During the August Bank Holiday Friends of Wigmore Park undertook a survey of park visitors. The responses are for either a single visitor, or a joint response, or for a couple or group.
Not all the visitors who describe themselves as local specified which particular area of Luton they lived in. Consequently, the 53 persons listed under Wigmore may not all have been from that specific area. A smaller amount of respondents in the survey were from the playground/skateboard areas, as these users were further away from our Friends of Wigmore Park base, consequently they are under-represented in the results. Additionally, we were not able to include park visitors who entered and left the park from areas away from the pavilion area.
Many visitors came to the park every day, or several times a week, and thus were able to provide valuable negative, and positive, data on their experience.
On the negative side, a few parents remarked on how the play equipment was in need of updating and indeed had not changed since they themselves came as children. Despite travelling some way to skate in the Skate Park, an observation was that now as it is now an Olympic Sport, the ramps and equipment should be updated and that the Skate Park at Dunstable was of much better quality and met an appropriate standard. Other visitors, both adults and children, had travelled from other areas in the town were part of the sports groups that are currently using the park for their training sessions.
Many visitors commented on the value of the park during COVID to both enable family meetings and to bring their children during the long break they have had out of school. Additionally, several visitors said that during this time they have taken the time to walk further away, appreciating the quietness and to explore the wildlife areas. One older visitor, whose nearest park is People’s Park, travelled daily to Wigmore Park as she felt safer and she finds the people friendlier. The value of the open space, peacefulness, exercise, and wildlife, was mentioned by many respondents during this time when there has been the opportunity to connect with nature.
A surprising number of visitors, who were local, were unaware of the Council’s plans for expansion onto the park. A young pilot, out walking his dog felt it was not necessary for the Airport to be expanding.
Several respondents, both young and old didn’t use social media at all so had limited resource to local knowledge. Many used the park for both walking, bringing their children to use the equipment, and more recently for sports activities that have taken place in the park during Covid-19.
The large area is very popular with dog walkers and indeed one dog walker, stated “my dog smiles whenever he comes here”!
Results from Bank Holiday Survey
|Luton area||Wigmore||Stopsley||Round Greeen||Town centre||New Bedford Rd||High Town||Crawley||Ramridge|
|Villages/towns||Tea Green||Breachwood Green||Caddington||Cockenhoe||Hitchin||Letchworth||Milton Keynes||Hemel Hempstead|
|Reason visited||Dog Walk||Skate park||Playground||Football Sports||Walk/run/ Cycle||COVID meet||Flora/fauna||Open space/trees|
|Airport plan awareness||Yes||No||Info wanted||No social media|
|Virtual dog walk/litter pick interest||12|
|Total no surveyed||105|