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, Adventure playground, plus Pets' Corner and Spurriers House, built in the 1860’s. The newest addition to the park is an outdoor gym.
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.
Town Park restoration
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 Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) works to the Town Park are nearing completion:
- Landscaping: Blakedown will be visiting the site from March 2016 for a short period on a regular basis to maintain planted areas in the Water Garden, Walled Garden and next to Pets’ Corner.
- Building works: Spurriers House, the bandstand and the new Learning Centre have been handed back to the Council. It is hoped that the Education & Volunteer Officer and Pets Corner Manager will move into the offices at Spurriers shortly;
- Pets' Corner's newly born lambs have been a big hit with visitors. The new shop located by the new Pets' Corner entrance has already done roaring business during the Easter holidays.
- The Friends of Pets' Corner have secured £12,000 for the creation of a new picnic area for visitors from the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ scheme.
- Learning Centre - the Little Signers group were the first educational users of the new Centre, which is in the process of being fitted out;
- Town Park volunteers have completed replanting the hedge along Park Lane and pruning the Circular and Rose Garden ready for spring.
- Walled Garden: soil from the new Enterprise Zone has been transferred to the raised beds (thanks to the cooperation of Jacksons, who are the contractors building the new road between the A414 and London Road). Preparation of a new beehive area continues; which will be run by the Friends of Pets’ Corner.
- Spurriers House Café: we are working with a preferred bidder who has a track record of operating similar park facilities in Hertfordshire. It is hoped the café will open in early Summer 2016.
- Following the success of Parkrun, approval is being obtained for running a weekly Junior Parkrun.
- The fortnightly Social Strollers group (which meet every other Friday from 10-11am) continue to attract new members for dates see the events calendar.
Please note Thames Water will be returning to complete reseeding of areas affected by the recent maintenance work near to the bandstand and Walled Garden.
Students help with Town park restoration
Harlow College work experience students have completed an area of paving and raised beds in the Walled Garden. This will be used by the local community for horticultural uses from Spring 2016.
More than 80 construction students from Harlow College have been doing work experience placements at the Town Park, as part of the Town Park regeneration project. Students have either been painting the bandstand, laying paths or building raised beds.
Harlow’s popular outdoor gym facility, which opened in the Town Park in April, was officially launched on Saturday 8 August 2015. The Outdoor Gym currently 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
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.
Harlow Council is inviting organisations from within the community to bid for a leasehold interest in the former Greyhound public toilet block. Closing date for bids: 22 January 2016
It is expected that interested parties will be in a position to regenerate and manage the building in order to provide a sustainable facility from which to deliver community-based activities.
A bid pack can be downloaded below or requested from Chris Purvis by emailing email@example.com or telephone on 01279 446435.
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