A BEAUTY spot in Ilminster ‘looks like a mess’ after being damaged, it is claimed.

Residents voiced their concerns at Ilminster Town Council’s open spaces committee last Tuesday night about a mountain bike track destroying bluebells, rubble dumped close to a bench which overlooks the town and damage to the footpaths on Herne Hill.

Mayor Sir George Davies MP and Walter Trivett gave the hill, to the south-west of the town, to Ilminster in 1931.

Ross Brion, who lives close to the hill, said he has never seen the area in such a bad way.

Mr Brion also claimed Ilminster Town Council gave a contractor permission to scrape the footpaths.

He told councillors: “There was a lovely job done to replace the bluebells but now they have gone and there has been a mountain bike track built.

“The rubble was put there by the council in June last year and it is like a roadway over there – they have scraped the paths so low they are now down to the clay, so when it gets wet next year it is going to be a right mess.

“The paths were a certain size but they have just bulldozed right through – I have never seen the hill in such a mess.

“I always used to walk on that hill and that is a local beauty spot we should be looking after.”

The council says the wood chippings surface on footpaths became too slippy and it is hoped the grass will grow back again.

Open spaces committee chairman Cllr Carol Goodall agreed to accompany Mr Brion to the areas of concern at Herne Hill.

She added: “The main problem over the last couple of years has been the weather.”

Cllr Andrew Shearman added: “When they widened the paths, it is important people know the crystal clear reasons for doing that – it was for wheelchair access and mobility scooters.”

Other residents said it was a shame to see the area being damaged as they remembered childhood years spent playing on the hill.

Councillors looked at a management plan at the meeting, for Herne Hill, see below, to ensure the area’s natural beauty.