Dog walker Dave Cory said the “beautiful” area of Poolsbrook Country Park has become a haven for bees, butterflies and other wildlife.
However, when he arrived for his regular walk in the park last week, Dave was shocked to find that the flowers and grass had been cut and “absolutely gutted.”
He said people were being “bombarded” every day with messages to save nature, not destroy it, and Chesterfield Borough Council should be less “obsessed with keeping everything tidy”.
A council spokesperson said a formal contract between the authority and the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) meant that it had to carry out the work and was intended to “effectively manage the long-term biodiversity” of the region.
Dave, 82, who lives in Tapton, Chesterfield but goes to the park to walk his dog, said: “I went there on Monday and it was beautiful.
“The next day it was all gone. He looked completely sterile.
“It’s beautiful in the park. You can spend a few hours there and you wouldn’t even know where you were.
“This little nature reserve area was perfect. It doesn’t need to be mowed, but it looks like the city council paid a contractor to do it.
“It might have sounded a little harsh, but the bees and butterflies didn’t care. I don’t understand why they had to do it.
“Other people I’ve spoken to at the park agree it’s such a shame.”
A spokesperson for the Chesterfield Borough Council said: “The management of the grassland area in Poolsbrook National Park is carried out under a formal contract with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra ) and Natural England, known as High Level Stewardship.
“This program aims to effectively manage the long-term biodiversity of an area.
“Under this arrangement, this site and several others in the borough must be shut down between August 1 and September 31.
“While we understand that it can be disappointing to see these areas reduced, this work ensures that they will thrive again next year and help the area continue to thrive. “