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‘Battlefield’ Harrogate Stray ‘will Recover’ After UCI Cycling Event

‘Battlefield’ Harrogate Stray ‘will recover’ after UCI cycling event

Parkland left “like a battlefield’ after a major cycling event will recover faster than anticipated. The UCI Road World Championships took place in Harrogate between 22 and 29 September.

Heavy rainfall had a significant impact on the spectator area in part of the town’s 200-acre Stray. The borough council said the event would also enable tourism in the area to keep buzzing.

The common land was first protected in the 18th Century for the use of the people of Harrogate.  Judy d’Arcy Thompson, chair of the Stray Defence Association which was founded to protect the site, said: “Everyone looking at it can see the absolute tragedy that’s occurred. It looks like a battlefield quite frankly.

She said the organisation was not opposed to it being for major events but described it as an “event too far”. “It’s a superb free sports arena and so many people use it,” she said, adding: “To see it like this is devastating and I don’t know how all those who normally use it will be able to use it for a long time to come.”

Heavy rainfall and hundreds of fans had a significant impact on Harrogate’s Stray.

A spokeswoman for Harrogate Borough Council, which maintains the Stray stated that without minimising what needs to be done.  The ground can recover quickly and faster than many would expect. She added: “Long after the grass has grown, people locally and the estimated TV audience of 250 million, across the world, will remember the spectacular scenes.

And those memories, and the scenes on their television screens, will bring them back here keeping our tourism industry buzzing, local people employed and putting money into the local economy.

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