People of Corby ‘grassed off’ with state of park

Runners at Corby's Race for Life set off through long grass
Runners at Corby's Race for Life set off through long grass

The state of the grass in Corby’s West Glebe Park has been in a ‘downhill spiral’ for years according to the chairman of the voluntary group that looks after the space.

He said the grass at the park in Cottingham Road is regularly left to grow far too long, and then when it’s cut, the detritus is left in piles around the park.

Corby Council is responsible for managing the park, although grass cutting is done by contractor Kier.

Kier has also come under fire this week for the state of Shire Lodge Cemetery, where grass grew uncontrollably and then weedkiller was poured around graves.

Friends of West Glebe Park chairman Michael Crosby said: “It’s not on.

“It grows too long, then they cut it and leave it in piles to compost around the park.

“But they say they’re not responsible for getting rid of the grass, just the mowing.

“If they cut it regularly then there wouldn’t be piles of grass everywhere.

“Kier are an absolute disgrace.

“They use a broken mower which could have been fixed during the winter but it hasn’t been.

“It’s been a downhill spiral for the past three years.”

People in Corby have been bemoaning the state of the park for weeks, along with unruly verges and the cemetery.

Kier’s contract comes to an end soon and Corby Council is considering bringing the service back in-house.

The grass was, in places, up to people’s knees during last month’s Race For Life - the first such event in Corby that raised £55,000 for Cancer Research.

Mr Crosby added: “I felt sorry for the people running first as they had to run through eight inches of long grass.

“It was supposed to be putting Corby on the map.

“When we’ve told them about the state of the park they’ve said they appreciate how well-used it is but then they do nothing about it.

“There’s all sorts of excuses.

“We are hoping for a big improvement when their contract comes to an end.”

Corby Council’s lead member for environment Mark Pengelly said that he is aware of the wider problem with grass cutting in the borough and branded it ‘appalling’.

He is seeking an urgent meeting to ensure the problems are sorted out immediately.

A Kier spokesman said: “We provide a grass cutting service at West Glebe Park and are not contracted to collect and remove the grass cuttings.

“We continue to maintain the grass in the park with our scheduled maintenance programme but due to variations in the weather this year, the grass is growing quicker, resulting in it getting longer than usual in between cuts.

“One of the lawn mowers broke down during a scheduled cut last week, however this was fixed the same day and our team returned the following day to complete the cut.”