A CAMPAIGN to get artificial lighting installed in South Park has received a hostile reaction from Oxford Mail readers.

Nearly 1,000 people have signed the petition set up by students from Oxford Brookes University, who say the dark surroundings make them feel unsafe at night.

Read again: Students call for lighting in South Park

But many readers appear unsympathetic to the proposals, with several people branding students 'lazy' for not walking around the park.

Onecommenter, podstar, said: "I dont think this is required. Like many have said, avoid the park at night if you dont feel like being in nature in the dark.

"Its not like anyone is forcing people to use the park at night, and the park is not so obstructive that you are forced to walk through it, walking along the roadside would not be a problem for most people."

Another added: "The students are too lazy to walk the 'long' way round.

"Don't walk through the park if you feel unsafe, there is an alternative.

"The wildlife in the park need the natural darkness the students don't."

Read again: Mail's view: Do we really need artificial lights in South Park? 

On Tuesday, 21-year-old student Sophie Bates, who is running the campaign with her housemates, told the Oxford Mail that even 'a couple' of lights would improve the situation.

The publishing and media student added that she knew both men and women who felt unsafe in South Park.

Tom Hayes, city councillor for the ward, previously agreed the students had 'legitimate' concerns, but added that residents tell him they feel safe in St Clements and South Park.

The park is owned by Oxford City Council and is protected against small changes and developments by a covenant between the council and the Oxford Preservation Trust.

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Despite the valid reasons for installing lights, some commenters felt students were not taking into account the potential negative impact.

OxfordianComment said: "It's not as simple as just adding lights everywhere.

"Inappropriate lighting could make things worse e.g. it creates dark shadows you can't see into.

"Strip lighting a path would cause your eyes to adapt to the lighting nearby making the surroundings appear even darker than they do now, this can be more intimidating than having no lights at all."

StuartB11 said: "Installing totally inappropriate lighting isn't going to help that cause...it would be a very sad day, if this is agreed."

However, commenter King Joke suggested it was a good idea, adding: "This is a tiny corner of the park - there is plenty of room for wildlife in the remaining 99 per cent of it."

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Meanwhile, dozens of people who have signed the petition have also shared why they want lights installed.

Writing on change.org, Sarah Casey said: "I always avoid the park at night, and in the evenings in autumn and winter, because it's so dark.

"Many east Oxford residents are taking huge detours just getting home, and walking to and from work, every day.

"Leaving the park as a no-go area in the evenings results in antisocial behaviour and attacks."

Several people said how important it was to ensure all members of the public feel safe in South Park, including Mirella Gilpin: "I’m signing because my daughter and so many girls have to walk through this park at night and they feel very unsafe."