In May 2017, Your Back Yard was commissioned by New Routes to help in proving the evidence base for an action plan of improvements for Highfields Country park, 3 miles north of Doncaster. Researchers from Your Back Yard carried out more than 100 surveys with people in the park, households living nearby, and online through the service ‘Survey Monkey’. The feedback showed that people were generally passionate about the Park, but were aware it wasn’t reaching its full potential (a recurring theme with many urban edge green spaces, it seems).
We used the feedback to underpin an action plan of short term improvements, some requiring little or no funding, such as cutting back vegetation, clearing paths, and tidying areas. Other popular ideas included installing a children’s play area – which requires a bit more time, and some funding! Lots of local people wanted to get involved, leading to the founding of a ‘Friends of’ group to bring in the necessary funding, and to drive these improvements forward.