Park renewal in Richmond earns approval from users

A £3.7m project to regenerate all the parks in a local area has been rewarded with a 90 per cent satisfaction level among users.

More people than ever before said they loved Richmond-upon-Thames's public parks, with the satisfaction rate one of the highest in London, said the authority.

Its recent survey found users especially happy with improved maintenance, heaping praise on good safety and upkeep.

"Lowering hedges and tree crowns improved site lines and the sense of safety," said head of parks and open spaces David Allister.

"Satisfaction depends on continual engagement, not just asking: 'What do you want?' and putting in a few benches. We've helped set up friends groups and meetings."

Virginia Morris, Richmond's cabinet member for environment, said: "To find 90 per cent of people rate them highly is pleasing. Credit goes to the parks section and our contractor Veolia."

Last month's survey of 256 people unearthed happiness with new fitness kit, updated playgrounds and new cafes at Kneller Gardens, Kings Field and Radnor Gardens.

A few areas had slightly lower satisfaction levels, including engagement with locals in parks near pockets of deprivation.

More good news came from the Conservation Foundation, co-founded by David Bellamy, which awarded the council a gong for meadows in Crane Park. Another award for renewing the path network on Richmond Green was given by the Richmond Society.

"Winning the Conservation Foundation and Richmond Society awards was the icing on the cake," said Morris.


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