Man says council let park grow into a wilderness

Overgrown Cornwallis Park NNL-170208-162543001
Overgrown Cornwallis Park NNL-170208-162543001

A man has spoken out against Rugby Borough Council over a park he says has been left to grow into a wilderness after a tree-planting project.

Keith Crowder, 70, emailed Rugby Borough Council on July 20 to complain about the overgrown state of Cornwallis Road Open Space in Rugby - the council did not respond until it was approached by the Advertiser.

Mr Crowder, who has lived on Dreyer Close next to the park since 1986, said: “Last winter the council, alongside the Woodland Trust, planted literally hundreds of trees and bushes in the park - 90 per cent of which are now dead.”

He said the remaining live trees and bushes will eventually be choked to death by weeds which are up to six feet tall.

He said: “The council used to keep the park reasonably tidy, mowing it a couple of times a year - now all the trees have been planted they can’t mow the grass.

“Whoever decided on this tree planting programme (with no follow up) should be called back to view their handiwork and required to sort it out urgently.”

A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said: “The tree planting at Cornwallis Road open space has been desinged to create a biodiverse woodland area.

“In order to allow the tree saplings to become established, we have restricted maintenance at the site over the spring and summer to spot treating weed growth, which has been particularly vigorous this year.”

“Our arboricultural officer inspected the site last week and found the vast majority of saplings to be in good health.

“A small number of saplings have died, which we would expect during a planting programme of this scale.”

Mr Crowder said: “That response is a complete joke - a large number of saplings were vandalised (especially those near the footpaths either side of the park) and the protective collars were strewn around and are now mostly out of sight in the vegetation.

“In the areas that I photographed, it is difficult to find a single live sapling out of the hundreds that were planted.

“I think the council’s arboricultural officer ought to revisit the site, perhaps after calling in at Specsavers on the way.”