castle, Fountains Abbey, Valley Gardens, Ripon Cathedral, Knaresborough Castle and the many other landmarks, towns and villages up and down our district.

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“And those memories, and the scenes on their television screens, will bring them back here keeping our tourism industry buzzing, local people employed and putting money into the local economy."