Park strife at old festival site

King George's Field, Rothesay.
King George's Field, Rothesay.

Argyll and Bute Council has promised to improve the state of King George’s Field after locals claimed it has been a mess since last summer.

They said the public park had not been cleared up since last year’s ButeFest, with tyre marks still clearly visible. The council and festival organisers said adverse weather held up work to improve the park.

A local resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s the whole public park up there. It’s always been a problem since ButeFest has been held there.

“It was really bad last year. I think it was mostly the tractors coming into the park after the festival finished that caused most of the mess. There are still big tyre tracks all over the place. Nobody has done anything about it.

“The goalposts have not been put back up either. There used to be a pitch down the bottom but it’s in such a state they probably couldn’t put the goalposts back up.

“It’s just full of tractor marks a foot deep. I know the weather was bad last year, but I thought something would have been done by now. I used to have a kick about with the kids but you can’t do that now. I’m up there with the dogs and you can’t walk on the grass, you have to stick to the paths.

“It’s a public park but the public can’t enjoy it.”

ButeFest has been held in the park for the past three years but this summer heads to its new home of Ettrick Bay. However, festival organisers have promised to continue to work to improve the condition of their former base.

ButeFest chairperson Hazel Mulholland said: “ButeFest continues to work with the council to reinstate the park in time for the upcoming summer sporting fixtures and events.

“The park was harrowed, levelled and seeded after the event last summer, however, due to the exceptionally wet weather that has persisted, along with the park’s long standing drainage issues, it has not been possible to complete the reinstatement.

“The tractor tracks were created during a short dry spell, when we ran a subsoiler beneath the surface, in an attempt to break up a compacted layer that’s believed to be the cause of the drainage issues. Work will continue when the weather allows it to be done effectively.”

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: “We are in regular contact with ButeFest about repairing the damage. Some work’s been carried out to prepare the ground for re-sowing.

“Weather can be an obstacle. However, with the weather generally getting better, we are speaking again with ButeFest about progressing repairs.”