THIS year I have been to Darwen Tower a number of times via Sunnyhurst Wood which is not as I remember it.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has allowed it to deteriorate to a point where it is going to require a mammoth task to return it to a state of appearance that reflects civic pride and dignity.

They have allowed the whole of the amenity to be taken over by Himalayan balsam.

They have failed to maintain the paths which are now “runnelled” and getting worse every time it rains.

They have failed to carry out woodland maintenance which is clear for all to see.

They have failed to maintain water courses to the point now that in the event of heavy rain damage to the stream banks is uncontrolled.

They have failed to present the small man-made lake above the waterfall in a fit state.

It is not supposed to be full of sand and debris but full of water.

If the water courses were maintained properly it would go some way to alleviating this problem.

They have failed to discourage the use of the amenity as a dog lavatory.

There is an army of dog owners who take their animals into the “park” on a daily basis.

These people will tell you that they pick up after their pets but what they don’t tell you is that each time they do there is always a deposit left behind Small it may be, but it is accumulative.

During the hot weather that we have enjoyed the accumulation has been noticeably malodorous. They have failed to look after the main paths.

Last winter’s leaves and plant debris can present a hazard to people after rain when it becomes slippery.

I suspect that if Sunnyhurst Wood was in Blackburn it would be maintained in a much better state.

Which only affirms my belief that Blackburn treat Darwen as a Cinderella neighbour.

I have fond memories of Sunnyhurst Wood from the days when my family and I lived in Hoddlesden.

Shame on the council for neglecting a fine amenity, the basis of which was provided by nature and developed by and for the good folk of Darwen and others.

FM Galpin, Simonstone