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Fingal County Council Visitor/User Survey of Rush & Portrane Beachesat the Rogerstown Estuary Report of Findings2nd October 2009
Contents • Introduction • Background • Methodology • Statistical Reliability • Results of User Counts • Results of User Survey • Demographic profile • Reasons for visiting Rush/Portrane beaches • Means of transportation • Time and frequency of visit • Likes and dislikes • Perceived importance of the Estuary • Summary of Key Findings • Appendices
Methodology • A total of 145 face to face interviews were conducted at 4 different locations (2 on Rush South Beach/ 2 on Portrane Beach) around the Rogerstown Estuary • 91 interviews were conducted at Rush South Beach and 54 at Portrane • Fieldwork took place over 11 days between Sunday 29th August and Sunday 13th September • ‘Intercept’ interviews were conducted with users, therefore no quota controls were applied; • Counting of pedestrians/users took place simultaneously. • The project required several factors to be balanced; • The cumulative time spent at each of the four locations needed to be broadly similar. • Each location was covered on a mix of weekdays and weekend days and different times of the day (9am to 9pm) to ensure good coverage. • Trying to achieve a robust sample size, while balancing the other objectives and also taking potential budgetary constraints into account.
Survey Locations: 4 Interviewing/Count Points Point 1= Rush Car Park Point 3= The Brook Pub Point 2= Rush Dunes Point 4= Burrow Peninsula
Users – Weekday Hourly Averages (Mon-Fri) • All locations are fairly quiet during the week with an average hourly footfall of only c.2 visitors for all locations. • Location 4 (Burrow Peninsula) achieves the lowest average footfall, with an average of c.1 visitor per hour. • The small numbers for hourly average may be due to inclement weather conditions as it was raining on 4 interviewing week days(vs 2 weekend days).
Users – Weekend Hourly Averages (Sat-Sun) • Locations 1 & 2 (Rush) are the most popular at the weekend, with an average hourly footfall of c.22 visitors at the car park and c.8 visitors at the dunes, with a peak of visitors in the afternoon (2pm- 5pm). • Location 3 is less popular, with c.5 visitors on average in the morning and over lunchtime (9am- 2pm) and only c.4 visitors in the afternoon (2pm- 5pm). • Location 4 is the least popular with an average hourly footfall of c.2 visitors. • Visiting peak times for all 4 locations at the weekend are over lunchtime and in the afternoon.
Demographic Profile of Users – Gender & Age Good mix of gender and ages surveyed, with the highest proportion of users aged 55+. Less than a quarter of users are aged under 35(NB: response rates tend to be higher with older people) Gender Age Base: All respondents, (n=145)
Demographic Profile of Users – Where they live- By interviewing location Almost three quarters of Rush South Beach users are from Rush, while less than half of Portrane beach users are from Portrane Rush South beach visitors (n=91) Portrane beach visitors (n=54) Other areas outside Fingal Other areas outside Fingal Rush Rest of Fingal Donabate Rest of Fingal Rest of Fingal County Council Portrane Rush Base: As indicated
5 Main Reasons for visiting the beach - By Sampling Area(Rush beach vs Portrane beach) Q. What would you say is the main reason you are here today? Almost two thirds of the Portrane beach users visit it primarily for dog walking, which is twice the proportion visiting Rush beach for the same reason Walking the dog Walking (for pleasure/scenery) Walking (for exercise) To Relax and enjoy the view Playing with the kids/getting air for the kids Base: All respondents, (n=145)
Travelling to the beach by car-Where they live Q. How do you usually travel here (to this beach)? Almost three out of ten visitors to Rush beach usually travel by car % Travelled by car All respondents (n=145) 18 out of 65 Rush residents interviewed at Rush South Beach usually drive to the beach 1 out of 26 Portrane residents interviewed at Portrane Beach usually drive to the beach 6 out of 9 Donabate residents interviewed at Portrane Beach usually drive to the beach Base: As indicated
Favoured Location for Car Parking * Caution= smaller base Q. Where do you usually park? Car parking is mostly at either the South Beach car park or at Brook Pub Rush South beach visitors by car (n=52) Portrane beach visitors by car (n=25)* Rush South Beach Car Park (n=1) Rush South Beach Car Park (n=45) Car Park at the Brook Pub (n=18) On the Rush Beach (n=3) At the tip of the Burrow Peninsula (n=2) Other single mentions (1%): Field in Portrane, Outside caravan, at Pipers, on the Seaview layby. Other single mentions (1%): Harbour, Sailing Club. Base: All who usually drive or drove to the beach today (As indicated)
Consider walking or cycling to the beach? ** Caution= very small base Q. You live in Rush/Donabate/Portrane, would you consider walking or cycling to the beach from where you live? Almost two thirds of Rush/Donabate/Portrane residents who usually travel to the beach by car would consider walking there whereas almost seven in ten would not consider cycling as an option. Walking Cycling I don’t know No, I wouldn’t No, I wouldn’t Yes, I would I don’t know (n=17) (n=10) (n=14) Yes, I would (n=1) Base: All who live in Rush, Donabate or Portrane and usually drive or drove to the beach today (n=25)**
Reasons for not considering walking nor cycling to the beach ** Caution= very small base Q. You live in Rush/Donabate/Portrane, would you consider walking or cycling to the beach from where you live? Why not? A mix of reasons are given for not considering neither walking nor cycling to the beach, with the majority claiming the beach is too far or not having a bike to cycle. The beach is too far for me to walk or cycle to it (n=5) I haven’t got a bike (n=5) The roads leading to the beach are too dangerous to walk or cycle on (n=3) For health reasons (n=3) Other single mentions (6%): Too old, Can’t ride a bike. Base: All who live in Rush, Donabate or Portrane , usually drive or drove to the beach today and would not consider neither walking nor cycling to the beach (n=18)**
Public opinion about the car ban on Rush South beach Q. As you may be aware , parking cars on this beach has recently been banned, to what extent do you agree or disagree with this step? More than three quarters of users interviewed in Rush agree with car parking being banned on the beach I don’t know Disagree Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree Slightly Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree Slightly All Agree = 78% All Disagree = 14% Base: All respondents interviewed in Rush (point 1 and 2), (n=91)
Favoured Time of Visit Q. At what time do you most often visit this beach? Rush South beach Visitors (n=91) Portrane beach visitors (n=54) % All respondents 4% 6% Early morning (Before 9 am) 26% 26% Mid-morning (9am-12 noon) 15% 9% Lunchtime (12 noon- 2pm) 31% 33% Afternoon (2-5pm) 10% 13% Early Evening (5-7pm) Late Evening (7-9pm) 13% 11% Base: All respondents, (n=145)
Frequency of visit by Area/Location point-By Sampling Area- Interviewed in Rush Q. On average, how often do you use or visit each of these following areas? * % of all interviews At least Once/week Rush South Beach (Area 1) 80% 43% Spout Lane (Area 2) 32% 23% Burrow/Portrane Beach (Area 3) 1% 20% Western side of the Burrow (along the estuary) (Area 4) 1% 14% Base: All interviewed on Rush South beach, (n=91)
Frequency of visit by Area/Location point-By Sampling Area- Interviewed in Portrane Q. On average, how often do you use or visit each of these following areas? * % of all interviews At least Once/week Rush South Beach (Area 1) 6% 43% Spout Lane (Area 2) 2% 23% Burrow/Portrane Beach (Area 3) 74% 20% Western side of the Burrow (along the estuary) (Area 4) 20% 14% Base: All interviewed on Portrane beach, (n=54)
Frequency of visiting other amenities Q. On average, how often do you visit any of the following amenities in the area? Rush North Beach Kenure Park St Catherine’s Park Skerries Mills Skerries Beach Ardgillan Demesne Donabate Beach Newbridge Demesne Base: All respondents, (n=145)
Frequency of visit by Amenities-By Residence Q. On average, how often do you visit any of the following amenities in the area? Have visited at least Once/week Four in ten residents from Rush claim to visit the Rush North Beach at least one a week. Rush North Beach (A) Kenure Park (B) St Catherine’s Park (C) Skerries Mills (D) Skerries Beach (E) Ardgillan Demesne (F) Donabate Beach (G) Newbridge Demesne (H) Base: As indicated
Visiting Rush/Portrane Beaches: Likes and Dislikes
Reasons for liking visiting the beach Q. What would you say are the reasons you enjoy visiting this beach? (Multicode) Attraction of the beaches predominantly relate to the scenery and outdoors/fresh air Picturesque/scenic/beautiful Like being outdoors/fresh air Like to exercise Walking the dog Close to home/ convenient Peaceful/Quiet/relaxing Other mentions (-3%): It’s isolated (3%), Easy to walk on/sand/nice walk (3%), Like being close to nature (3%), No cars on the beach (2%), Enjoy watersports/kitesurfing/sailing (1%), horse riding (15), bird watching (1%), wildlife (1%), it’s safe (1%), to socialise (1%) etc. I like the beach Clean/well laid out To look at the water Good for the kids Base: All respondents, (n=145)
Main reasons for liking visiting the beach -Rush South beach vs Portrane beach Q. What would you say are the reasons you enjoy visiting this beach? (Multicode) Visitors to Rush beach are more likely to cite the picturesque nature of the beach than those visiting Portrane Picturesque/scenic/beautiful Like being outdoors/fresh air Like to exercise Walking the dog Close to home/ convenient Peaceful/Quiet/relaxing I like the beach Clean/well laid out To look at the water Good for the kids Base: As indicated
Reasons for disliking visiting the beach Q. What, if anything, do you dislike about visiting this beach? (Multicode) Litter is the main dislike, with minor concerns over Anti-social behaviour and the parking ban. More than a quarter of respondents have no complaints or dislikes. Other mentions (<3%) : Poor toilet facilities (3%), Stones (3%), Bad paths (3%), Lack of seating (3%), Dog mess (3%), the entrance/gate looks bad (3%), poor water quality (2%), Burnt cars on beach (2%), Unleashed dogs (2%), Untidy (2%), No lifeguard/wardens(1%), etc… Base: All respondents, (n=145)
Main reasons for disliking visiting the beach- Rush South beach vs Portrane beach Q. What, if anything, do you dislike about visiting this beach? (Multicode) The main reasons for disliking visiting Rush South beach or Portrane beach are similar, except for the parking ban (unique to Rush) Base: As indicated
Importance of the Estuary Q. As you may know, this beach is part of Rogerstown Estuary, how important do you believe Rogerstown Estuary is as an area ? Almost nine in ten users surveyed believe the Rogerstown Estuary is an important area. Don’t Know Not at all important Not that important Very Important Important All Important = 85% All Not Important = 3% Base: All respondents, (n=145)
Reasons why Rogerstown Estuary is Important Q. Why do you say that? (Multicode) The perceived importance of the estuary is more due to the fact that it is a good public amenity than its importance for wildlife Good public amenity Unprompted Important area for wildlife 34% mentioned one of the environmental reasons (i.e. “Important area for wildlife”; “Important for nature/from an ecological/ conservation/environmental point of view”; or “Important area for birds”) Picturesque/Beautiful/scenic Important for nature/ from an ecological/conservation/ environmental point of view Free amenity Important area for birds Other mentions (-2%) : Fishing (2%), Nothing there/isolated (1%), Tourism (1%), Exercising (1%), Sports (1%), Memories (1%). For sailing/boating Don’t Know Base: All respondents (n=145).
Reasons why Rogerstown Estuary is Important-Ecological answers by sampling area * caution= smaller base Q. Why do you say that? (Multicode) Visitors to Portrane are more likely to believe that the Rogerstown Estuary is important as an area for ecological/environmental reasons Important area for wildlife Important for nature/ from an ecological/conservation/ environmental point of view Important area for birds Base: As indicated
Awareness of the Estuary as an ecological area Q. How aware were you, before today, of the following details regarding Rogerstown Estuary…? An average of six in ten visitors claim to be aware of the ecological and conservational importance of the Estuary All very or somewhat aware That this is a Special Protection Area for birds 63% That this is a nature conservation area that is legally protected 65% That it is an ecologically sensitive area 59% Prompted Base: All respondents, (n=145)
Access Restriction Q. Is there were proposals to restrict access to certain parts of Rogerstown Estuary at certain times of year, for reasons of conservation, to what extent would you agree or disagree with such a step? Seven in ten visitors agree with restricting access to certain parts of the Rogerstown Estuary for conservation purposes I don’t know Disagree Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree Slightly Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree Slightly All Agree= 71% All Disagree = 23 % Base: All respondents, (n=145)
Comments regarding the Beaches Q. Do you have any other comments you would like to make with regard to this beach? • Positive Feedback • Nice as it is/ lovely beach 11% 20% • Good that beach is blocked to cars 5% - • Good for dog owners - 5% • Negative Feedback • Clean up/too much dumping 13% 13% • More bins (too much litter 14% 6% • Dog mess/provide poop scoops 4% 5% • Improve toilet facilities 7% 2% • Improve access to the beach 5% 2% • Entrance needs tidying 3% 4% • Should have + lifeguards/wardens 3% 4% • Make sure dogs are on leash 2% 4% • Anti-social behaviour 1% 5% • Cut grass 1% 4% • Provide parking 3% - • Council to provide maintenance - 4% • Sewage problem 2% - • Suggestions/Concerns • Should have benches 4% - • Dunes are eroding 2% 2% • Should provide a BBQ area 2% - • Should allow cars on beach during working hours2%- Other mentions (-2%): A pedestrian bridge from Rush to Portrane, Should have lighting, good for tourism, Road leading to beach is unsafe, should have a marina, Rocks at the sailing club are Dangerous, swings and slides for children, flies on the Beach (should spray), good for kite surfing, More sport facilities , information on the history of the place,etc… Scores for Rush beach Scores for Portrane beach Base: All respondents who had other comments (n=94)
Key findings • Both beaches attract a diverse group of people across different age and social groupings • They predominantly appeal to those living in the immediate vicinity of the beach • Dog walking is the most common activity, with almost 60% of those interviewed in Portrane visiting the beach for this reason • Over half drove to the beach on the day they were interviewed, although this is lower in Rush (a quarter) • However, there is widespread support for banning car parking on the beach in Rush • Usage of other areas of the Estuary (Spout Lane and the western side of the peninsula) is limited with well over half saying they have never visited these areas • Whilst many see the importance of the Estuary, there is limited awareness of its importance for environmental reasons • However, there are high levels of support for restricting access to the beach at certain times of the year
Thank YouKieran O’Leary Sarah Nitting-FulinIpsos MORI+353 (0)1 632 email@example.com@ipsos-mori.com