Forres pub owner rallies team of ‘community gardeners’ to tackle overgrown grass

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A Forres pub owner has rallied a team of local people to cut the grass outside his establishment because the council can’t afford to.

Gordon Brailsford from the Mosset Tavern offered food and drink to get people motivated to bring out their gardening equipment and help tackle the neglected area outside his watering hole on Friday morning. And they did.

Gordon said: “Around ten people have come down with lawn mowers, strimmers, rakes, gardening gloves, and have just got stuck in.

“Like many places in Moray, the area around the Mosset Tavern, the rose garden and the pond are at the mercy of the council cuts. We understand that cuts have to be made somewhere, but a view that we’ve looked out on over 14 years, usually a tranquil, peaceful place, sadly isn’t the case any more. And we don’t want to see it like that.

Forres pitches in

“The great thing about Forres is that there is so much community spirit. We asked for some help, and it has arrived in droves. Everybody is willing to pitch in.”

The Mosset Tavern is a popular venue for wedding receptions, and the rose garden is used by his guests for pictures of the bride and groom, but the unkempt appearance was causing him concern.

Until recently, the Moray Council regularly cut the grass in all public spaces, but due to severe financial cuts, grass cutting has been reduced across Moray.

Local councillor Graham Alexander said: “I congratulate Gordon in using his initiative to solve a problem which was having a negative effect on his business. As an elected representative I very much regret that the Moray Council can no longer afford to maintain many of our amenity areas in the manner to which we have become accustomed and I welcome the approach taken by Gordon and other well-meaning citizens of Forres.

Council leader Graham Leadbitter posted on his Facebook page: “I want to thank the individuals and groups in our community who have gone out and cut grass in areas that the council are no longer able to cover. I personally appreciate those efforts.”

He has also indicated there are more cuts to come and the council is looking at ways to make services more sustainable.

He added: “When it comes to parks, one area we are looking at is commercial sponsorship, which may be a way of reinstating the level of maintenance that we have become used to over the years. Generating new sources of income is going to be a really important area of work to help protect services as we go forward.”