A TRAVELLING circus has left a trail of destruction at a Huddersfield park.
Circus Starr, based in Congleton, Cheshire, visited Greenhead Park on April 15 and 16 to entertain families with comic clowns, amazing acrobats and aerial acts.
But, when the circus departed, it left a trail of devastation on the park’s green areas.
Heavy vehicles driven over wet ground had left grass scarred, mud churned up and pathways cracked.
Kirklees Council grounds staff are currently working to repair the damaged ground.
But community group Friends of Greenhead Park say lessons need to be learned to make sure forthcoming events do not have the same effect.
Tony Chisholm, a member of the group, said: “The damage may take some time to fully recover, particularly with the advent of the new season of events at the park.
“There should have been better preparation and some common sense once they realise heavy vehicles would have been driving over saturated ground.”
Fellow group member Paul Mullany said: “Preventative measures are needed. The Chinese State Circus is due to arrive very soon and theirs is an even bigger operation. Lessons need to be learned.”
A spokeswoman for Circus Starr said the company had a contract with Kirklees Council which stated that if the council deemed the ground unsuitable, the circus would not go ahead.
However, she said the council did not deem the ground unsuitable.
A £2,000 bond was also in place to cover the costs of potential damage – but the council had not asked for any of the money.
She said: “They have not got in touch to say they have to use it. We have not been told of any damage at all. It’s the last thing we want to do, but it can happen, which is why we take these bonds out.
“We have taken every step we had to. We wouldn’t want to cause upset or dismay or any problems.”
A spokeswoman for Kirklees Council said the council intended to reclaim the cost of repairs – amounting to several hundred pounds – from Circus Starr.
Parks service staff expected to finish repairs on the ground by early next week.
She said: “Fortunately, the damage is repairable and the parks service will be responsible for undertaking the work to ensure full reinstatement is achieved.
“In two weeks time, the Chinese State Circus will be in Greenhead Park and the reinstated areas will be protected from further damage.”