A letter from Angela Cartwright in the Hereford Times (August 26) declared Hereford to be a ‘scruffy and untidy’ city.

READ HEREWhat must Hereford tourists make of the weeds?

To a degree she might be right because Herefordshire Council no longer have the funds to pay for the work, especially flower beds, collecting litter, clearing the streets or cutting nettles.

Perhaps she was unaware of the volunteers who devote their time to do the best they can to keep the city in good shape.

More volunteers mean more work gets done and Angela’s concerns tackled.

When the council abandoned the flower beds eight years ago Hereford in Bloom took full responsibility for them, buying and planting the flowers, weeding and watering  plus the baskets hanging from the ‘iron trees’  and planters dotted around the central area.

When the council built the new link road in front of the railway station the contractors included three large beds opposite the station planted with shrubs.

The shrubs died for lack of water and the weeds took over.

Bloom volunteers again came to the rescue, 400 new shrubs planted and regularly watered and weeded.

A better welcome for the visitors getting off the trains. The volunteer team work on the city beds every Thursday morning.

Britain in Bloom judges have previously given Hereford a Gold Medal and this summer many people have commented on the lovely display of flowers in the city centre.

Emma Jones, like Angela got fed up with all the litter lying in the streets, so she took action herself, setting up the Community Clean-Up on Facebook.

Now she has a huge number of volunteers out picking up litter.

One of the finest gardens in Hereford was the Blackfriars Rose Gardens alongside the ruins of a centuries old monastery.

It was a gift from the Hereford and West of England Rose Society to mark their centenary in 1967.

The garden was cared for by the council, but became another victim of its cash shortage.

It was eventually saved by Anne Harbour, an American who had made her home in Hereford.

She set up The Friends of Blackfriars Rose Gardens and leads a team of volunteer gardeners who in two years have re-created a magnificent rose garden.

Look more carefully around the city and ‘scruffy’ is not a true distinction, but Angela is right - there are rough spots around the city that need curing, but it will require lots of extra volunteers to achieve it.

George Thomas


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