July 2015 ....

The questionnaires come in ....

Most readers of this monthly news item will be aware that the Friends of Eastfield Park are currently carrying out a public consultation regarding their proposal for a new children's play area on the Park close to the cross-park pathway (Mallard Walk) between the Lake and Greenside. Hopefully, many of them will have completed a questionnaire about the proposal, either on-line or by submitting a completed paper document.

The paper questionnaire was evaluated at the St Alban's Women's Fellowship on 30th June following a talk about the Park given by Dr Vic Smith (Chair of the FoEP). Five people completed forms without any problem so it was decided to use exactly the same document at the 'Eastfield Celebrates' event on 4th July. Another 43 paper questionnaires were completed at the event and blank copies are still available for anyone who prefers this way of letting us have their views. However, exactly the same questions are asked on an electronic version of the form available on this webite. People may complete this form and submit it on-line up to the end of August, 2015. (Click here to access the form: )

Unfortunately, this form cannot be used on mobile phones or most tablets so we developed a Survey Monkey questionnaire that will work on most platforms. In order to produce a free survey we had to modify the questions (cut down the number of questions and omit some information). We have already received 12 responses using this version of the questionnaire, including some from people who told us they could not use the website version. If you wish to complete the Survery Monkey questionnaire, click the link but please do not submit more than one type of questionnaire!

Initial results are very encouraging. Up to two days ago, 100% of submissions supported the idea of a play area on the Park with 95% favouring the proposed location. Fencing the play area was backed by 90% of the submissions, 80% thought we had the age group right while 63% thought that it was very important that the play area should blend in with the natural setting of the Park. An impressive 62% of people said they would visit the Park more often if a play area was provided. In terms of equipment, swings and slides were the most popular items, followed by a roundabout, but no form of equipment has proved unpopular with those who submitted forms. We have not yet analysed the Survey Monkey responses though they appear to be in line with earlier results.

Although there is widespread support for the suggested 3-8 age group, enough people have suggested a wider range for us to give carefull consideration to including some equipment for children up to 12 or even 14 and some for younger children (e.g. 18 months to 6 years). We also intend that some items will be suitable for wheelchair users. However, it will be some time before firm decisions are made about the exact provision of equipment and, whatever we recommend, it is likely that NBC officers will have the final say. We have recently received some encouraging support from the Borough Council but we have to remember that, ultimately, they own the Park and are responsible for its management.

Other News ....

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A short 'Balance Trail' has been added to the 'Eastfield Monster' play mound and we are making good progress in obtaining funds for more litter bins in the Park (and replacing one damaged dog bin). Funding for the Balance Trail was provided from Councillor Elizabeth Gowen's Community Fund. Cllrs. Gowen, Hallam and Lynch have also agreed to support our bid for more bins in the Park.
For pictures of the Vikings at 'Eastfield Celebrates' click this link:

Number of Patrols: Fourteen
Dog Issues: Good number of walkers, fouling witnessed and owner challenged.
Littering Issues: Low level litter
Graffiti Incidents: None reported
Vehicle on the Park Incidents: None reported
Anti Social Behaviour: Mindless low level vandalism
Complaints received from the Public: None
Length of Grass: Acceptable,
State of the Litter Bins: Emptied and appeared to be managed.

July has been a busy month for Eastfield Park with events drawing more visitors to the Park. Dog owners are very largely picking up their dogs mess but when failing to do so and witnessed they are being challenged.
Patrols are at double the levels of June and hopefully that will continue and bring their own rewards in terms of lower levels of fouling, litter and anti-social behaviour.

Eastfield Park Ranger's Report

for July 2015

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