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Public invited to help develop plan to improve Swindon’s country parks

Members of the public are being encouraged to help shape an exciting plan to enhance Swindon’s country parks over the next four years.

Published: Tuesday, 16th February 2021
Lydiard Park

Swindon Borough Council is inviting local residents, park visitors and partners to take part in the development of Swindon’s first Country Parks Improvement Plan.

The bold vision to improve the Borough’s country parks was approved by the Council’s Cabinet in December. A new waterside restaurant and café, a brand new accessible play area and a proposal to clean the iconic diving board have been identified as key priorities at Coate Water.

But the Council is keen to find out what people think about their favourite parks and what improvements they think could be made to them so they continue to be enjoyed by visitors for years to come.

The strategic improvement plan aims to turn the Council’s country parks into viable and sustainable assets using funding from developer Section 106 contributions, grants and other funding sources, in order to benefit the health and wellbeing of local residents and boost the town’s overall recreational offer.

Residents and park users can contribute to the improvement plan by taking part in an online survey, which will ask for their views on Coate Water, Stanton Park, Mouldon Hill, Shaw Forest, Barbury Castle, Pentylands Country Park, and Lydiard Park. The short survey will close on Sunday, 7 March.

Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for the Borough’s country parks, said: “Our country parks have played a key role in maintaining the health and wellbeing of so many people during the pandemic and I am determined we do everything we can to enhance these valuable resources so they can be enjoyed for generations to come. We love our parks!

“We have launched the survey so that local residents can have a direct say in how we can improve each of the country parks over the next four years. This a genuine attempt to get people involved.

“Lydiard Park's popular children’s play area has seen nearly £30,000 spent on repairs and refurbishments and I hope it could be back open again as soon as next week! While a new play area at Coate Water will be built for the summer. Yet there is so much more that we can do to improve our parks, attract more visitors and make them all much more enjoyable.

“If you can spare five minutes, please fill in the online survey so we can use your views to inform our country parks improvement plan.”

Local ward councillor Matthew Courtliff is also encouraging local people to feed in their views so they can help shape the County Parks improvement plan. Cllr Courtliff said: “I’m really privileged to have Lydiard Park in my ward, as it’s a place my family and I love, and having such a beautiful open public space has been vital for residents over the COVID lockdowns.

“I’ve already lobbied for improvements to the play area at Lydiard, which is now undergoing a £30,000 refurbishment. It is proof that the Council listens to what our local communities want, and delivers on it.

“This survey is a chance for us to have our say on how we make our public open spaces even better, so if you have any ideas for Lydiard - or any other public park - please take a few minutes to respond.”Members of the public can fill in the online survey by visiting: www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/swindonparks/

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