Circus leaves Sheffield park in a mess

Churned up grass after Bill Smart'sCircus pitched its big top in Hillsborough Park.
Churned up grass after Bill Smart'sCircus pitched its big top in Hillsborough Park.
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Work has begun to repair Hillsborough Park after it was badly damaged during a visit from a circus.

Billy Smart’s Circus was in the park from Thursday, May 22, to Sunday, June 1, but the visit came during the wettest May for decades.

Billy Smart's Circus set up itss Big Top in Hillsborough Park

Billy Smart's Circus set up itss Big Top in Hillsborough Park

Despite circus staff saying they did all they could to repair the land when they left, the grass is churned up and mud covers footpaths.

Dave Johnson, who lives in Hillsborough, said: “Just when summer is around the corner, Hillsborough Park is left in a real mess.

“We don’t have much green space, so to damage a park to this extent is truly unacceptable.”

Readers on The Star’s Facebook page suggested a circus should be held elsewhere in future.

Patricia White wrote: “You can’t help what the weather is like. But don’t we have anywhere else they could go.

“Firth Park will probably be the same after the fair has gone.”

A spokeswoman for Billy Smart’s Circus said it left four men behind to clean up as best they could.

She said: “Anyone who has been in Sheffield for the last week will know that, apart from Saturday and Sunday, the rain has been torrential. This is why the ground has ended up in such a mess.

“We did all we could under the circumstances, and have worked closely with the council on the problem.

“We left four men there after we left, to clean up as much as we could, and of course will be paying for any reinstatement of the ground.”

A Sheffield Council spokesman apologised.

He said: “This is only temporary – the park is being cleared up right now with costs being covered by the circus company.

“The circus was enjoyed by many people at the park but, unfortunately, heavy rain last week made the ground soft, making it difficult for the circus to move off the site.

“Circus staff are already clearing the park and we will be cultivating and re-seeding the damaged grass areas, as well as cleaning up the car park and footpaths.”