The demarcation line with Rowlands Castle on the left and the National Park on the right
Hampshire District Council (HDC) faces a bill for a huge clean-up operation; following the action of some of its overzealous employees.
On 31st March 2010, the prettiest and most valuable swathes of England’s southern downland, were given the recognition and protection they deserve by being awarded National Park status.
Evan Elpuss, HDC’s Chief Executive said: “Those living within the now clearly defined boundaries of the Park are justifiably proud and perhaps a little smug, that they now live within a National Park".
The boundaries of the Park have been very clearly defined and the reasons for that are understandable. No-one would want to gaze across at the warm glow of the setting sun only to find that it is actually the dying embers of a burnt out Vauxhall Astra.
North of Petersfield the perimeter of the Park skirts Borden and to the south, Rowlands Castle, Cowplain and Horndean have all been carefully avoided. It is concerning this boundary that some unfortunate damage has been done.
HDC employees were given instructions that they should mark the boundary; beginning with the areas that were thought to be most troublesome. It was intended that graffiti and fireproof signage be erected; along with, in places, tasteful barbed-wire fencing.
Unfortunately, having referred to the demarcation maps, the order to mark the boundary was completely misconstrued and mirroring the map itself, red lines have now been painted across large areas of the countryside.
Elpuss said: “This is all very embarrassing and I apologise to all those that have been affected. The only positive point is that, with the paint being on the outside of the boundary of the Park, no real damage has been done.
“We will hold a meeting next week to determine whether, under the circumstances, it is worth the time and effort to remove the paint”.