Harrogate Council says Stray fencing will start to come down soon

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

Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 4:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 5:27 pm
The muddy and ravaged Stray at West Park in Harrogate.
The muddy and ravaged Stray at West Park in Harrogate.

Work to restore the parkland to its former glory after the organisers of September's UCI Road World Championships handed it back officially has been hampered by the wet weather.

The council admitted to the Harrogate Advertiser conditions are "challenging."

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

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

But progress is already being made. One 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.

As well as successful repairs to the grass verges, some of the fencing round the Stray will also be removed in the next few days.

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

As for the crucial task of reseeding and restoring the grass itself, 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: "The ground conditions on West Park Stray remain very challenging.

"Many areas are still water-logged and the short-term forecast is not encouraging.

We have re-opened the footpath along West Park Stray (from the Prince of Wales roundabout to the Coach and Horses pub). Flagstones were all lifted, the sub-base filled and levelled, and the flags re-laid.

"We continue to make good progress on the rest of this footpath (from the Coach and Horses pub to the top of Montpellier Hill) and we hope this will be open before the end of the week.

"We will then turn our attention to the footpaths which criss-cross West Park Stray when the weather and ground conditions allow.

"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.

"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.

“We are expecting further information from the specialist later this week and will use this to develop a detailed plan and timeline for repairs.”