Rewilding of Horsham Park a ‘mad idea’ amid fears long grass could house ‘lots of insects’

A dog walker has raised fears the rewilding of Horsham Park could lead to increased vet bills for pet owners.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 2:56 pm

Areas of Horsham park have been left unmowed and with long grass, something retiree Janet Clay branded as a ‘mad idea’.

Janet said she has already faced an expensive vet bill when a grass seed was removed from her two and a half year old pup Bella’s ear and fears if she walkers her in the long grass it could happen again.

She added: “I’m talking to the council. They came up with the idea [but] they could cut pathways.

DM1987045a.jpg. Scenic. Horsham park. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-190109-112952008

“It just seems a mad idea. It was fine as it was.”

Janet says she has stopped walking cavalier Bella in the woods after removing three ticks from her this year, but now she fears she could face the same problem in Horsham Park.

She added that the long grass could lead to ‘lots of insects’ – something which is a goal of rewilding.

The Horsham resident previously featured in the County Times in the 1980s when she found an unexploded live shell in her garden – only realising what it was after she washed it clean.

Janet said the grass should be cut so there is more room for families and for Collyer’s students to relax in term time.

She added: “For the rest of us – on a nice day you might want to take a picnic for the children.

“I don’t mind that they have grass where I call the tree islands [near the skate park]. That’s fine to leave that wild. But I just think the rest of the park’s grass should be cut as it’s always been cut. It just seems madness.”

A Horsham District Council spokeswoman said: “Some areas of grass in Horsham Park are being allowed to grow longer, but the vast majority of the park will continue to be mowed on a fortnightly schedule, as it always has been, in order to facilitate sports, picnics and other leisure use.

“The Council is committed to increasing biodiversity – including insects - on our sites, to try and reverse massive declines in wildlife. Insects provide food for many bird species such as blue tits, robins and swallows.

“We have sympathy for the user’s concerns regarding the health of her dog, but ticks are principally associated with fields containing livestock such as deer or sheep.”