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

Images showing the shocking state of the Stray, which was used as the Fan Zone for the nine-day UCI Road World Championships.
Images showing the shocking state of the Stray, which was used as the Fan Zone for the nine-day UCI Road World Championships.

Shocking new aerial images have revealed the extent of the damage to the much-loved Stray following the nine-day UCI Road World Championships, when the popular green space was turned into the Fan Zone.

Fury at 'atrocious' damage to the Stray during UCI cycling events in Harrogate
With days of lashing rain not helping its case, the Stray can be seen to be in a serious state of disrepair as the big clean-up operation continues.

Images showing the shocking state of the Stray, which was used as the Fan Zone for the nine-day UCI Road World Championships.

Images showing the shocking state of the Stray, which was used as the Fan Zone for the nine-day UCI Road World Championships.

It is clear the damage will take a long time to repair, but Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) has promised it will be restored to its previous condition.

The Stray Defence Association (SDA) said earlier this week that it was appalled at the 'atrocious' damage to the Stray.

The SDA's chairman Judy d'Arcy Thompson said not enough protection had been given by the organisers of the cycling event about the effect of the Fan Zone on the state of the Stray.

And she said it would now take a "long time" to get it back to how it should look.

Images showing the shocking state of the Stray, which was used as the Fan Zone for the nine-day UCI Road World Championships.

Images showing the shocking state of the Stray, which was used as the Fan Zone for the nine-day UCI Road World Championships.

The SDA chairman said: "No one looking at it could doubt the atrocious damage suffered by Harrogate’s Stray during the past weeks, particularly West Park Stray. Damage which is so appalling it is hard to quantify.

"It is our view that, despite the assurances we sought, and were given, from every public body that any damage would be minimized, far too little appropriate and adequate protection was provided for the Stray.

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"Long after such events leave town it is our Stray which remains, a constant and unique asset promoting Harrogate as a beautiful place to visit.

"What sort of feasibility study was done to ascertain potential destruction over such a lengthy period of appropriation?

Images showing the shocking state of the Stray, which was used as the Fan Zone for the nine-day UCI Road World Championships.

Images showing the shocking state of the Stray, which was used as the Fan Zone for the nine-day UCI Road World Championships.

"The Stray Defence Association has been contacted by many local people who, like ourselves, are deeply distressed by what has occurred.

"We fear that the full restoration of Harrogate’s wonderful Stray will take a very long time."

But a spokesperson for HBC said the authority had tried its very best to protect the Stray throughout its use for the UCI and that they are committed to restoring the area.

The spokesperson said: “We worked very closely with the event organisers to do as much as could be done to protect parts of the Stray used for the fan zone.

“But, we can’t protect everything against Mother Nature, especially the torrential rain and subsequent flooding which was experienced on Sunday.

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“The Stray will be restored to its previous condition, but given the extent and impact of the bad weather, this will not happen overnight.”