Enfield Council says taxpayers will not foot the bill for repairs, reports James Cracknell
A long list of damage done to Trent Park during two major events this summer has been sent to Enfield Council.
The Friends of Trent Country Park community group claim significant harm was caused after tens of thousands of people attended the 51st State and Elrow festivals there in August.
The main entrance to the park in Cockfosters Road suffered the most obvious damage, with a large lorry carrying equipment having collided with one of the Grade 2-listed brick gate pillars – since surrounded with scaffolding – while a stone bollard was also smashed.
On the exhibition table in the park, where the two events were staged, large patches of grass have died off after being covered and trampled, with tread marks and deep ruts visible. When the Dispatch visited the park one month after Elrow Festival took place, confetti could still be found littering the area.
Trent Park’s famous lime tree avenue is also now showing significant signs of disrepair to its road surface and the friends group says money received from this year’s festivals should be used to restore it, as well as replace some of the ageing trees – the council has since pledged to plant five new trees.
In a letter to the council, Friends of Trent Country Park chairperson Peter Gibbs said: “It would be reassuring to the many thousands of visitors to our park to know that Enfield Council is stepping up to the plate and heading off a situation which is becoming steadily more toxic.”
A council spokesperson said: “Event organisers will be paying Enfield Council for the repairs. While we welcome large-scale events in Enfield, we have made it abundantly clear to organisers that our heritage and natural environment need to be respected and we must be compensated for any damage. Our partners have so far been very co-operative.
“We have been liaising with Friends of Trent Country Park on our work to deal with the damage in a timely and efficient manner.”