Residents are being asked their views on Oxford’s parks and open spaces as part of a satisfaction survey.
The aim of the questionnaire is to find out what people think of their local green spaces and their facilities, how they travel there, and what they use them for.
Started in 2000 and last carried out in 2015, the information provided by the survey will be used to improve services, provide evidence for capital bids, and for assessment of trends over time.
In the past the questionnaires have provided an evidence base that customers would like to see toilets, infrastructure, play areas and pavilions improved. These areas have now been addressed and subsequent surveys have shown an increase in satisfaction with these facilities.
2018 will see £100,000 invested to improve parks and play areas within Oxford.
Recent work has included:
- Florence Park: £20,000 spent on the installation of a new zip wire in the play space for older children, along with landscaping improvements to the play area enclosure for younger children.
- Botley Park: £10,000 provided mainly by local Councillor Ward and Community Infrastructure Levy budgets to create a more welcoming entrance and community centre by installing new combined signage, relocating the bins to a purpose built store, and planting a new avenue of trees. New animal-proof bins were also installed in the play area, along with kick-about goalposts in the field.
- Manzil Way: £20,000 of capital funding provided to improve the eastern segment of the gardens. This work is on-going, including extending the play area, replacing fencing, bins and benches, and improving the planning, including adding new trees.
Additionally, £60,000 is planned for the autumn to be spent updating the play equipment at Croft Road and Five Mile Drive parks.
Oxford City Council owns eight large parks within the city, and also manages over 900 acres of countryside and nature reserves.
Alongside the natural beauty they bring, Oxford’s green spaces provide a plethora of benefits to residents.
Cultural activities such as community events, art and debate are all available regularly within these areas, as well as sites of historical significance such as Port Meadow.
Additionally, in terms of health, evidence by GreenSpace, the national charity which works to improve parks and green spaces, shows a brisk walk every day within a local green space can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes and diabetes by 50%.
Councillor Louise Upton, Executive Board Member for Healthy Oxford, said: “With so many residents using our parks regularly it’s important that these spaces continue to best reflect the needs of their visitors. I encourage everyone to respond to the consultation and let us know what they think about the parks they use, large or small, wherever they enjoy the great outdoors in Oxford”.
To take part in the survey, which will be open until 31 December, please visit our Consultation pages.