Have Your Say About Green Spaces & Countryside Sites

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all come to recognise the value of local green spaces and countryside sites for our physical and mental health.

Elmbridge Council report that the pressure on these spaces has increased dramatically over the last months with an unprecedented number of visitors, which has implications for the spaces themselves, as well as the council budget.

As the council determine the priorities for the year ahead, please help them shape the way open spaces and countryside sites will be managed and take part in their online survey to share your ideas.

Cllr Janet Turner, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said, “Open spaces have played an important role in keeping us active and helping us to maintain positive mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will continue to do so in our recovery, and we need to look at how they will be managed to benefit local communities and visitors. Please get involved by completing the online survey.”

The survey closes on 31 July. If you wish, your name will be entered in a prize draw to win an annual National Trust family membership or a joint RHS membership. For further information, please email greenspaces@elmbridge.gov.uk or countryside@elmbridge.gov.uk
Having gone through the survey its pretty clear that its a pre-cursor to announcing spending cuts in the green spaces maintenance budget - no doubt with the opening statement being along the lines of "We asked you what your priorities would be...etc, etc, etc"

The sort of questions the survey asks are:

How important is access to quality local green and natural spaces to you?

How often, on average, do you spend free time outdoors in green and natural spaces (parks, recreations grounds, sports fields and countryside sites)?

When the impact of the Pandemic has passed, how likely are you to carry on spending time outdoors in green and natural spaces?

With a more limited council budget in the years ahead, how much time and money should we be spending on looking after green spaces?

What approach would you prefer for the maintenance of your local green spaces?

Thinking about the distribution and availability of footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways in your local countryside sites, tell us how good or poor the general network is.

Some paths are much busier that others. As our budgets become even more stretched, would you prefer to see more work done to maintain or improve these busier paths or maintenance on the paths that are less well used?

How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the impact our Countryside Team has on the Elmbridge commons and woodlands?

When considering the management of the Countryside Sites, are there any particular things you like, do not like or would like to see being done differently?

Would you like to get involved in managing your local green spaces and countryside sites?

There are some other questions around how often you visit, etc, but the whole thing takes easily less than 10 minutes so please do try and complete it if you can.