Parkwatch: The Results

In May 2023, Make Space for Girls asked people to take part in a citizen science project, counting how many teenagers were using the facilities in their local park, and how many of these were girls. This report sets out the results. The data shows how much girls really are designed out of parks.

The Parkwatch results are in

We asked you to help us Make Space for Girls by going to the park and do one simple thing – count. And hundreds of you did. So for the first time we have proper data on who is using the MUGAs (Multi-Use Games Areas – fenced pitches or cages), skate parks and BMX tracks.

The short summary is that 90% of the facilities out there are dominated by boys, who are 90% of the users.

All the rest of the data is in the report which can be downloaded below. If you want more research, guidance or information, there's plenty more available in our Resources Library. Or drop us a line on the contact form.

88% of the teenagers using the facilities were boys.

The vast majority of what is provided ‘for teenagers’ in parks consists of skateparks, BMX tracks or MUGAs (Multi-Use Games Areas, i.e. fenced pitches for football or basketball).


of teenagers using MUGAs were boys or young men.


of those active on skate parks or BMX tracks were male.


of the facilities counted were either skate parks, MUGAs or BMX tracks.

“It’s is mostly boys that are there. If you go up, they’ll just start shouting at you.” But girls don’t have anywhere else to go.

90% of the facilities are used 90% by boys and young men.

In addition to the count, we surveyed the provision for teenagers and young people in over 91 councils across the country. What we found is that the facilities dominated by boys also dominate the park landscape.

For press enquiries contact us

Download the report, share it with your council, your local park, the press or on social media - and with anyone else you think should know.

3 steps to taking part


Go to your local park over the weekend of 27-29th May


Count who is active on the MUGA /fenced pitch, skate park or BMX track.


Record your results on our form.

See FAQs below for more details –and if you have any other queries just use the contact form at the bottom of the page.


How do I take part?
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    When should I go to the park?

    Any time over the bank holiday weekend is fine as long as it’s in daylight. There are likely to be more teenagers there in the afternoon, but data across the whole day is useful.

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    What should I count?

    We’d like to know who is using each of the teenage facilities in the park – skate parks, MUGA, or BMX track. How many teenagers are active on the facility, and how many of those are girls?

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    How long should I count for?

    All we need is a spot count of who is there when you turn up. It should take no morethan a couple of minutes. Be respectful of people using the facility and don’t hang around or stare at them.

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    How many times should I count?

    Please only count in a park once a day. You can submit a count for each of the facilities in the park. But if you have more than one park locally, we’d love to have a count for each of them.

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    What if there is no one there?

    Just record this – no need to wait for someone to turn up. Knowing that there is noone using the facility at a particular moment is still valuable data.

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    How do I record this?

    You can either make notes in the park and add them the form at home or fill in the form on your phone while you are there. Please fill in a separate count for each facility in the park.

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    Should I take any photos?

    No: taking photos/pictures of any individuals in the park could be a breach of that person’s right under privacy and data protection law. It is a specific condition of taking part in the survey that you do not take any pictures.

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    What if someone asks what I am doing?

    If you feel safe and comfortable doing so, explain what Parkwatch is about and, perhaps, direct them to the website. But if you feel in any sense threatened or unsafe, please take yourself to a place of safety (a shop, a café, or just a bit of the park where there are more people) and tell someone what has happened.

Got a question?

Get in touch with us using the form.

Thank you for contacting us.

We really appreciate your interest in our work. Because of holidays during July and August, it may take us a little longer to get back to you than usual, so thank you for your patience. Best Susannah and Imogen.

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