A PUBLIC meeting is being called in Hinchingbrooke Country Park on Sunday to discuss protecting the open space from being churned up by vehicles. Hypnotherapist, Ray Gooden, who lives near the park in Snowdonia Way, Huntingdon, takes his dog to walk the
A PUBLIC meeting is being called in Hinchingbrooke Country Park on Sunday to discuss "protecting" the open space from being churned up by vehicles.
Hypnotherapist, Ray Gooden, who lives near the park in Snowdonia Way, Huntingdon, takes his dog to walk there every day. He believes the vehicles, including those of the park wardens, should be banned from the park.
"Damage and destruction are being visited on the park and I want to call a meeting to lobby the district council," he said.
Mr Gooden, who says his children also play in the park, is inviting users, wardens and officials from Huntingdonshire District Council to the meeting to discuss what he sees as the desecration of the land.
"In recent years, the condition of the park has deteriorated markedly as it has been increasingly given over to motor vehicles. In the past four days, I have had to stand aside for a large van towing a double-decker trailer, two cars, a motorbike and a 4x4, all driving along grassed areas on the north side to Main Lake to get to the sailing centre and the lakeside.
"This relentless traffic has created wide roads where there used to be vegetation."
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Mr Gooden said the eastern end of the Main Lake had been "lain waste" by vehicles churning up the mud.
He added that the park wardens and the district council, which runs the park, were "part of the problem", using a tractor which was too heavy for the terrain. "They should cycle or walk round the park or find a lighter tractor," he said. Many parts of the park looked threadbare, he claimed, as trees had been felled. "The Spit is a featureless heath. In two more years, this will be another wasteland devoid of cover for wildlife.
"Hinchingbrooke Park is one of Huntingdonshire's real treasures and should be a place where people feel they can get in touch with nature."
Mr Gooden is calling for:
* The sailing centre to be relocated to the south side of Main Lake.
* The park's tractor to be replaced with a lighter model.
* A zone for pedestrians, cyclists and mobility aids only.
* A stop to all tree-felling except for safety purposes.
* Replanting of depleted vegetation.
* Screening from Brampton Road.
* A spokesman for HDC said: "We have a responsibility to cater for a wide range of users - among them the canoe club which, over the Easter holidays, had a series of activities for young people. This would mean them doing one journey a day, taking canoes down to the lake in the morning and bringing them back in the evening.
"We use vehicles as sparingly as possible on the park, but we do have to use them sometimes for maintenance purposes."
Countryside services manager, Pat Knight said: "I am not aware that this gentleman has spoken with anyone at the park or written to us. I will be very pleased to meet him, walk with him round the park, and hear what his concerns are."
INFORMATION: The meeting is due to start at 10am on Sunday, April 22, in the coffee shop on Hinchingbrooke Park. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org