From the college:
“Last night damage was done to the front quad, and as Garden Master I am writing to you to explain what happened and why it is so important. The College’s Garden Committee will have to take up the matter of the disciplinary consequences of this with the Dean, but this note is an explanation of the problem.
There was a heavy frost last night and in the morning there were footprints all over the lawn in the front quad; there was also evidence of people having climbed up the banks once again. Many of the footprints were heavy, with the grass under the heel of the shoes being crushed. The grass in the quad is NOT like the grass on the sports fields, which is designed to withstand heavy use. Instead it is grown for its fine appearance and it is therefore very fragile. The effect of last night’s intrusion is that the grass under the footprints will become blackened and look unsightly this will also cause the grass stress which in turn would make it susceptible to fungal disease. There is nothing that the gardeners can do now to prevent this; all they can do is deal with the adverse effects later. The places on which there are very heavy foot treads will also require attention so that they can be levelled out.
The garden is one of the most important historical gardens in the region; it has also won many prizes in recent years for the way it is maintained. Generations of students and Old Members have enjoyed it and have been proud of it. What has happened is the equivalent of rubbing oily fingers over a fine painting. Fragile items have to be protected; that is why “Please keep off the grass” notices are NOT petty-minded authoritarian utterances from old fogeys, but are designed to help something from which we all take pleasure being harmed. I would hope that this year’s outbreak of damage will stop fairly soon.”
With all due respect to the gardeners – and I DO love the gardeners – I am grateful for the fact that I live in a community where this is the most grievous transgression that has taken place in a while.