Image by Kallu.
CFP worked with Alison Millward Associates for the City of London to devise a visitor survey and visitor observation survey for Epping Forest as well as train staff and volunteers in data gathering and analysis, with a tapered handover over four years. The City of London previously had no method of counting visitors and it was thought that the forest was too permeable for automated counters.
Through visitor observation surveys carried out each year across the contract, the City of London were able to calculate the annual number of visits made to Epping Forest, understand the main activities, use GIS to monitor ‘hotspots’ of activity, monitor tree safety inspections and provide a benchmark against which the success of a programme of access improvements across the Forest could be measured.
CFP successfully supported the City of London in their work throughout the contract and were able to better understand the Forest’s visitor demographic compared to the local community, as well as train and engage volunteers to carry out hundreds of hours of observations. By the end of the contract, the City of London were confident that they were able to deliver the project in year 5 without our assistance.
“The survey has been even more successful than we could have anticipated…Overall, we are seeing a change in the outlook of colleagues towards the usefulness of data gathering and it is helping to keep staff and volunteers motivated.” City of London