Culter Bypass Green Space Improvement Opportunity
Article published Oct 21, 2022, by William Sell and takes approximately 6 minute(s) to read.
This area is also referred to as Springfield Meadows and going forward it makes sense to clarify this name change with the City Council as it will not be used as a bypass now or in the future.
We thank all residents who took the time and trouble to complete our survey on what they wish to see achieved for the future of the green space between Countesswells Avenue and Springfield Road.
It is divided into two sections by Craigiebuckler Drive. For convenience, we shall refer to them as the West and East sections. They are almost of equal length but are otherwise geometrically dissimilar. The West section is narrow and of a more regular profile. It is approximately thirty meters wide at its broadest area. In contrast, the East section’s broadest area is forty-five meters wide, and its profile is irregular.
Between May 16, 2022 and Jun 3, 2022, we conducted a survey. This was hand delivered to 992 households and residents could respond via mail, email or digital survey which was available through the website and advertised through social media.
A total of 355 residents responded to the survey. Such a huge response indicated the magnitude of concern in the community for the future of this popular green space. An analysis of the survey data proved that frequent recreational use is made of the green space: 118 respondents visit it daily, and a further 135 do so more than once a week. The footfall frequency is more than sufficient to justify further analyses of the activities of the park users and their views about what should be achieved for its future.
Residents from other areas of the city also use the green space, as evidenced by the comment below:
"I jog through there as part of 5ks and 10ks every week but live in Midstocket."
Fourteen responses were received from postcodes out-with the defined survey area.
It is apparent from the graph below that the amenity is mostly accessed by residents for the purpose of walking with friends and family (60%). The park is also popular with dog walkers (43%).
A long-term user of the park provided the following comment:
"We have lived here for over 40 years. Used for walking & playing. Our back garden over looks beech trees behind Pinewood Ave. Council does not appear to check & maintain them, creating a potential hazard for walkers."
The fundamental need for improved drainage was identified by 269 respondents. It was apparent that, without improved drainage, the upgraded access paths (required by two hundred respondents) could not be achieved, and regular grass cutting (required by 171 respondents) would be a particularly challenging objective.
The following is a respondent’s comment on the waterlogged condition of the green space:
"I have lived in this area most of my life - (lived away for around 6 years) - this area has never been as wet and muddy as it is now - was usually quite dry - concerned that the new house building had had a major impact on the water table."
Sixty-five percent of the ground remained waterlogged throughout the drought.
The West section is waterlogged along its entire length but has a path. However, the surface of that path, which is on a gradient, has been eroded by floodwater coursing down its length. It is unsuitable for use by persons whose mobility is challenged, particularly wheelchair users.
The East section has a mix of dry and wet areas but has no official path. This means that the amenity is not connected to the core path system, which provides walkways linking the city’s green spaces. The connecting path cannot be constructed until its site is drained.
The full report document will point out this issue to Aberdeen City Council, along with the other improvements suggested by the respondents, such as tree maintenance, tree planting, a programme of grass cutting, meadow flower cultivation, dog waste bins, more varied landscaping and an area set aside for children at play. Clearly there is also an issue with disabled access and this needs to be addressed.
The full report document has been forwarded by email to the Councillors for this ward and the City Council’s Environmental Services Manager.
In the light of the wealth of information provided by the survey, we consider our Community Council to be in an advantageous position to persuade Aberdeen City Council that there is a justifiably dire need for fundamental, but significant, improvements to be made to this (seemingly forgotten) area of council owned land.