Rare crayfish are to blame for ‘unkept’ grass at retirement housing in Hucknall - which is attracting ‘drug and alcohol’ users

The overgrown stream on Darlison Court, Ogle St, Hucknall.
The overgrown stream on Darlison Court, Ogle St, Hucknall.

An elderly man has been left “very concerned” after an overgrown stream which runs through retirement housing attracts “drug and alcohol” users.

The bank which surrounds the stream which is home to a rare species of crayfish runs through the garden of Darlison Court, Ogle Street, Hucknall, is over grown and a disgrace, according to one resident who lives there.

The resident did not want to be named because he said he was told he would get a ‘black mark’ next to his name by Ashfield District Council which runs the court.

The council has said maintance of the stream is “less straight-forward” because of the protected crayfish.

The resident said that he has seen people “flat out on drugs” next to the stream and has said he believes it is because they can be “hidden” by the long grass and shrubs.

He said: “The garden is attracting problems. The fact that it is not maintained makes it ten times worse. People are using it to hide.

“I have seen people there flat out on drugs. I have seen people having a picnic with cans of beer on the bank of the stream. This is very concerning everyone here is elderly or disabled - I dread to think what would happen if anyone was to get into the building.”

At the court designed specifically for people aged over 60 and built in 2016 there are 39 two and one bedroom apartments.

The resident has said that the council maintained the bank of the stream for the first year but has now stopped.

He said: “You can hardly see the water now it was beautiful. The council keeps finding excuses saying to me that they can’t trim the bank because it is the environment agencies. This building was suppose to be the councils jewel in their crown and it is disgrace.”

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, leader of the council said: “The council is maintaining the areas surrounding Darlison Court but it is less straightforward than other work our environment team undertake. The ground around the court is home to a host of wildlife and the stream is home to a rare protected species of crayfish.

“This means that the environment agency must be present when the stream is maintained and a specialist contractor has to be in place to see to the embankment.

“New grounds maintenance staff are also being employed in the Hucknall area.”

“Work is already in place to address residents’ concerns to improve the quality of life at Darlison Court and my colleague has been attending the tenant meetings.”