Council promises procedures review after Kirkcaldy park churned up

Beveridge Park hosting the cycling competition. Pic by George McLuskie
Beveridge Park hosting the cycling competition. Pic by George McLuskie
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Fife Council is to review its procedures for cancelling outdoor events which could damage parkland if weather conditions are bad.

The authority’s parks department is to look at the current guidelines following complaints from the public about a recent cycling event which left parts of Beveridge Park churned up and dangerous to other park users.

Around 200 competitors took part in the competition, hosted by Portage Cycling and Fife Council’s Active Fife team the weekend before last.

And the state the park was left in also drew the consternation of local councillors George Kay and Susan Leslie who have been in correspondence with council officials about the matter.

Cllr Kay said: “I have just returned from witnessing the devastation that has been heaped unnecessarily on Beveridge Park.

“After a very wet winter the park was already sodden and puddle strewn,so it was blatantly obvious what effect 200 or so bikes would have, given the torrential rain before and during the event.

“That the cyclists decided to go ahead with the event was nothing short of utterly selfish vandalism on their part.

‘‘They gloried in the muddy conditions regardless of the scars they left and the effect on other park users, while it takes three to four months for the grass to regrow.”

And he urged that before such events are allowed to take place, the right to consider cancelling them in adverse conditions be given to an “impartial source”.

“Our parks are certainly there to be used. They are not there to be abused,” he said.

Stressing that remedial works were now being carried out, Cllr Leslie added: “Parks need to be clear about who is responsible for cancelling events ike this when the ground will not cope.”

Mike Fuchs, service manager for parks development and countryside with Fife Council, said: “Although visually unpleasant, we can reassure the public that any damage is minimal and temporary.

“We learn from each event and discussions are being held between the specific event organiser and ourselves to ensure there is clarity in relation to booking conditions and procedures for future events.”