Dear Editor,

There cannot be one person who hasn’t been touched by the global pandemic, businesses large and small, employees and charities to name – but a few have all had to deal with the adversity that continues to challenge the status quo.

There is no doubt in my mind that BDBC are also having to twist, turn and react as the government guidelines changed, and suffered as all businesses with staff availability, sickness, quarantine and at it’s very worst hospitalisation.

As residents, we all tolerated the ever-changing landscape of available services, including fortnightly waste collection and the aromas that went hand-in-hand with a glorious summer and turned a blind eye to our towns green spaces and roadside verges enjoying not being seasonally managed.

As a keen gardener, I appreciate the flora and fauna in my garden which invites bees and butterflies in abundance.

Planting wildflower seeds has been a stunning revelation, but my garden is managed – I choose to garden this way, mixing wild with the organised.

BDBC seem to have halted all green space management with a policy message that is blurred and inconsistent. We used to celebrate Blooming Basingstoke. Now it is unkempt, scruffy, and unloved. 

We have green and open spaces a stone’s throw from us in Beggarwood – wild and unmanaged, yet glorious, completely incomparable to what is happening in and around our homes and estates. Green spaces which used to be areas to allow children to play on grass, walking our dogs, sit and enjoy the space are now home to knee-length weeds, thistles, and dandelions. If they were poppies, bellflower, or cornflowers it would be a different discussion.

Hedges are imposing onto our paths and walkways, while trees and shrubs block out street-lights, causing poor visibility. People with children, buggies, wheelchairs and dogs cannot navigate, while those requiring a walking stick or impaired vision or mobility are particularly inconvenienced.

Yes, allow wildflowers to grow, plant the seeds and let them flourish, but manage this and plant in appropriate areas. Allowing weeds to run riot, trees and shrubs to become hazards is not management. It is shirking of your responsibility.

Any gardener will testify that without management it is an uphill battle that takes seasons to recover from. Our council tax has not changed, I assume BDBC still retain the equipment machinery and staff who used to operate, keeping our borough green and beautiful, and if so, why are they not being utilised.

Daren Bavister, Beggarwood

Have your say by writing to The Letters Editor, The Gazette, 5 Upper Brook St, Winchester SO238AL; email or comment online at Please include your name and address in letters or emails.