On February 22nd we conducted a survey of people passing through the Rec between the hours of 6 and 7pm to see what they thought of the lighting levels through the park. We stood at the Nightingale Road park entrance and handed out a slip of paper to each passing person. Each slip contained a single question, preceded by a context statement, which read: "Unaccompanied children walk through here after dark at the end of after-school activities. Do you think the lighting in this park is adequate: Yes or No?".
We asked participants to think about the lighting levels as they walked through the park, and put their slip into one of three boxes to signify their answer, when they reached Ransom's Pavilion. The boxes outside the Pavilion were labelled Yes, No and Don't Know. The vast majority of people who completed the survey were coming from Nightingale Road, but a few participants came through the park from the opposite direction.
The reason for this survey was to gather evidence of public/park user opinion on the lighting levels in the Rec, particularly the stretch between the Pavilion and the amenity carpark on Nightingale Road. We would like to see the Pavilion used for afterschool sessions and evening classes but feedback from potential providers and participants has been negative about the lighting levels between the Pavilion and the carpark, suggesting that we would have an uphill battle to fill such sessions unless the lighting were improved. So we thought we'd ask people who walk through the park after dark and see how they felt about it.
The results were as follows: of the 150 people asked, 122 responded NO and 26 YES (plus 2 don't knows) to the question "Do you think the lighting in this park is adequate?". We will be taking our findings to North Herts District Council with the hope that light levels can be improved in this area before the autumn.