330 randomly-selected visitors to the park were interviewed across three survey waves between August 2017 and September 2018, and asked to rate various aspects of the park. The top three areas that were scored most highly by visitors to Greenwich Park were upkeep of the park (95% gave a rating of excellent or good), quality of the natural environment (94%) and general tidiness and cleanliness (93%).*
Having green spaces where youngsters can let off steam is highly appreciated by parents, 86% of whom rate the park as having excellent or good facilities for children. Fifteen percent of visitors come to the park to visit the playground (amongst other activities), compared with 6% of visitors across all eight Royal Parks in London.
Maintaining health and wellbeing is an important reason for visiting Greenwich Park for 98% of participants. And for almost all visitors (99%), experiencing nature is important in terms of why they visit; Greenwich Park is a haven for wildlife, home to fallow and red deer, some of London’s oldest trees, and an important habitat for invertebrates.
A high proportion of visitors (85%) also consider learning about the park’s history and heritage important to why they visit. This compares with 72% of visitors who say this across all eight Royal Parks, and may reflect the importance of the Grade-1 listed park as a historic site, incorporating a Roman-Celtic temple and an Anglo-Saxon Barrow Cemetery dating to the 6th-7th century.
Other top reasons people visit Greenwich Park include for ‘peace and quiet’ (23% of visitors), for a stroll (21%) and to meet family and friends (21%).
Graham Dear, Greenwich Park’s Manager, said: “These findings confirm that Greenwich Park is cherished by its five million annual visitors, as it provides the green lungs in a densely-populated urban area of South East London. It offers a tranquil oasis where locals can get away from the hustle and bustle, relax, engage with nature, and delve into some of the capital’s most historic royal park.
“Greenwich Park is clearly a huge hit with parents, and we’ve just started building a natural playground which will enable play for children of all abilities, giving another excellent reason for families to enjoy the park.”
The survey results also revealed that 16% of visitors would like to see toilet and baby facilities, 10% would like more cafes and 9% would like to see children’s events or entertainment.
Dear added: “Rising visitor numbers are putting a strain on the park’s infrastructure, so separately to the survey, we’re also asking locals what they’d like to see in the park, as part of our planned multi-million-pound ‘Greenwich Park Revealed’ project to improve facilities and the visitor experience. And we’re addressing this. If we’re successful with our funding bid, we’ll be able to host more arts and culture events, build a new learning centre, café and toilets, provide better information, and restore the park’s historic landscape.
“An interesting survey result also showed that many more people think Greenwich Park is managed by the local authority than they do with the other Royal parks (32% of visitors to Greenwich Park say this, compared with 18% across all eight Royal Parks), but actually we’re a charity and need to raise 75% of our own funds to continue to manage the park to the highest possible standard.”
The Royal Parks is working closely with the community to develop a bid for a £4.8m National Lottery grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. The bid will be submitted in August 2019.
For media enquiries contact The Royal Parks press office on 0300 061 2128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
*Participants citing ‘excellent or good’.