Oxford City Council has completed £69,000 of improvement work on the Fettiplace Recreation Ground.
The work aims to improve the health of residents in Barton and support the integration of Barton and the new development.
The work, which took place at Fettiplace Recreation Ground on Bayswater Road, was carried out by Oxford City Council, in partnership with WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental) and saw:
- Installation of a fitness trail (six free outdoor gym equipment stations)
- Improvement of path accessibility for wheelchair users and pushchairs through the re-surfacing, widening, and edging of pathways.
- Installation of new park benches.
- Habitat improvements along Bayswater brook (including pollarding of existing mature willows to allow light to penetrate the brook, establishing of a wild flower boundary, and planting of a native hedge to provide an extended flowering season for pollinators and a valuable nesting habitat).
- Installation of wayfinding signage displaying the nature at the site and health benefits of the fit trail to be installed at a later date.
The official opening took place on Wednesday 21 March.
The £69,433 project was funded through a £38,399 contribution by WREN, with the City Council funding the remaining £31,034.
The development aimed to improve Fettiplace Recreation Ground through enhancing infrastructure, and is the first step in the creation of a fitness trail linking Barton to the new Barton development.
Alongside working towards improving the physical health of residents, the project also aimed to improve the environmental health of the area through habitat enhancements.
In July 2016 consultation on Fettiplace Recreation Ground, 73% of respondents said that they would (or maybe would) use a fitness trail individually, and 71% of respondents saying they would use it with friends and family.
Oxford City Council is continuously working towards tackling health inequalities in Oxford, but especially in Barton as it’s one of the 10 NHS England Healthy New Towns focusing on how the built environment can encourage more people to take part in physical activity and improve their health outcomes. Men in Barton die, on average, 10.8 years earlier than those in the least deprived area of Oxford.
Councillor Linda Smith, Deputy Leader said: “These improvements to Fettiplace Recreation Ground are a great example of how Oxford City Council works to attract external funding to improve our neighbourhoods.
The new fit trail and accompanying enhancements to the natural environment will help make it easier and even more enjoyable for everyone - existing Barton residents and residents of the new development at Barton Park - to get outside, get active and enjoy their local surroundings.”
Councillor Mike Rowley, Ward Member for Barton and Sandhills said: “It's really good to see benefits start to come to the existing Barton Estate from all the development that's going on.
When you work hard and don't have much money it can be a struggle to lead a healthy life, and I hope the new fit trail - along with the Healthy New Towns work going on and improvements to the local GP surgery - will have a real impact for people in Barton."
If residents are interested in learning how to use the new fit trail equipment in Fettiplace, please email email@example.com to register your interest in free classes taking place soon.