Greens step-up campaign for Stray wildflowers
Oct 15, 2020
A mock-up of how the Stray might look with wildflowers.

Harrogate Borough Council is to publish a 10-year vision for horticulture in the district — but it’s unclear if it will include plans to grow wildflowers on the Stray.

The Harrogate and District Green Party has called for wildflowers to be planted to attract more wildlife, such as bees, and to act as a focal point for visitors.

It recently launched a petition, which has almost 600 signatures, urging the council to support this.

At last night’s full council meeting, Rebecca Maunder, chair of the Harrogate and District Green Party, asked Cllr Andy Paraskos, cabinet member for the environment, if HBC would commit to planting more bulb species as well as sowing wildflower seeds on the Stray.

Cllr Paraskos said he “absolutely” agreed with the Green Party’s sentiments on biodiversity but did not commit to any specific changes on the Stray.

He said:

“Biodiversity is not just about the Stray but across the whole district so hopefully we will see some exciting projects over the coming years.

“The Stray does not belong to us, so everything we do on the Stray is by negotiations with the Duchy, but we will continue to look at biodiversity”.

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The council held a consultation on the future of horticulture in the district this year.

Its horticulture strategy, which is yet to be approved, will detail the authority’s planting plans.

Cllr Paraskos said biodiversity “is a strong theme” of the upcoming strategy.

The council has already committed to planting 60,000 crocuses on the the Stray at West Park in the coming months.

Speaking to the Stray Ferret after the meeting, Ms Maunder said “now is the perfect” time to add a greater mix of bulbs when the Stray is replanted.

She said:

“Why not grasp this opportunity and make a significant impact?”