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Ornamental Gardens at Horley Recreation Ground

Earlier this year the Town Council agreed to commission landscaping works in the Ornamental Gardens, in the central area of the park. The Council’s aim was to create an attractive and more open area, with additional access points and new benches, where visitors could relax in a pleasant and quiet atmosphere.

To give the beds identity and make them look more appealing, it was also agreed to dress some of the beds with bark chips and others with grey slates. The slates, in particular, inhibited weed growth, reducing maintenance costs as well as making the beds much more attractive.

Unfortunately the actions of a small minority have caused considerable problems for the majority, with some of the slates being thrown around the park and into the playground and skate park, causing safety issues for park users, not to mention considerable problems with mowing machinery. In one instance a slate narrowly missed a person playing bowls. Increased visits by Security Patrols have failed to halt the problem and, reluctantly, after various discussions with the police, the Town Council has been left with no option but to remove all the slates and replace them with bark chippings.

The Town Council is extremely disappointed that the actions of a small group have had this detrimental effect, however, despite the best efforts of everyone involved (police security patrols etc) it has been agreed that, in the interests of all park users, this action has had to be taken.

PC Ian Yeo, the Neighbourhood Specialist Officer for the area said, “This criminal damage to Council property is not a trivial matter; it is mindless vandalism, which has spoilt a public space enjoyed by many and could easily have resulted in someone being seriously hurt. The damage was not only unsightly but dangerous to those using the area and costly to put right. We have stepped up patrols in the park, particularly at night and at weekends, to find the people who did this. I am appealing for anyone with information surrounding these selfish acts of vandalism to please contact Surrey Police on 0845 125 2222, quoting 39709 so we can bring those responsible to justice.”

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