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Greenwich park life on the up

Over 77m visits to the Royal Parks in 2013/14

There were an estimated 77.7million visits to the Royal Parks during 2013/14 with satisfaction rates at 98 per cent, according to official figures released today.

A survey conducted by independent researchers Ipsos MORI shows that 98 percent of visitors questioned rated the quality of the parks as either excellent or good.

The research, which was carried out over several different seasonal periods in London’s eight Royal Parks - including Greenwich - provides a fascinating insight into who and why visitors are using the 5,000 acres of historic parkland.

As well as the overall quality of the parks, 92 per cent of visitors rated the tidiness and cleanliness of the parks as excellent or good and 96 per cent gave the same rating to the quality of the natural environment. One of the highest results related to safety, with 99 per cent of visitors saying they felt very or quite safe in the parks.

While most visitors to the parks came from the UK (71 per cent), of those visiting from abroad the greatest proportion came from Asia at 16 per cent. Overall, the majority of visitors, at 37 per cent, said they arrived on foot, others arrived by car, public transport, bike or coach.

Linda Lennon CBE, The Royal Parks’ chief executive, said: “Understanding how many visitors are coming to our parks and what their priorities are is invaluable information for us as guardians of these unique spaces. It allows us to plan effectively, ensure our resources are used in the right way and maintain the balance between users of the parks and the need to sustain the natural and wildlife environment.

“This research has provided some real gems of information, and while our 98 per cent satisfaction rate is superb, we must not be complacent. The challenge for The Royal Parks is to maintain these high standards at a time of increasing financial pressures.”

The majority of park users at 68 per cent also support the idea of a limited number of paid ticketed events if the money was used to maintain the Royal Parks. Currently, the parks’ biggest self-generated income comes from hosting events such as the hugely successful Winter Wonderland held annually in Hyde Park.

Linda Lennon said: “These excellent results are down to the hard work of the dedicated teams of staff, supporters, volunteers and partners who work throughout the year to ensure our parks continue to have a special place in the UK’s heart. I’m proud to lead such a strong, successful team which has real passion for the parks.”

The Ipsos MORI survey results can be found on The Royal Parks’ website at www.royalparks.org.uk, as well as individual research reports for each park.

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