This questionnaire successfully established who used the green space, how often, and what for.
It was conducted on Survey Monkey (free account) with a free survey (10 or less questions). A copy of the form was screen-shot and printed on paper, to which about 60 sheets were filled in during one event, which were entered with the manual input collection option. Others were filled in by people following the link in the newsletter. Survey Monkey then allow you to get the results as pretty graphs and columns: in this case we plotted these on a map (by cut and paste in Microsoft Paint tool which comes with all Windows machines) and provided it in the ‘context’ section of our village green application:
Some of these questions will be less than applicable to other groups, as we were campaigning to save the park from losing most of it for a school to be built on it. One note: our conservative ward councillors also had a survey, which we didn’t like much at the time as it asked questions from the other viewpoint (“would you support the school if it’s intake were all local pupils?” / “..parents were not allowed to drop their children by car?”). Because their questionnaire explored all the options for the school, the overwhelming negative response (combined with record response rate of 90%) turned out to be very effective in getting the local politicians, even our MP who had promised the school a home, on our side. In future it might be worth other groups in our position to consider presenting a questionnaire which covered the opposing viewpoint.
The Friend’s Survey (in text underneath so you can cut and paste any parts you find useful):
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF HAVELOCK RECREATION GROUND (aka THE BRICKFIELD) ?
Q1 Please tell us what your visit(s) is for? (Grid Choice, Multiple Answers)
two columns: [Today’s visit] [All your other visits]
* walking the dog
* a kick about or game playing
* just to enjoy the open space and get away from modern life
* have a picnic or get together with my friends
* a pleasant diversion / short cut
* for a community event
* for todays event
* sledging (when it snows)
Q2 How often do you come here? If it’s more often in the summer, please put down how often you come in the summer. (Multiple Choice)
* daily or more often
* weekly or more often
* monthly or several times a month
* once or twice a year
* just when it snows
* first time
Q3 Do you come here more often in the summer?
YES / NO
Q4 How important is it, to you, that the park remains one open space (as opposed to being fitted around the school) ? (Multiple Choice)
* not a problem
* inconvenient – have to walk further or not as good
* stops me doing my activity
* very important to me
Q5 Whereabouts do you live? (Multiple Choice)
[listed 12 or so local roads]
[listed the 3 local wards the park bounds on]
elsewhere in Bromley
out of borough
Q6 Have you filled in? (Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers)
* the ward councillor’s survey?
* the Friends survey?
* the Friends petition?
La Fontaine’s survey?
La Fontaine’s petition?
Q7 Please give us your details (address or email) if you would like
* to join the Friends of Havelock Recreation Ground
* the Friends’ enrichment plans for the park (bearing in mind that leaving it alone is not an option, alas) – we would love your input