Please enable JavaScript in your browser to use this page.

Foxhill parks: public consultation

Backstones Open Space

Backstones Open Space is a natural recreation area on the boundary of Mulberry Park which is ideal for dog walking, picnics and informal play.  

As the local population grows with the completion of Mulberry Park, we expect that Backstones will become an increasingly important local recreation space.

This area is designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI), because its species-rich grassland is a rare and important habitat for a range of unusual or protected plants and animals, including orchids and butterflies. Britain has lost around 97% of this habitat in the past 100 years, and we have a responsibility as a council to protect and restore these habitats where they occur. Any changes we make to Backstones will need to take account of, and continue to protect, the importance of the grassland habitat.

At the same time, we recognise the importance of local green spaces for play and recreation, and there is a growing demand to use this space for informal games and activities.

Backstones Open Space

View a Google satellite image of Backstones Open Space

Select a topic below, to view more photos of this space, read about its character, and the ways in which we would like to improve it.

Improving site safety

The boundaries at this site are in poor repair, and broken in places, with temporary fencing over dangerous areas. 

Boundary wall at Backstones Open Space


Boundary at Backstones Open Space

Potential improvements

  • Repair boundaries to make the site safer and replace outdated fencing and pillars

  • Install signage to make the space more welcoming for visitors

Wildlife enhancements

There is nothing on the site to help explain its ecological importance for rare plants and wildlife.

New neighbours have brought ideas for using the space, and it has become an increasingly important place for people to get exercise and fresh air, and for children to play.

The project will need to strike a difficult balance between providing a welcoming community space, and also protecting the unique and important habitat - and all within a very small space.

Entrance and signage at Backstones Open Space


Boundary at Backstones Open Space

Potential improvements

  • Enhancing and highlighting the importance of the grassland habitat. Add signage and run activities to give the site a stronger identity, and to encourage public engagement with the space as a natural habitat for plants and animals.
  • Providing more space for informal recreation and clearly defined areas for different uses
  • Promoting natural play opportunities
  • Developing a code of conduct for using the space which balances the needs and people and wildlife

Expanding the uses of the space

Currently, there is little to encourage a wider variety of visitors to stop and enjoy the site.

Broken seating at Backstones Open Space

Potential improvement

  • Install seating, to make the space more welcoming for family picnics, and people with limited mobility
  • Clearly define paths, so that the space can be used without harming wildlife

Summary of proposals

Our proposed improvements for this green space include:

  • Repairing boundaries and replacing outdated fences and furniture
  • Adding signage and running activities which explain the ecological importance of the site, and promote a shared code of conduct
  • Providing space for all forms of play (natural and informal)
  • Installing new seating and benches