People can contribute to improved park life

Oxford Mail: Doug Nevill, one of the people behind the new group Doug Nevill, one of the people behind the new group

WEST Oxford residents are being invited to help look after the area’s green spaces.

A new residents’ group is being set up to work with Oxford City Council over its management of the area’s two parks, the Oatlands Road recreation ground and Botley Park.

It is hoped that the new group will be able to raise funds to get some new play equipment installed.

Lamarsh Road resident Doug Nevill is one of the people behind the new group.

He said: “What we would like to do is get the community involved in trying to improve the facilities in Oatlands Road and Botley Park.

“It would be nice to have some more facilities for older children. In some of the other parks in Oxford there is a fit trail for adults.

“There are lots of families in the area that use the Oatlands Road recreation ground, and while it isn’t awful, it is a long way behind other areas in the city.”

Because the park regularly floods, Mr Nevill said whatever play equipment was put on the Oatlands Road recreation ground would have to be waterproof and designed to not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere.

He said the group could also put together a two- or three-year plan to improve the parks.

Mr Nevill said: “If we can organise a group that has an ongoing interest in our parks and green spaces we can get external funding from a number of different sources.”

A number of other parks around Oxford already have similar groups, including South Park, Bury Knowle Park, Cutteslowe Park and Hinksey Park.

The city council, which manages all Oxford’s parks, works with these groups to improve the green spaces they are involved in but they can also organise events of their own.

City councillor for Jericho and Osney Susanna Pressel said: “I’m very pleased that a couple of local residents have approached me with some ideas for making Oatlands Road recreation ground and Botley Park even better.

“We need equipment for older children and perhaps for adults as well, for instance a green gym or trim-trail.

“We are going to use local newsletters to ask for more ideas from anyone who would like to contact us. We will also carry out a survey in the local schools. The city council has managed to find some money for our two local play areas, as part of its million pound programme to improve many of the playgrounds in the city.

“We will apply for grants from environmental charities to supplement what the council can give us. We hope to include some more tree-planting and sow some wild flowers to help encourage bees.

“If any readers live in the area and have suggestions, they are welcome to contact me.”

Ms Pressel is available on 01865 554001 or at cllrspressel@oxford.gov.uk

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