Country park

A country park is an area designated for people to visit and enjoy recreation in a countryside environment.

United Kingdom

Country parks
This symbol is used to designate a country park in the United Kingdom, for example on road signs.


In the United Kingdom the term 'country park' has a special meaning. There are around 250 recognised Country Parks in England and Wales attracting some 57 million visitors a year. Most country parks were designated in the 1970s, under the Countryside Act 1968, with the support of the former Countryside Commission. In more recent times there has been no specific financial support for country parks directly, and fewer have been designated.[1]

Most parks are managed by local authorities, although other organisations and private individuals can also run them. The 1968 Countryside Act did empower the Countryside Commission to recognize Country Parks. Managers of Country Parks in England can currently apply to be part of the Country Park accreditation scheme ran by the commissions heir Natural England. The Scheme has emerged as a response to the 1968 Act. Although the Act established Country Parks and gave guidance on the core facilities and services they should provide it did not empower the designation of sites as Country Parks, as it was left to local authorities to decide whether to endorse a site calling itself a Country Park. Accreditation shows that the park has essential facilities and services that you would expect to see. The accreditation criteria also shows designers and planners what a good country park should offer.


The purpose of a country park is to provide a place that has a natural, rural atmosphere for visitors who do not necessarily want to go out into the wider countryside. Visitors can enjoy a public open space with an informal atmosphere, as opposed to a formal park as might be found in an urban area. For this reason country parks are usually found close to or on the edge of built-up areas, and rarely in the wider countryside.


A country park usually has some more formal facilities, such as a car park, toilets, maybe a cafe or kiosk, paths and trails, and some information for visitors. Some have much more, with museums, visitor centres, educational facilities, historic buildings, farms, boating, fishing, and other attractions.

Many larger country parks organise entertainment for visitors, and are venues for firework displays, shows and fairs and other large, outdoor events.

There is not necessarily any public right of access to country parks, and visitors are usually subject to byelaws when they enter the park. Some charge for car parking, some are free.

These parks vary tremendously from one to another, and really have only their purpose in common: to provide easy access to the countryside for those living in the towns and suburbs. They do not necessarily have any great nature conservation interest, although often this is the case.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong a large part of the territory's countryside is officially designated as country parks. Most of these are reservoir watersheds, serving the dual purpose of providing recreational facilities and contributing to Hong Kong's water supply.


  1. ^ "Byelaws powers for local authorities". DEFRA Archive. DEFRA. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2015.

2. Country Park accreditation scheme

3. Accredited Country Parks in England

Bedfont Lakes Country Park

Bedfont Lakes Country Park is a 72.5-hectare Local Nature Reserve and Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation in Bedfont in the London Borough of Hounslow.The land had been Fawn's Manor Farm, and was owned by the Duke of St Albans until it was purchased by William Sherborn in 1780. Until the 1920s it supplied London with produce, and gravel extraction took place from the 1860s. From the 1950s until 1973 it was used as a landfill site for domestic and industrial waste, and polluted lakes remained after it was closed. In 1988 Hounslow Council secured the development of the area as a country park as a planning condition for development of the surrounding area.The site has lakes, wetlands, wildflower meadows and woodland. There are over 350 species of plants, including field scabious, lady's bedstraw and black poplar. There are also 156 species of birds, 124 of moths, 97 of fungi and 20 mammals.There are car parks in Bedfont Road and Clockhouse Lane.

Eastbrookend Country Park

Eastbrookend Country Park is an 84-hectare park and Local Nature Reserve in Dagenham in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, in England. Together with the neighbouring Chase Nature Reserve it is also designated a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation.The site was derelict land, which was turned into a park by large-scale earth-moving to create an undulating landscape with wild flower grassland mixes and over 50,000 small trees. It was opened in 1995. Facilities include a millennium centre and a fishing lake. it has a mixture of grazed wetland and dry habitats next to the River Rom. Dagenham Road goes through the park.


Fareham ( FAIR-əm) is a market town at the north-west tip of Portsmouth Harbour, between the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton in south east Hampshire, England. It gives its name to the Borough of Fareham. It was historically an important manufacturer of bricks, used to build the Royal Albert Hall, and grower of strawberries and other seasonal fruits. Current employers include Fareham Shopping Centre, small-scale manufacturers, HMS Collingwood and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

Fryent Country Park

Fryent Country Park together with Barn Hill Open Space is a large park situated in the north of the London Borough of Brent. It covers 103 hectares (254 acres) of rolling fields and small woods.

Fryent is also a ward of the London Borough of Brent. Its population at the 2011 Census was 13,445.

Hainault Forest

Hainault Forest Country Park is located in Greater London, with portions in: Hainault in the London Borough of Redbridge; the London Borough of Havering; and in the Lambourne parish of the Epping Forest District in Essex.

Havering Country Park

Havering Country Park is a varied environment open space in the London Borough of Havering. It includes 100 acres (0.40 km2) of woodland.

It is one of three large parklands in Havering-atte-Bower, the others are Bedfords Park and Pyrgo Park.

The area of the park was formerly part of the estate of Havering Palace.

The land was purchased by the Greater London Council and opened to the public in 1975, with ownership transferring to Havering Council in 1986.

High Elms Country Park

High Elms Country Park is an extensive 250-acre (100 ha) public park on the North Downs in Farnborough in the London Borough of Bromley. It is a Local Nature Reserve, and together with the neighbouring Downe Bank, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The park surrounds High Elms Golf Course, and has extensive woodland, chiefly oak and beech, chalk meadows and formal gardens. It also has a cafe, a visitor centre, nature and history trails and car parks.

The idverde Countryside Team, who manage Bromley owned parks, are based at High Elms.There is access from High Elms Road and Shire Lane.

Hornchurch Country Park

Hornchurch Country Park is a 104.5-hectare park on the former site of Hornchurch Airfield, south of Hornchurch in the London Borough of Havering, east London.

The River Ingrebourne passes through the park and if forms part of Thames Chase Community Forest. The most popular part of the park is to the west of the Ingrebourne, where the ground is flat and paved; this area is most commonly frequented by dog walkers. The woodland to the east of the river is somewhat inaccessible. Some southern parts of the park that reach into Rainham have been used as landfill.

There is a fishing lake located there, and there are many paths leading from the park to other nearby areas, including Upminster, Dagenham and Rainham.

There are a number of pillboxes and other items dating from the Second World War to be found in the park.The park is a Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation, Grade I. Almost all of it falls within the Ingrebourne Valley Local Nature Reserve, and the eastern edge is part of the Ingrebourne Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest.There is access from Airfield Way/Squadron's Approach, off South End Road.

Jubilee Country Park

Jubilee Country Park is a 62-acre (25 ha) public park in Petts Wood in the London Borough of Bromley. It is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. It was purchased by Bromley Council to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977, and opened as a park in 1981.The park is part of an extensive wildlife corridor together with Petts Wood and Scadbury Park. The London Loop goes through it.

The park consists of extensive areas of grassland and ancient woodland. The grassland has a large population of the rare corkyfruit water dropwort, while midland hawthorns are abundant in the woodland.

There is access from Southborough Lane, Blackbrook Lane and Tent Peg Lane.

List of mountains, peaks and hills in Hong Kong

The following is a list of mountains, peaks and hills in Hong Kong.

In the romanisation system used by the Hong Kong Government known as Standard Romanisation, 'shan' and 'leng' are the transliterations of the Cantonese words for 'mount' (山) and 'ridge' (嶺), respectively. 'Toi', 'kong', 'fung' and 'koi' also correspond to 'mount' in English and 'teng' corresponds to 'peak'. It is this system which is used in the list below.

London Borough of Hillingdon

The London Borough of Hillingdon (pronunciation ) is a large borough located in Greater London, England which had a population of 273,936 according to the 2011 Census. It was formed from the districts of Hayes and Harlington, Ruislip-Northwood, Uxbridge, and Yiewsley and West Drayton in the county of Middlesex. Today, Hillingdon is home to Heathrow Airport and Brunel University, and is the second largest of the 32 London boroughs by area.

Hillingdon Council governs the borough, with its headquarters in the Civic Centre in Uxbridge. For administrative purposes, the borough is split into North and South Hillingdon. The south's former strong connection with industry has diminished since the 1980s to be replaced by a preponderantly residential suburban population; the north has remained a consistently residential suburban area. The borough's residential areas expanded with the extension of the Metropolitan Railway from Harrow on the Hill to Uxbridge in the early 20th century and the gradual establishment of stops along the line, becoming known as "Metro-land".

Parks and open spaces in the London Borough of Harrow

The London Borough of Harrow is one of the northern outer London boroughs: as such much of the Metropolitan Green Belt land is within the Borough boundaries. Parks and open spaces range from the large area around Harrow-on-the-Hill to the smaller gardens and recreation grounds; there are also a number of spaces taken up with golf courses. It has been suggested that Harrow is continuously losing its green space and trees.The main areas of open space are:

Bentley Priory, Stanmore: 165 acres (66ha) open space; Site of Special Scientific Interest and Local Nature Reserve

Canons Park: 45 acres (18ha) 18th century parkland

Grim's Dyke Open Space, Harrow Weald

Harrow Weald Common, Harrow Weald

Headstone Manor Recreation Park: 57 acres (230,000 m2) including the Museum and Headstone Manor & Bessborough Cricket Club

Pinner Park Farm tenant dairy farmers Hall & Sons: total 230 acres (0.93 km2)

Stanmore Common: 120 acres (48ha); Local Nature Reserve

Stanmore Country Park: 77.5 acres (31ha); Local Nature Reserve

Streamside Reservation, alongside Yeading Brook, Pinner

Parks and open spaces in the London Borough of Redbridge

The London Borough of Redbridge, one of the northern peripheral London boroughs, has within its boundaries parts of two large open spaces: Epping Forest and Wanstead Flats. Apart from many smaller parks, gardens and sports grounds, the following are the main open spaces in Redbridge:

Claybury Woods and Park

Epping Forest – portions near Woodford (also Wanstead Park, see below)

Hainault Forest Country Park: 136 hectares (340 acres)

Hainault Lodge Nature Reserve: 6.8 hectares (17 acres)

Fairlop Waters: an open space with two lakes and a golf course, at Fairlop

Goodmayes Park

Seven Kings Park

Roding Valley Park

South Park, Ilford 13.5 hectares (33 acres)

Valentines Park, Ilford: 52 hectares (130 acres)

Wanstead Flats

Wanstead Park (with lakes) and the Wanstead Golf CourseFairlop Waters Country Park is one of 11 parks throughout Greater London chosen to receive money for redevelopment by a public vote, in 2009. The park received £400,000 towards better footpaths, more lighting, refurbished public toilets and new play areas for children.The parks are patrolled by the Redbridge Community Police Team.

Sheep River Provincial Park

Sheep River Provincial Park is a provincial park located in Alberta, Canada, 23 kilometres (14 mi) west of Turner Valley on highway 546. It is part of the Kananaskis Country park system and encompasses a portion of the Sheep River valley.

Located on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the park includes the Sheep River Wildlife Sanctuary, which provides permanent habitat for bighorn sheep, while the eastern part of the reserve extends to the Foothills Natural Region, offering summer range for elk and deer.

South Norwood Country Park

South Norwood Country Park is a park in South Norwood, close to Elmers End station, mainly in the London Borough of Croydon. It is a 47 hectare (116 acre) green space which opened in 1989. The park is a mix of countryside and parkland, and land formerly used for sewage farms serving the growing London population.

Croydon Sports Arena, the home of Croydon F.C., is on the south-eastern edge of the park. There is also a car park and visitor centre, and a duck pond similar to the one at South Norwood Lake.

Stanmore Country Park, London

Stanmore Country Park is a 30.7 hectare public park, Local Nature Reserve and Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation in Stanmore in the London Borough of Harrow. It is owned and managed by Harrow London Borough Council.The park was part of the grounds of an eighteenth-century mansion called Warren House. In 1937 it was acquired by Middlesex County Council and Harrow Urban District Council as public open space. It was later owned by the Greater London Council and transferred to the London Borough of Harrow in 1976. The presence of wild service trees and mature hornbeam shows that part of it is ancient woodland. The main plants in grassland areas are common bent and Yorkshire fog, with tufted hair grass in damp areas.

The park has a diverse array of wildlife including Reeve's muntjac and red fox. There have also been reported sighting of European badger, weasel and even wild boar in the park although these "sightings" are unconfirmed. Bird life is also abundant within the park which contains several members of the tit family, blackbirds, magpies and crows. The park is also home to tawny owls, buzzards, sparrowhawks and kestrels.

There is access from Kerry Avenue and Dennis Lane.

Tai Lam Country Park

Tai Lam Country Park (Chinese: 大欖郊野公園), established on 23 February 1979, is a country park located in the Tai Lam, at the south of Yuen Long and east of Tuen Mun, in the western New Territories of Hong Kong. This country park has an area of 54 km².

Trent Park

Trent Park is an English country house, together with its former extensive grounds, in north London. The original great house and a number of statues and other structures located within the grounds (such as the Orangery) are Grade II listed buildings. The site is designated as Metropolitan Green Belt, lies within a conservation area, and is also included within the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.

The house itself until 2012 formed the Trent Park campus of Middlesex University. The campus was home to the performing arts, teacher education, humanities, product design and engineering, television production and biological science departments of the university and the Flood Hazard Research Centre, but was vacated in October 2012.

The parkland extends to some 320 hectares (3.2 km2) and has been known as the Trent Country Park since 1973. There is a sports ground in the park, Southgate Hockey Centre. There used to be an indoor tennis court that was attended by royalty. This became a sports hall when the building became a college of education.

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