SWINDON’S oldest public park is the focus for a consultation on how people want it to be developed and used in the future.

The borough council’s second online survey on the GWR Park in Faringdon Road has gone live.

The first, back in May drew responses from more than 400 people and will form a draft conservation management plan.

This document will set out suggested improvements for the park over the next 10 years and the support available to South Swindon Parish Council with managing it.

Heritage Action Zone project officer Karen Phimister said: “We had a great response from people from the first survey. But we would like to know if everybody agrees with the changes that will be made so we can respond to the conservation management plan.”

“We have got a really good demographic and every age group so we can agree on an action plan.”

The work has been funded by Historic England through the Swindon Heritage Action Zone which involves the council and Historic England working in partnership to regenerate the Railway Village.

The plan has been produced by landscape architects Cookson and Tickner.

Sarah Tickner from Cookson and Tickner said: “It’s what will bring the community to the park in the future and to make sure it has that community presence.”

“From the first survey, we got some very clear points on what people wanted.

"Lots asked for more activities here such as sport and music events like bigger outdoor festivals to move here and even the possibility to have a nature school. So lots came out of what the residents were wanting.”

When completing the survey people will be able to see a summary of responses from the first survey along with an illustrated history of the park within the plan.

Coun John Firman said: “The parish would like to see more planting in the park which is a reference back to the original gardens.”

“The original key point for residents is how long we should keep the park open, whether it’s all the time or closed at night. If we have CCTV to keep this space as safe for as long as possible.”

“The strength of this park is that it has more space for big events here rather than the two other parks. So it’s a balance of planting and things people would like to have.”

GWR Park has been a part of Swindon’s social and leisure scene for over 170 years and the improvement is an important project within the Swindon Heritage Action Zone which has funded the work.

Coun Janine Howarth said: “With the GWR park, people who live locally know about it but people wider don’t know too much.

"It brought in a whole community and used to be like a little village with the pubs and the health service nearby it was a complete community and lots of people still regard it as that.”

“This survey will bring this to the attention of all of Swindon. With the Heritage Action Zone bringing a whole new audience to the park and bring people into it.”

The survey at swindon.gov.uk/gwrparksurveyruns until July 30.