An Oxford park which was left churned up by a fireworks display will not be fully fixed until the spring, a council has said.

Large sections of South Park were damaged by the 55th Annual Charity Fireworks Display last month with one resident likening the aftermath to a “WWI battlefield".

At the time, organisers Oxford Round Table said that damaged parkland could recover by Christmas and hailed the event as a “great success".

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But Oxford City Council, which manages the park below Headington Hill, now believes the green space will not return to normal until after the new year.

This is because repair work cannot start until the ground has dried out.

Oxford Mail: South Park after the display

A statement from the authority said: “Please accept our apologies for the current state of the park created by the unfortunate timing of prolonged heavy rainfall in the days leading up to the recent annual Round Table Firework event.

“This left the ground saturated, resulting in areas becoming rutted and churned by the event set up and heavy footfall during the event itself.

“Ground rectification works (funded by Round Table) will take place as soon as possible, but this can only be done once the ground has dried out; attempting to do this while it's still saturated would only make the situation worse.”

More than 20,000 people gathered to watch the fireworks display on November 2 and the event raised around £50,000 for local charities.

The council said it would look at ways to reduce damage caused to the park by the event in future years.  

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“The annual Round Table Firework Events has been a hugely popular event in the city for over half a century and raises vital funds for local charities, but our changing climate is creating increasing challenges between the different uses of public green spaces,” the statement said.

“Discussions are taking place with key stakeholders to investigate what steps can be taken to reduce the impacts on the park in future years.

Oxford Mail: South Park

“Please be assured we will undertake the rectification works as soon as we are able and the park will be returned to its former state by the spring. Round Table and the city council understand and regret the inconvenience caused in the meantime.”

Christian Petersen of Oxford Round Table said last month that the organisation had “a vested interest in the long-term future of the park".

He added that the way the event was run would be reviewed.

Oxford Mail: South Park fireworks

After this year’s event, several Oxford folk complained about the damage to the park.

Ned Denny said that parts of turf were “so torn up and deeply rutted as to be wholly impassable".

Dr Daniel Emlyn-Jones said it looked like “the Battle of the Somme” had taken place.