Nature areas and a swimming pool - survey reveals wish list in Sprowston

Opening of Harrison's Wood in Sprowston. Pupils from Cecil Gowing Infant School helping to make a de

Harrison's Wood in Sprowston - Credit: Archant

Nature wildlife areas are the most desired form of recreational facilities for Sprowston residents following a survey of nearly 600 people. 

Sprowston Town Council has published the results of its survey which ran from October 1 to December 18, 2020. 

A total of 334 respondents, or 57pc, stated they would like to see nature wildlife areas, just coming out on top ahead of a swimming pool which received 323 votes, or 55pc. 

There were 586 responses to the survey overall. 

The third most desired facility for Sprowston was an annual fete with 276 votes, then communal gardens and an outdoor gym were fourth and fifth with 256 and 250 votes respectively. 

Town councillor Bill Couzens, who has lived in Sprowston for 30 years, questioned the results of the survey. 

Regarding the nature wildlife areas popularity, he said: "As we have already got Harrison's Wood, Millennium Wood and Harrison's Plantation, I would say this needs further analysis. 

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"We have got these big areas so I am not quite sure what people mean by nature areas." 

Opening of Harrison's Wood in Sprowston. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Opening of Harrison's Wood in Sprowston. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A skate park was low on the most desired facilities with only 15pc of respondents, but the town council has recently invited residents to have their say on plans for a new skate park adjacent to Blue Boar Lane

Mr Couzens said the majority of respondents were older people which explains the lack of clamour for a skate park. He said the council was progressing well with plans for a skate park with "all the right boxes ticked" for it. 

Bill Couzens, deputy chair of Sprowston Town Council. Picture: Bill Couzens

Town councillor and long-term Sprowston resident Bill Couzens - Credit: Bill Couzens

On the demand for a new swimming pool, Mr Couzens said: "Yes a pool would be nice but there is small one at Sprowston Manor which I think can be used by Sprowston people. 

"There are some real anomalies in the survey results." 

Provisional conclusions from the town council state the responses were heavily skewed towards older respondents and households with no children currently at home.

It says there were very few teenage respondents, and other methods should be used to adequately capture their views including through the Sprowston Youth Engagement Project (SYEP) and through schools.