Residents fear Ryelands Park is being ruined by constant events

Local residents Anna Carney and Kamilla Elliott say Ryelands Park in Lancaster is beintg damaged by events being held there.
Local residents Anna Carney and Kamilla Elliott say Ryelands Park in Lancaster is beintg damaged by events being held there.

Residents living near Ryelands Park say the area is being ruined by constant events being held in the park.

Several events, including fairgrounds and circuses, have been held on the land this year, and residents say the grass does not have enough time to recover in between visits.

Ryelands Park.

Ryelands Park.

Anna Carney, who lives in Torrisholme Road, said the recent fair had caused damage to the park, which was still recovering from a circus earlier this year.

She said: “The grass is being ruined. One of the fairs was here for 15 days.

“There are a lot of people not happy with the state of the park. There has been a general decline over the last couple of years. It’s being used as wasteland.

“We want to keep the park green and look after the little piece of green space that we have got.”

Ryelands Park.

Ryelands Park.

Mrs Carney, who has three children, added: “We are not saying we don’t want any of the events, but there are so many that it is starting to look a mess.

“The council put a few token grass seeds down but that doesn’t seem to have sorted it out.

“The ground is so uneven in parts that it’s dangerous. We use the park every day and it’s not a nice environment for the kids.”

Fellow resident Kamilla Elliott said: “This year the issue has gone from neglect to abuse. We feel like the money being made isn’t going back into the park.

“We have gone from a park with a greenhouse and tennis courts and a cafe to just a field.

“We are really concerned that it’s going to get worse.”

Shirley Bell, who also lives in Torrisholme Road, added: “It’s so important nowadays to keep our parks as parks, a green area for relaxation and exercise.

“We all lead such busy lives and Ryelands Park is not situated in a wealthy area. Most of us need this haven of peace in our already stress-filled lives, and anything which detracts from this function of the park, such as the over-commercialisation that we have seen this year, is bound to have a detrimental effect on the mental health of the community. We need to protect our parks!

“I just hope that the council will take note of the feelings of the residents of this area who use the park regularly to walk dogs, play football or take their children to enjoy the play area and for those that just want to walk through it or sit for a while and enjoy the park.

“It is first and foremost a park – not an entertainment venue. We have a dedicated area in Morecambe for that.

“Ten years ago, there was one circus and one fair per year, which I believe is more than ample.”

Mark Davies, chief officer (environment), said: “The events that take place in Ryelands Park are enjoyed by the public and also generate much needed income for the council to support the overall budget.

“Any damage to the ground is easily rectified and doesn’t take long to recover. The costs of work are paid for by the organisers.

“The city council is also investigating the possibility of improving the drainage of the land hired out for events on Ryelands Park in order to provide a more suitable surface and reduce damage to the ground which is usually caused during the set up and dismantling of the larger events.

“This should prove good news for event organisers who currently pay a bond to the city council to cover any damages, reinstatement or cleaning charges following their event.”