How to preserve Harrogate Stray after cycling madness turned it into mudbath - Yorkshire Post letters

From: Austin Spence, Harrogate.

How can the health and environmental benefits of The Stray in Harrogate be maximised?

I HAVE issues with The Stray in Harrogate.

Very rarely do I see it being used (perhaps on a Sunday morning for football), other than the occasional lonely walker traversing on the paths.

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Many parts are not very pretty, they look a lot like Clapham Common (empty open grassland devoid of life/interest).

The shocking state of The Stray after Harrogate hosted cycling's world championships in late September and early October.

Could parts of the Stray be:

1. Rewilded (to encourage flora and fauna to flourish).

2. Wooded (to help absorb fuel emissions, add variety and adventure for children – again to support flora and fauna).

Can The Stray return to its former glory in the New Year?

3. Made into a lake for boating and water wildlife.

Harrogate has a reputation as a town renowned for water and yet we have no real visible water features (save the tears in my eyes when I behold an empty Stray).

The above proposals are most certainly not monetising the Stray, more embracing its wonder, helping combat climate change, adding to the beauty of Harrogate and encouraging more tourists.

They would still leave vast swathes as open grassland (for football, flying kites, bonfire night, the occasional festival – I loved that Hay on the Stray idea a few years back).

From: Terry Greenwell, Newcastle.

I’M sure I’m not the first correspondent on this matter but, as a frequent visitor to Harrogate, I was dismayed to see the state of the Stray after what I understand was a cycling event. I enjoy cycling myself but surely there can be no justification for this defacement of your much-loved public open space. Who on earth was responsible for this municipal vandalism?