Rats and swan action among plans to improve town park

Swan at Horsham Park
Swan at Horsham Park

Action to curb rats and scrub clearance to aid swan take-off and landing are among ideas put forward to improve Horsham Park.

They are among suggestions drawn up by a newly-formed action group.

The New Friends of Horsham Park are putting forward a list of ideas to Horsham District Council which is currently conducting a park user survey.

The Friends group says action is needed to protect the town’s ‘vital green lung’ now and for future generations.

They want the council to include the park as a ‘heritage asset’ to give it greater protection.

Group chairman Sally Sanderson said: “The population of Horsham district and town has grown considerably in the last 10 years and continues to grow meaning park space is at a premium. Current levels of usage have resulted in greater wear and tear.”

She said the New Friends of Horsham Park wanted to work with the council to ensure the park remained ‘the jewel in the town which attracts people to visit, live and work here, which is so important for the local economy.’

Among suggestions put forward are improvements to the park’s entrances, improved signage, more action to curb litter and weeds, improved flowerbeds, hedging and tree care.

There are also suggestions for the provision of a new picnic and barbecue area, improved pathways and improvements to drainage.

The group also suggests that more could be done to curb rats with the introduction of traps and the encouragement of predators, such as owls.

They would also like to see improvements to the park’s pond area with a fountain and scrub clearance to help swan take-off and landing.

They say that the improvements could be paid for with money from developers ‘section 106’ payments, lottery funds and grants, along with revenue from the park’s car parks.

The group says it is not criticising past running of the park but is seeking new ways of working in partnership with the council.

The group was first formed earlier this year following the announcement of plans for the current park ice rink and for permanent hardstanding for events - seen by many as a further erosion of green space in the town.

Now growing numbers of people all over Horsham have joined the group in a bid to see the park protected and enhanced.