Parks and forests visitor numbers reach record highs
Queen Elizabeth Park most visited park in Wellington region
Queen Elizabeth Park was the most visited park in the Wellington region in the past 12 months, a Greater Wellington Regional Council survey shows.
Thirty-one percent of respondents said they had visited the Kāpiti park in the past 12 months, up 7% from last year, with Kaitoke Regional Park and the Hutt River Trail close behind at 29%.
Kāpiti (80%) and Porirua (85%) residents were also among the highest visitors of parks within the greater Wellington region.
"Our overall results indicate that more residents are visiting more parks more frequently, which is great news," says Parks Portfolio Leader Cr Prue Lamason. "Residents say they appreciate the sense of freedom that our parks offer, as well as the chance to relax and get away from city living.
"We've put considerable energy into making our parks more accessible to a wider range of people over the years and we were pleased to discover that visitor satisfaction remains high, with 95% of those surveyed expressing a high level of satisfaction."
This year additional interviews were conducted among Kāpiti residents, to assist with the future planning of Queen Elizabeth Park. The strongest support was for bushland restoration activities, such as native vegetation plantings for wildlife. A large number of respondents also expressed interest in more trails to create a large circuit of rides and walks, and more family-friendly activities that appeal to children.
"We use this research to improve our parks for our visitors," says Cr Lamason. "We can already see the benefits of having this research as we continue to improve the activities available and access to the parks - and we hope these improvements will lead to even more visitors."
Hutt parks a hit in greater Wellington region, survey reveals
Hutt parks are among the most popular in the Wellington region, a recent Greater Wellington Regional Council survey shows.
The survey showed Kaitoke Regional Park and Hutt River Trail among the most visited parks in the region, after Queen Elizabeth Park.
Walking and bush walking were the most popular activities (75%); with 48% enjoying family outings, recreation, picnics and barbecues; 24% mountain biking or cycling; 16% walking or running with their dogs and 12% camping.
While family activities in the parks increased 10% from the previous year, horse riding, fishing and hunting, driving (4WD and trail biking) have all decreased. There was a marked increase in people saying they would like to use a pram or pushchair in the next 12 months, as well as e-bikes, electric scooters, motorised toys, model aircrafts or drones.
The biggest reasons respondents gave for not visiting the parks were 'lack of time' and 'other commitments'. The 'weather' was cited less as an influence for not going to a park this year - only 2% compared with 9% last year.
"We use this research to improve our parks for our visitors," says Cr Lamason. "We can already see the benefits of having this research as we continue to improve the activities available and access to the parks."
The full research report (PDF 1.5 MB) is now available on-line.
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