PARK USERS SURVEY – RESULTS SUMMARY – June 2022
(From 143 respondents)
1 – How often do you come to the park? (141 replies)
33%: 2-4 times per week
17%: 5-6 times per week
5%: 2-4 times per day
5%: At least monthly
This means that 93% of survey respondents use the park at least weekly.
2 – Where do you live? (140 replies)
36%: Windmill Hill
12%: Near park, south of St John’s Lane
8.5%: Victoria Park (between Hill Ave & St John’s Lane)
6%: Ashton, Southville, other BS3
1.4%: Other Bristol (Whitchurch and Kingsdown)
There was one person from London!
Hence over 77% of survey respondents live within about ½ mile of the park and 92% within a mile.
3 – How do you currently use the park?
People specifically mentioned the following activities, apart from those listed above:
Physical: Football (8), Basketball (6), Tennis (6), Running (6), Skateboarding (5), Table tennis (4), Exercise class or keep fit (4), Training cyclists (3), Cricket (2), Badminton (2), Frisbee (2), Flying kites (2), Bowls (1), Handball (1), Hockey (1), Playing games (1).
Creative: Crafting, knitting and drawing (4), Making music (2), Singing (1), Story-telling (1).
Other: Watching fireworks and balloons (2), Volunteering – DoE & VPAG (2), Reading (1), Meditating (1), Listening to music (1), Forest school (1), Walking a cat (1), Collecting food for stick insects (1).
4 – What do you like most about the park and its facilities? (137 free-text replies)
The responses show that people love Victoria Park, especially its large open green spaces and mature trees. They really value the views over Bristol and the variety of different areas in the park: short and long grass, flowerbeds and wildflowers, woodlands and individual trees, playgrounds and sports pitches, wild areas and darkness at night.
They like meeting friends in the park, especially by the coffee van, and the range of activities for children, including the water-maze, playgrounds and willow tunnel. They love hearing bird-song by day and owls hooting later, peace and quiet, watching wildlife and the seasons changing, the fresh air and friendly people.
The park is valued as a community space that is generally well-maintained, dog-friendly and safe. Park-users appreciate the number and quality of footpaths and places to sit, the range of facilities that cater for a diverse range of local needs and having this space for exercising and meeting up during the Covid Lockdown.
5 – What would you like to see improved in the park? (138 free-text replies) There were lots of ideas! Here are the most popular, in order of frequency:
Clean toilets with clear opening hours. As they are often closed or in a “disgusting” state, park-users frequently resort to “nature pees” behind the bushes. Some people would be happy to pay.
Play areas with equipment for older children – especially swings.
More bins (esp. at Marmaduke St), emptied more frequently, and less litter dropped.
Better drainage to stop paths flooding – possibly by creating fenced-off wetland areas or ponds. Suggestion to put gravel on small muddy paths.
Better maintenance of playground equipment, as well as existing lights on paths and in courts, plus repair of potholes on paths, the Maze and table tennis tables.
More planting of trees, shrubs, wildflowers and more wildlife areas.
A permanent café, with regular opening hours, preferably in a refurbished Lodge.
Dogs – some people want no dogs, due to dog excrement problems; others worry about dogs eating inappropriate food left for birds and would like signs about this and/ or birdfeeding tables; others want dog-free areas where they can picnic safely.
More benches and picnic tables.
Cyclists and e-scooters – need signs to clarify where they are allowed and how they should behave, plus emphasis on pedestrian priority; some people want better separation of cyclists and pedestrians; others want bike parking.
More events in the park.
Creation of areas for calisthenics, fitness, bouldering, cricket, plus a paddling pond and a swimming pool!
Need an official BBQ area, to reduce problems with BBQs everywhere.
More information about heritage aspects of the park.
Fewer noisy boot-camps.
6 – Would you like parts of the park left untended to encourage more wildlife?
7 – If yes, which parts of the park do you think would be best for this? (101 replies)
a – In current wooded areas (25), e.g. on top of hill or near willow tunnel.
b – On sloping areas (20), e.g. slopes on railway side of park (6), on slope from roses down to skatepark (5), on slope near school (5), untended slopes near MUGA (4), slope overlooking Totterdown (2).
c – Create wetland areas or ponds (10) in previous location or by boggy parts of park or near St Lukes Road to help prevent path flooding. Fence them off to keep dogs out.
d – Create wild grass and wildflower meadows on less used areas of grass (5), e.g. in middle of park or corner by Park Ave & Hill Ave. Have mown sections in meadows for picnickers.
e – Create hedges for wildlife along walls and edges and bordering bowling green (3).
f – Fence off less-used sections of park (2) – need more protection from people and dogs for mammals and ground-nesting birds.
g – Keep same as now – the balance of wildlife to active areas is good already (5).
Other ideas: Consult wildlife experts (2).
8 – Are you aware of VPAG (Victoria Park Action Group) and what it does?
9 – Would you be willing to help?
10 – If so, how?
11 – How would you prefer to be kept informed of events and activities in the park?
Email – 77.4% (= 96 people)
Facebook – 24.2% (= 30 people)
Twitter – 5.6% (= 7 people)
Other – 9.7% (=12 people) – incl. noticeboards and signs in the park,
WhatsApp, local news e.g. Pigeon, website.