Council wipes away World Earth Day message from town’s Italian Gardens
- Credit: Peter Elston
Volunteers who temporarily spruced up Weston’s Italian Gardens over Easter have criticised North Somerset Council for ‘obliterating’ their creations.
The Friends of Grove Park, in partnership with Extinction Rebellion Weston, organised a free family activity on Easter Monday, where youngsters and their parents could draw an image of the planet using non-toxic chalk.
The group planned to continue its work the following day for World Earth Day, yet when it returned to the town centre it found all drawings and sketches had ben washed away by cleaners.
Group member Anne Bunn told the Mercury: “We had children returning on Tuesday to do more work, only to find all the drawings had vanished.
“What makes me more frustrated is the council has left all the litter and chewing gum in place, which is just bizarre.
“All our work has been obliterated, we were pointing out how much we love our planet by giving the Italian Gardens some much-needed colour, yet the council would rather see the public space all grey and plain.
“Rain is forecast to come later this week, so all the art would have washed away naturally anyway; we just wanted to make good use of the nice weather and offer families a free and fun activity to enjoy during the Easter break, which are few and far between in Weston.”
Youngsters drew dinosaurs and wrote messages about the importance of saving bees and protecting the planet.
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Anne added: “We received no complaints from passers by, people often stopped to ask us questions and joined in, it is a huge shame as we are an environmental group and made sure we used sustainable chalk, so we weren’t harming anyone.
“It is just sad and I am unhappy about it. It was a peaceful way to celebrate World Earth Day with families enjoying themselves, too.
“The Italian Gardens was a blank canvas for people to express themselves, it’s a shame it could not have lasted a little longer.”
A council spokesman said: “We have a duty to keep our land clean so the Italian Gardens, along with the rest of the town centre, is regularly swept.
“We have had no events registered with us but if this had been, the organisers would have been asked to leave the area clean.”