Flawed survey does little for raising profile of parks

A recent survey has been carried out by hiking retailer, Blacks, analysing the amount of parks and green spaces per head of population across the UK and has found that bottom of the list is Luton, along with Slough, Blackpool and Reading. Top of the list were York, Norwich and Ipswich.

Jane Conway, from Luton Borough Council, a member of the Board for the Parks Management Association, contacted us for a comment and a view. Our view is that the survey is, to be blunt, absolute rubbish, and without foundation. The survey only considered 3 parks in Luton, although they don’t name them, one assumes they are Wardown, Stockwood and Luton Hoo Memorial Park. The survey does not even consider sports pitches, playing fields, children’s play spaces (there are 58 in Luton), allotments, amenity green spaces, green corridors or the many other parks and recreation grounds that exist. What about the many natural green spaces and woodlands? Such surveys are without foundation and any methodology. The previous Planning Policy Guidance 17 for Open Space, Sport and Recreation was a considered policy that took into account accessibility, quality and quantity of open spaces. Measuring 3 parks against the whole population of a town gives a totally incorrect status of the reality, alarms residents, politicians and those who work tirelessly in parks. Our recommendation on this piece of ‘tosh’? best ignored.

Thanks for letting us know Jane. Luton has some excellent parks and green spaces, enjoyed by the many residents who live there.

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