Beauty spot re-opens to vehicles for Easter

Published Date: 10 April 2009

A POPULAR Knaresborough beauty spot by the River Nidd has reopened to vehicles after a closure of several months.
The barrier to the Conyngham Hall Picnic Area, which remained closed during the winter months, was lifted last week by members of a working group created in response to anti-social behaviour at the picnic area.

The opening comes in time for Easter and also means the area will be accessible for the 44th Knaresborough Bed Race on Saturday, June 13.

Local police have applauded the closure of the picnic barrier, which has resulted in no reported incidents of anti-social behaviour at the site.

Pedestrians have still been able to access the area.

The closure has also enabled the working group to carry out repairs to the access road, address the poor drainage of the site and to improve the facilities for visitors.

Coun Anne Jones, who chairs the working group, said: “The mindless activities of a few inconsiderate young drivers had caused considerable dismay to local residents and proved to be a danger to themselves by using the slopes facing the river bank to skid down.

“Thanks to the generosity of local companies Travis Perkins and HACS Construction we have installed extra wooden bollards to protect the river bank and also improved the condition of the site.

“It is looking better than it has for several years.”

The Conyngham Hall Picnic Area Working Group consists of representatives from voluntary organisations that use the area, local police officers, senior officers from Harrogate Borough Council and town and district councillors.

There have been donations of picnic benches and seating from the Rotary Club of Knaresborough, Knaresborough Lions and Parking Services at Harrogate Council.

Coun Jones said: “The working group believe that the works go some way to addressing the specific problems in the area and I hope that the measures prove satisfactory to local residents and the Town Council.”

She added that the group would like to continue the Bitmac surface around the picnic area but present financial restraints prevented further works at this time. It was hoped, however, to install an interpretation board.

Knaresborough in Bloom will also be planting bulbs later this year in readiness for next spring, while the Knaresborough Lions will sponsor a commemorative seat in memory of Alan Turtle.

The picnic barrier will close again on September 1, and a meeting to review the area will be held by the working group and a report made to Knaresborough Town Council.

* Last Updated: 08 April 2009 2:28 PM
Knaresborough Post