Dismay is being voiced over the state of the ground in a town centre park following the removal of a temporary ice rink.
A number of people have taken to social media to complain about the ‘muddy mess’ after the controversial ice rink was dismantled in Horsham Park last week. There is concern over the loss of grass, bulbs and damage to trees.
In one on-line message, there was a suggestion that the ground was being prepared for the next sporting event in the park - ‘mud wrestling’.
Sally Sanderson, chairman of the New Friends of Horsham Park, said: “We were dismayed at the messy way the ice rink was dismantled with little attention to the trees, grass and spring bulbs.
“Ice was left to melt and this has caused flooding and the mud bath we now see. We understand that the ice rink provider will be paying Horsham District Council to put this right. We hope that the grass is soon re-established and robust enough for summer picnics and fun.
“We are sure the ice rink provided lots of fun for those who skated but we still think that this was not the best site for it – it damaged the trees and it was too far from the town to bring in additional business.
“We hope that they will be able to find a town centre site for next year. It was feasible in Crawley, so why not here?”
Meanwhile, The Friends say they are still planning how best they can support and improve the park and they are working with the district council to co-ordinate groups of volunteers on projects to enhance it. A number of fun events and competitons are being lined up.
A spokesman for Horsham District Council said: “The council is currently putting plans in place to restore the area where the ice rink was located.
“It is intended to carry out the works in early spring, when the area will be cultivated, graded and seeded. It is necessary to wait for slightly drier and warmer weather before the works are carried out, to give the newly sown grass the greatest chance of success.
“Some bulbs have been damaged, and an allowance will be made for planting of additional daffodils next autumn. There is no evidence of significant tree damage.
“All of the costs will be met by the ice rink operator.”