Harlow Town Park was designed by Dame Sylvia Crowe and opened in 1957. The park covers 164 acres and includes Water, Newfoundland, Specimen, Sensory and Walled Gardens, the Stort Valley Meadows and Peace Wood, paddling pool, bandstand, Skate Park, Outdoor gym, Adventure playground, plus Pets' Corner and Spurriers House, built in the 1860’s.
The Town park is officially one of the finest parks in the country, after receiving a sought after Green Flag award in 2016. Green Flag Awards recognise and reward the best parks in the country.
Annual events include a Bonfire and Fireworks night, fairs and circuses on the Showground and bands and concerts on the outdoor bandstand. With a number of attractions for all the family throughout the year, Harlow Town Park is the ideal place for adults and children enjoy. You can also experience the natural wildlife, relax and explore the beautiful surroundings.
- History of the Town Park (pdf)
- Town Park and Stort Valley Marshes map (pdf)
- Harlow Town Park Management Plan 2015-20 (pdf)
Town Park restoration - July 2016
Harlow Council received a grant of £1.83m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) as part of the £2.8m restoration of Harlow Town Park, with around £800,000 spent on the Pets' Corner refurbishment. The HLF works to the Town Park are completed and the post of Education and Volunteer officer will be funded by HLF and the Council for 2016-19. This enables a number of activities to continue to be funded. Since March 2016 this has included:
- Production of markers and a new orienteering map for the park, in partnership with Chigwell & Epping Forest Orienteering Club. Copies available shortly in the new Pets’ Corner gift shop.
- Erection of a beehive in the Walled Garden, now managed by Town Park and Pets’ Corner volunteers.
- Promotion of an education pack for the Learning Centre. Local preschool and primary school teachers attended a training session in May, held with Groundwork East.
- Essex Bat Group held a bat talk & walk in June.
- Twenty three people attended a guided walk looking at Orchids on the Stort Valley Meadows.
- A recent Parkrun attracted 180 runners. Junior Parkrun will start from late July 2016.
- The Town Park volunteers erected a greenhouse and raised beds. These are used by students to grow vegetables for use in Pets' Corner's
For more details of events happening in the Town Park and please see the events calendar. Or download the Town Park - What's on guide July to September 2016 (pdf)
Cafes in the Park - coming soon
Now open – kiosk in Harlow Town Park. The kiosk is a temporary facility until the main café opens in the autumn.
For all your refreshments Fairtrade tea, Rainforest Alliance fresh bean coffee, fruit teas, cold drinks, sandwiches, Panini, home-made cakes, snacks, farmhouse ice creams and lollies.
Harlow’s popular outdoor gym facility, which opened in the Town Park in April 2015 has eight pieces of equipment that enable people to get a full body workout. The equipment includes a set of triple pull-up bars, a sit-up bench, a step box multi-gym, a chest press/pull down, a swingalong, a set of hurdles, a set of parallel bars and a balance beam.
Town Park Pitch and Putt - coming soon
Harlow Council is looking to bring the once popular Pitch and Putt facility back as part of measures to improve the Town Park and promote health and wellbeing. The Council invited Expressions of Interest (May 2015) from suitably experienced companies to reinstate and manage the pitch and putt facility. The facility is set within open parkland and has previously been operated as a pitch and putt golf facility. It ceased operating seasonally by the Council in the late 1990s and was taken over as a private venture for a few years. The operations will include land management as well as building management for the kiosk.
Footgolf - coming soon
As well as pitch and putt there will be a hybrid game of football and golf is coming to Harlow Town park. Footgolf is the fastest growing sport in the country and offers a cheaper alternative to the version with clubs. Competitors kick a football around a pitch and putt golf course and attempt to shoot into a larger hole in the ground.
There are several pay and display car parks located around the Town Park.
There are some really exciting opportunities available for people who want to volunteer at the Town Park. With improvements to the park underway, which are part-funded by HLF and the BIG under its Parks for People programme, now is an ideal time to come and join volunteer groups working to improve the park for local people to enjoy. Town Park volunteer leaflet (pdf)
- Town Park volunteers
Come and join the volunteers helping out with gardening and horticultural work at the Town Park. No previous experience is necessary – just an interest in working outdoors and plenty of enthusiasm is required. Tools, equipment and training are provided and in some cases travel expenses can be paid for. Volunteer events are held every Thursday from 10am-2pm. You can also volunteer at other Town Park events and activities. Volunteering work of this kind can provide you with a good deal of experience, particularly if you are looking to work in horticulture, nature conservation or park management.
- Town Park Users Group
If you are interested in making a positive contribution towards the ongoing management and development of the Park ;then why not join the Town Park Users Group? The group meets every quarter on Monday evenings at 7pm in the Education Centre at Pets Corner. New members are always welcome. Town Park Users Group website Please contact Mike Ruocco on 01279 425595 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pets' Corner volunteering and Friends
Pets' Corner offers many volunteering opportunities including working with the animals, helping with events, in the gift shop or becoming a Friend of Pets Corner. Volunteering can be for a few hours or a whole day and the Friends welcome new members over 18. More information on Pets' Corner volunteers and Friends