Harlow Town Park

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.

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.

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 were completed in 2016 and the post of Education and Volunteer officer will be funded by HLF and the Council for 2016-19.

Green Flag AwardThe 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.

The Town Park has also won the Bees Needs Award 2016. Habitat loss is a key factor affecting pollinator population and this award recognises the Town Park’s increased awareness and contribute to improved pollinator-friendly environments, making positive changes to the park that encourage and increase pollinator-friendly habitats and food sources throughout the year.

Further details on this and other awards from Mike Levett, Education & Volunteer officer on 01279 435466 or mike.levett@harlow.gov.uk.

For more details on the volunteering or future developments of the Town Park please contact Mike Levett, Education and Volunteer officer on 01279 435466 or mike.levett@harlow.gov.uk

Harlow Town Park is 60

Help us to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Harlow Town Park and 70 years for Harlow (new town). More information on Harlow is 70 events

Events

For more details of events happening in the Town Park and please see the events calendar. Or download the What's on guide - January to March 2017 (pdf)

Water Garden

The Water Garden is fed by natural springs from their southern end.  The springs originally provided fresh flowing water that was naturally filtered by sand and gravel, providing an ideal environment for the watercress beds that were located from the 1920’s to 1960’s. After this the area was landscaped into the current layout of three cascading ponds. The centrepiece is the Pisces sculpture by Jesse Watkins originally installed here in 1973 as part of a retrospective exhibition of his sculptures and graphics. Pisces is one of many sculptures located across Harlow that form part of the town’s sculpture trail. The trail includes several sculptures of national significance. The ponds were dredged and the whole area restored as part of the HLF works in 2015.

Newfoundland Garden

Created in 1997 to celebrate the twin anniversaries of Harlow (1947) and the discovery of Newfoundland (1497). The garden consists of a small collection of planted beds on a grass bank filled with Newfoundland native trees and shrubs.

Specimen Garden

Built on former allotments, this original Town Park feature was conceived as a demonstration garden for the new residents of the Harlow to view different plants for use in domestic settings. This area contains a variety of specimen trees many of which are now mature. As part of the HLF works a new path through the garden was constructed that links the Town Park to the Town Centre.

Sensory Garden

A small garden opened 27 June 1984 built as a scented garden for the blind, constructed in memory of Millicent Bach with formal rose beds enclosed by hooped metal railings. The area was restored by the Town Park volunteers in 2015 and renamed the Sensory Garden and now contains shrubs grown for their sensory nature- i.e. smell, touch, colour.

Walled Garden

The Walled Garden, located next to Pets' Corner, is managed by the Town Park and Pets' Corner volunteers and other groups. The Walled Garden contains a polytunnel, greenhouse, raised beds and beehive where local people and groups can grow vegetables for their use; the beehive supplies honey when available, is sold in the Pets' Corner gift shop.

Plans for the Walled Garden include the old mess building being demolished and replaced by a classroom, improving the facilities for education and volunteering; and opening the Walled Garden to visitors weekly from late Spring 2017.

Bandstand

The bandstand was constructed in 1973 providing free concerts and other events. As part of HLF works the bandstand was refurbished.

Outdoor Gym

Harlow’s popular outdoor gym facility, which opened in the Town Park in 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.

Spurriers House - Cafe opening February 2017

Built in the 1860s Spurriers House was originally an estate of eight acres incorporating stables, gardens and lodge. The ground floor of the house now forms part of the Town Park with a Cafe due to open in February 2017.

Currently, a kiosk is open as a temporary facility until the main café opens. 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.

Learning Centre - Early Years Foundation Stage and Primary School visits

The Learning Centre, built as part of HLF works, enables Pets' Corner and the Town Park to offer a variety of educational packages for a range of ages, linked to the national curriculum. These comprise of guided tours around the park and Pets' Corner, meeting the animals and learning about the park. Special introductory offer (until March 2017) - Gold Plus and Platinum packages prices are the same as the Gold package!

For more information please contact either of the Education staff: mike.levett@harlow.gov.uk or pauline.neate@harlow.gov.uk

Parking

There are several pay and display car parks located around the Town Park.

Get involved

There are opportunities available for people who want to volunteer at the Town Park. 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. Town Park volunteer events are listed on the events calendar
  • 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. New members are always welcome. Please contact Mike Ruocco on 01279 425595 or email: michele.ruocco@btinternet.com for more information. Town Park user group meetings are listed on the events calendar
  • Pets' Corner - volunteers and friends of Pets' Corner
    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 green space volunteering opportunities

Coming soon

Town Park Pitch and Putt -  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 - 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.