VISITOR SURVEY – Saturday 15 July, 2017
Over the years there have been several surveys of Meadow users, to establish amount of footfall, clarify our most frequent users, and for various other reasons. The most recent was in July 2017. Here is a note on this year’s survey by Jennifer Rye
In 2017 the committee decided to do a survey on Saturday 15 July, from 8 am till 5pm.
In the past, the survey was quite detailed, including the gate by which people entered, the sex of visitors, those with dogs, those with children and so forth. Since our main reason for holding the survey was to raise the profile of the Conservation Group, and to identify more potential volunteers as well as members, we simplified the criteria, and just counted visitors (both sexes), children and dogs. This gave committee members, who manned the counting point at the main seat overlooking the centre meadow, more time to chat to visitors, establish the frequency with which they used the Meadow, show them literature, and hand out membership applications where relevant.
Twelve new members signed up on the spot, we received two donations, and there was general appreciation of the meadow by all our visitors, so we hope more memberships will trickle in. Grateful thanks to committee members who gave up an hour or two to achieve this result. We shall use the survey as part of our ongoing efforts to maintain the Meadow, improve it where we can, and encourage HBC to continue their vital support for our care of their property. Along with most other local councils, their resources are more and more stretched, and we want to ensure they do not cut back on their investment here in Emsworth.
The survey had a particular resonance for me, since it was at a similar survey more than twelve years ago that I got chatting to Pat Walsgrove, a then committee member, and decided to join BMCG myself, so impressed was I by the dedication to conservation issues which she showed.
Visitors Surveys from 2002
The table below shows the main results from the surveys since 2002 – the Brook Meadow Conservation Group first took over the meadow in Year 2000. Note, many years were not done. Total indicates the number of adults and children. Dogs were counted separately, but were always with a person. The results show a fairly large increase in visitors since 2002-05, but relatively little change over the past 10 years. In fact, this year’s numbers were slightly down on last year’s.
These figures clearly confirm what a great local asset Brook Meadow is to the local community. It is well used and well respected by all users. Litter is not dropped or quickly cleared and dog mess relatively infrequent, despite the number of dogs visiting. What would we do without it?