Central Parks improvements

Find out what we have done to improve our central parks, and what we want to do in the future. For an explanation of how we make improvements to our parks see park improvements.

Improvements we have made

Over the past 20 years we have:

  • Replaced the disused bowling green with a mini golf course
  • Found a new use for the disused lawn tennis courts in East Park
  • Installed a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) in Hoglands Park
  • Extended knee rails to combat damage from walk-off in West Park, Vincents Walk, East Park and Palmerston Park
  • Re-laid the crazy paving in East Park
  • Remodelled the café in East Park to expand the covers and increase its viability
  • Resurfaced and illuminated the Peace Fountain in East Park
  • Created a barbecue and picnic area and removed one dilapidated pavilion in Hoglands Park
  • Extended and installed a new play area in Houndwell Park
  • Removed open top bins and replaced these with solar powered compactor bins
  • Realigned paths to meet at Guildhall Square
  • Installed living art around the old lawn tennis courts
  • Renovated the rockery ponds
  • Started a replacement programme for dying horse chestnut trees, replacing them with walnut trees
  • Installed glass memorial plaques around the cenotaph
  • Doubled the lighting along popular walking routes
  • Increased the number of CCTV cameras and improved lighting in Hoglands Park
  • Installed new welcome signage

What we are working on

We are replacing the steel skatepark with a bespoke concrete skate terrain. We hope to deliver this in 2024/25.

We are also:

  • Updating play areas and replacing worn out equipment
  • Realigning the fence at the Charlotte Place end of East Park Terrace so that it is at the edge of the park and providing a nod to the historic entrance that used to be in this area
  • Replacing annual bedding with a more sustainable bulb and wildflower mix

Changes we want to make

These are improvements we want to make but have yet to find the funding source or community partnership for them. We want to:

  • Replace the old pavilion with a multi-functional community building, including a versatile meeting room, kitchen and toilets. We have already talked with community groups and are looking for suitable funding opportunities
  • Establish a relationship with a community group to re-establish regular performances on the Bandstand in Palmerston Park
  • Establish a plan for the planting of replacement horse chestnut trees. These form avenues across the same axial path as described above, along the Commercial Road boundary and Sussex Road boundary
  • Replace worn out seating along paths with more robust metal benches

Additionally, as part of the Heritage Lottery renovation of the Parks around the year 2000, a space was left at the eastern end of the east/west path running from Charlotte Place in East Park and to “The Enclosure” in West Park. This axis is punctuated by the Enclosure, Andrews Statue, The Cenotaph, and Andrews Statue. The vision has always been to finish this axis with another sculptural feature of equal significance.

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