PARK USERS have expressed their frustration at the position of Oxford City Council’s new fitness trails in Headington Hill Park.

The four outdoor fitness stations, which were placed around the Headington beauty spot last month, have angered residents.

Marie Power from Headington regularly walks her dogs Jack and Lady in the park.

The organiser of the newly established Friends of Headington Hill Park, who had their first meeting at the end of March, said that members were angry at the position of the equipment.

She said: “There was an awful lot of anger at the fitness trails – that they had been sited so poorly and that they are ruining the feel of the park.

“We had asked for them to be placed much more discreetly than they have been.

“They have not been placed where the team said they would be.”

Members of the Friends group, along with Labour city councillor Roy Darke, went on a walk around the park on December 12 to decide the best position for the fitness equipment.

One of the exercise apparatus had not been cited in the agreed position, with residents outraged that the equipment would disturb a flower bed.

Mrs Power said: “We are happy to have fitness equipment but it has to be suitable for what other people want to use the park for.

“One piece of equipment in particular, we asked them explicitly not to put it where it has been put. It is in an area of wildflowers.

“People jump off into the wildflowers.”

Mr Darke, city councillor for Headington Hill and Northway, said: “Headington Hill Park is a little gem which is relatively unknown but currently coming into its springtime glory. The fitness trail put in by the council under their consultants Groundwork is one of several upgrades in parks around the city to increase walking, exercise and fitness in Oxford.

“There has been a misunderstanding between different parts of the parks department about the exact location of the new fitness equipment.

“The main thing to ensure is that the council's commitment to improved health and fitness in Oxford nests with the needs and wishes of park users.”

The councillor added: “The equipment has been chosen to blend in with the more rural setting of the park which has a number of interesting tree specimens.

“The kit is mostly in timber with the setting in mind. There were a couple of consultations with park users to choose locations and equipment.”

A council spokesman said: “We have already installed equipment at Cowley Marsh and we will soon be installing equipment at Blackbird Leys Park.

“One piece of equipment is being repositioned at Headington Hill Park following a discussion with the Friends.”