End of the road for Kenilworth funfair - The Leamington Observer

End of the road for Kenilworth funfair

ALL the fun of the fair won’t be coming to Kenilworth this year.

Warwick District Council decided to no longer allow the funfair, which is part of Kenilworth’s annual summer carnival, to take place on Abbey Fields.

WDC’s events and green spaces teams have been assessing the impact of the funfair on its traditional site on the fields for the past couple of years and decided the damage to the trees and the grounds beneath was becoming too great to allow the event to continue.

WDC arts and economy spokesperson Coun Ella Billiald explained: “We fully understand the disappointment of both the carnival organisers and local residents that we are no longer able to hold the funfair on Abbey Fields particularly as the event is such a long-held tradition for the town of Kenilworth.

“When the fete and funfair started around 70 years ago, it was on a much smaller scale and the trees surrounding the park weren’t as large and mature. In recent times the number of rides and stalls has increased as has the volume of vehicles and visitors on the site.

“The impact of this combined with the effects of climate change with spells of very dry and wet weather has meant we have now reached a tipping point in terms of the stress and potential damage to tree root plates. This means that if the funfair was allowed to go ahead, we would be in the situation of breaching our own guidelines for the management and care of Abbey Fields, which is an ancient monument that the council has a duty to protect.”

The decision not to grant permission for the funfair was communicated to the Carnival Committee in December 2023.

Both the district and town councils are keen to work with the organisers to enable the carnival to take place in 2024 with a revised programme for the June event.

WDC will also work with the Carnival Committee if it wishes to relocate the carnival itself to a new site.

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