Call for action on state of Knowle gardens

Stuart Hughes in the uncut grass at The Knowle. shs 29 17AB 7141. Picture: Antonia Bohm

Stuart Hughes in the uncut grass at The Knowle. shs 29 17AB 7141. Picture: Antonia Bohm - Credit: Archant

Weeds and overgrown grass at a ‘gateway to Sidmouth’ have prompted calls for action before the arrival of Britain in Bloom judges.

Councillor Stuart Hughes said he is in ‘total agreement’ with the ‘considerable’ number of complaints he has received about the state of the gardens at Knowle.

He urged owner East Devon District Council (EDDC) to spruce up the site and confirmed that Devon County Council will do likewise on a footpath after enquiries revealed it is owned by the larger authority.

Cllr Hughes, a former chairman of EDDC and the Sidmouth/Sidford representative, said: “The Knowle grounds are the gateway to Sidmouth when passing and if using the park and walk facility at the weekend – and first impressions count when visiting our town.

“The arena area has stinging nettles, dock, among other weeds growing alongside the overgrown seeding grass.

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“There seems to be a ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude as far as these grounds are concerned now EDDC is moving [to Exmouth and Honiton].

“I would hope that Sidmouth Town Council will ensure that they are brought back into a condition pre-2016 before taking them on.”

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He requested at least one, but preferably two, cuts at the grounds before the end of the growing season and before the Britain in Bloom judges visit Sidmouth on August 8.

Cllr Hughes added that he had visited Station Road and cut brambles and branches that were overhanging the steps into the Knowle area.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “‘We take pride in ensuring that all the district looks good throughout the year.

“We’re sure your readers would understand that our gardeners are exceptionally busy at this time of year and prioritise areas of green space that are more frequently used and enjoyed by our residents.

“The upkeep of the Knowle grounds is among a long list of areas that they look after and they do a great job keeping East Devon looking great.”

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