Letter: Valley Gardens - The venue was wrong

Streat Food Festival. (1608273AM9)
Streat Food Festival. (1608273AM9)

We feel we must add our comments to those already written in this newspaper about the StrEAT Food Festival.

We must admit that we enjoyed the food but, as most people who have written to this newspaper, we think the venue is wholly inappropriate.

We are members of the Friends of Valley Gardens and on the first Sunday of each month we open the Old Magnesia Well Pump Room to allow the public to view inside the building, which the Friends have spent £82,000 restoring.

On September 4, when we opened the building, we had a large number of visitors asking what on earth had happened to the grass.

People were bewildered as to why Harrogate Borough Council had allowed an event such as the StrEAT Food Festival to take place in the gardens.

They asked “why not hold it in the town centre” or “on The Stray”. Indeed, why not?

We, as members of the Friends, also carry out voluntary gardening. Why should we put in our free time to see the gardens we love being decimated by catering vehicles and hundreds of visitors?

We felt so sorry for the three full time and one seasonal gardener, who had to spend valuable time levelling and reseeding the damaged areas. They really have enough work to do without having to cope with the extra work.

Please, Harrogate Borough Council, find somewhere other than Valley Gardens to hold this event, which we understand is being planned for 2017.

A community meeting to discuss “The suitability of usage of Valley Gardens for large events” is being held in the Brostoff Hall in St Peter’s Church, Cambridge Street, on Thursday, October 20, at 6.30pm.

If you feel strongly about using Vlley Gardens for commercial purposes, please come along to put forward your case.

Robert and Anne Grange

Members of Friends of

Valley Gardens