NORTON Town Council is to investigate ways of keeping a riverbank and park area tidy.

Councillors had expressed concern that it was become unsightly and overgrown and was in need of a general tidy-up.

The river area and park belongs to the town council and the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate, although it has been maintained by the town council.

Councillor Hugh Spencer said he had planted a number of wildflowers by the flood wall three years ago.

“The river bank area is now so overgrown you can hardly see the river or the fishing platforms which are obscured by the dreaded Himalayan balsam,” he said.

“I do not think any sensible environmentalist would defend the river as it is at the moment as it is so unruly.”

Councillor David Lloyd-Williams said he thought the old-fashioned way of using a larger strimmer to cut back the weeds would work.

“It would make the riverbank look so much better and enable people to see the river,” he said.

Councillors ruled out spraying the area as they felt this would be too severe and damage other plants but agreed to obtain a couple of quotes for strimming the area.

“The answer is a regular cutting programme of about four times a year to prevent the balsam flowering and seeding,” Coun Spencer said.