West Park Stray

Harrogate Greens aim to make Harrogate one of the most urban-biodiverse towns in the UK

19 October 2020

Rebecca Maunder, Harrogate, and District Green Party campaigner asked Harrogate Borough Council Cabinet Member for the Environment Andy Paraskos, at Wednesday night’s council meeting: “Will the council take more measures to increase Bio-Diversity on the Stray?” As the party pushes to make Harrogate one of the most bio-diverse urban towns in the UK.

  • Green Party urge Harrogate Borough Council to work with local groups and communities
  • Asking businesses and organisations such as Harlow Carr to come together with the goal of improving the town’s bio-diversity.
  • Call for the Duchy to support making the Stray bee-friendly.

Rebecca added in the meeting:

Now is an ideal opportunity to add other bulb species while planting crocus bulbs, and to sow wildflower seeds in extended areas left unmown for longer.  The town is well placed to become nationally recognised for biodiversity, having such an abundance of central green space.  Such recognition would promote visitor numbers and help towards securing its place as a forward-thinking town fit for the future.

I understand the Stray is owned by the Crown but maintenance does not require permission, and so plant maintenance could easily go ahead.  Although there is no reason to suppose the Duchy Estate would be averse to increasing plant varieties on the Stray.

Will the Council agree to take every opportunity to increase biodiversity on the Stray?

See this link to view the video of the meeting https://youtu.be/bPMs5_zx0Bk?t=1561

Cllr Andy Paraskos said:

In one-word, the answer to this is absolutely.

Following the Harrogate District’s Horticultural consultation astrategy for the next 10 years is being finalised.

The strategy has not yet been approved, but a strong biodiversity has been strong theme through the consultation and the whole process.

Biodiversity is not just the Stray but the whole district.

But everything we do on Stray is by consultation with the Duchy

The report will be out shortly and hopefully you will see some exciting projects over the coming years.

Bio-diversity is ‘absolutely’ a measure that the council is looking into, and the Green Party of Harrogate look forward to seeing the horticultural consultation strategy discussed but also urge Harrogate Borough Council work with all local communities and groups, those who are best placed to ensure any goals and targets set are made without delay.

Local people understand the pressure on our local wildlife and support measures to make the Stray bee-friendly, a petition set-up is currently gathering signatures on this subject. The Green Party hopes that this along with the Harrogate Borough Council’s upcoming horticultural consultation strategy will mean the Duchy of Lancaster will also be keen to actively promote biodiversity and help protect wildlife.

Furthermore, as we see new developments around the area, we urge the Council to insist Developers take a pro-active response to ensure estates don’t become concrete jungles and bio-diversity is preserved and enhanced in local areas. The Green Party also want to  support local residents to develop Neighbourhood Plans to take ownership and steer the direction for placemaking in their local communities

Harrogate & District Green Party are calling on local groups, businesses, and individuals to join them in a bio-partnership to work together with Harrogate Borough Council for the goal of making Harrogate one of the most urban-biodiverse towns in the UK.

Please contact  Rebecca Maunder Coordinator Harrogate & District Green Party chair@harrogate.greenparty.org.uk.

Or message Harrogate Greens on twitter.com/HarrogateGreens or facebook.com/harrogategreens

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