HC Deb 17 June 1968 vol 766 cc696-7
29. Mr. Alan Lee Williams

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what action he proposes to take arising from the recent survey of the Royal Parks conducted by the boys of Danesford Secondary Modern School commissioned by him.

Mr. Mellish

I was encouraged to find that the results of this survey confirmed that park visitors generally are well satisfied with the way in which the Royal Parks are being run, and with the amenities provided. They also showed that the parks are valued mostly for the peace and quiet they offer in pleasant rural surroundings. I intend to take action on two suggestions. These are the creation of a wild flower sanctuary and scented gardens, which will give particular pleasure to the blind. I am therefore arranging for an area at the north-east corner of the Long Water in Kensington Gardens to be developed as a wild flower sanctuary, and for scented gardens to be laid down in both Regent's and Greenwich Parks. I hope to see some results from these experiments next spring.

Mr. Williams

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the improvements already made to the catering side in Greenwich Park. I hope that similar action will follow in St. James's Park. Does he intend to implement any other proposals in the report?

Mr. Mellish

Yes, Sir. I am greatly obliged to the school children, who did a first class job of work. They asked 400 people set questions and the answers have been most helpful to me. The great point which emerged is that what people want above all in parks is peace and quiet, and I hope that the motoring organisations take note of that by not asking me for more facilities in them for motorists. Other suggestions included the improvement of children's playgrounds, the provision of more seating and the planting of more flowers and shrubs.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

These are two very imaginative proposals which we highly commend. How far have they been made possible by the operation of the Clear, Air Act, which has been such a success over the bird sanctuary as well?

Mr. Mellish

The Act has made an enormous difference to the improvement of our parks and to bird life.