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Hockeridge Survey Results Oct 19

 

The best thing about Hockeridge Wood?  You said: 

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 VISITOR SURVEY UPDATE

Over the last few months, we have been seeking views from users of our Royal Forestry Society (RFS) charity woods in the Chilterns (on the Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire boarder) as to what improvements they would like to see at the site. 

COMMUNITY OPEN DAY, HOCKERIDGE, 12/10/19

As part of our user surveys, this October we held a Community Open Day at Hockeridge.  What a wet day it was!  The rain came down and the woods were grey – and beautiful, dripping gently in their autumn colours.  Perhaps the weather meant that we had fewer visitors than if the day had been bathed in sunshine, but we were still delighted to welcome many, mostly regular, visitors of the Woods. Thank you to everyone who came along.   The event proved a wonderful opportunity for us to talk, and to hear your views about Hockeridge.  We greatly appreciate the time you spared to fill in our questionnaire and to discuss what you value about the place.

Thank you, too, to all those who contributed to our online and paper Visitor Surveys. 

 

              Guided Walk For Website

 

The survey results show that, above everything, those going to the Wood value it as a beautiful, clean and safe environment.  It is treasured as a quiet, peaceful place that people can visit to enjoy the pleasures of being outside in a natural space.  The great majority of those who responded would like to see some sensitive upgrading of the existing picnic area and benches, and there was a clear indication that the site could be made easier to access and understand, through better signage.  High on the wish-list were improvements to the maintenance of the paths to make them easier to use for all, especially when conditions are wet.  It came through loud and clear, however, that we do should do nothing that would dominate, or interfere with, the unspoilt nature of the site.

Our survey asked for your views about a set of possible additions which might be of interest.  Of the suggestions presented, by far the most popular was increasing the number of bird boxes – most of you loved the idea!  Most respondents were also very keen to see discreet waymarkers and marked trails to help with access round the Wood, and a range of information boards to increase the visitor experience.  The thought of a sculpture trail appealed to many, and there was support, too, for a low-key programme of guided walks, community days and events.  Less interest was shown overall in the provision of children’s activities, although this might have been merely a reflection of the user group filling in the surveys, since the weather put many families off from attending the Open Day.  Finally, very few of you indeed were interested in having toilets provided!

Our next step is to secure funding to progress some of these ideas.  We’ll be updating the website to keep everyone informed of our progress.

 

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