Letter: Shocked at state of town’s park

Can Wakefield Council, which owns Pontefract Park, explain why over a period of time trees, bush land and grassland have been cut down in front of the main lake right down to the small pond and around it?

Have they thought about the habitat they have destroyed for wild fowl, birds, animals and everything that used it? If you walked by the water ditch it is like unfinished road works; like a trench in the tarmac filling up with litter and rubbish.

There are beer cans, litter, plastic bottles, glass beer bottles and broken glass and setting fires, and worse, used syringes.

At this time of year swans and wild fowl are nesting and deer have been seen near the pond.

What is happening is no good for them and the environment and not the best place for people to walk with their dogs.

This area covers a designated route walk on the Friends Of Pontefract Park website, people are going to be shocked when they see the state of it.

N Hardacre

Townville

Castleford


Glynn Humphries, Wakefield Council’s service director environment and streetscene, said: “Work recently undertaken in Pontefract Park between the main lake and the irrigation reservoir is part of a planned programme of works designed to prevent the encroachment of the marshland by goat willow and grey willow, which was too small to be useful for nesting birds.

“If this work had not been carried out, the valuable marsh area which forms part of the Local Nature Reserve would get overgrown with scrub and this important habitat would eventually have been lost.

“We have been told by people visiting the site that the area feels safer for them now that it has been opened up.

“This more open environment will also benefit and attract wildfowl which do not like to be on water in enclosed spaces. The opening up of the site should also hopefully reduce anti-social behaviour.

“This work has been ongoing for a number of years with the full support of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Environment Agency who have been consulted throughout.

“It has been carried out between October and February so as not to disturb any mammals and nesting birds.

“Opening up ditches has improved the amount of light reaching the water, resulting in the growth of water cress and other plant life, an important food source for water voles which are an endangered and protected species.”