Park comments were vitriolic’

FIRST, I would like to make it clear that I am not a relation, neighbour, or close friend of Ray Gooden. Our paths have crossed walking our dogs around Hinchingbrooke Park. I was incensed to read the vitriolic and personal attack on Mr Gooden by John Wal

FIRST, I would like to make it clear that I am not a relation, neighbour, or close friend of Ray Gooden. Our paths have crossed walking our dogs around Hinchingbrooke Park.

I was incensed to read the vitriolic and personal attack on Mr Gooden by John Walker (May 2).

To reply to some of his points. Mr Walker writes about a "publicity-seeking picture" - is not Mr Walker's letter equally "publicity-seeking"? What's the difference between Mr Gooden drawing attention to the parlous state of Hinchingbrooke Park, and Mr Walker touting his organisation, Friends of the Country Park?

Mr Walker implies that the spot chosen by Mr Gooden to have his photograph taken is the only one in the park with wheel marks in the mud. Mr Gooden could have chosen far worse spots than the one in the photograph. For instance, the morass created around the dog-waste bin on the top path, or the mud-bath created by vehicles outside the gates of the llama field.


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What Mr Walker failed to attempt to excuse was the damage done to the ride behind Mr Gooden. The path used to be three metres wide at the most but, as this original path became a soggy bog, visitors widened it to avoid the mud, as they have done throughout the park. Why can't the large amount of wood-chippings by the car park be used to alleviate the mud?

Mr Walker says that very few people attended the meeting. But those who did agreed with Mr Gooden.

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Mr Walker praises the work done by the rangers and unpaid volunteers. If he had bothered to attend the meeting, he would have heard Mr Gooden do the same. All Mr Gooden wanted to know was whether there was a strategic plan for the park, and, if so, what the plan consisted of. At the meeting, it appeared that there was such a plan, and it would be made available to interested parties. This is precisely what Mr. Gooden, (and others) wanted to know. However, we are still waiting for sight of this document.

DAVID ALLCOTT, Claytons Way, Huntingdon

* WITH reference to the letter from John Walker (May 2) I would say that what this beautiful park needs is not my £5 note but a robust management plan with sustainability at its core.

This should be rigorously applied to all activities in the park such that there is no negative impact on the environment. I would like to thank volunteer Ian Fazakerley and Pat Knight, countryside services manager, for the time they spent with me on the day of my meeting.

I note the repairs that have been carried out in the last two weeks, and I look forward to them delivering the improvements they have promised. Should they succeed, I will be the first to applaud, and I would be delighted to help in any way that can be incorporated into my daily visits. I hope that at the end of next winter the park will look considerably better than it does at present. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, of course, so it is now over to Huntingdonshire District Council to deliver.

RAY GOODEN, Snowdonia Way, Huntingdon

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