Countess of Chester Country Park

Region: North West

Countess of Chester Country Park brings the countryside closer to the city, providing visitors with the opportunity to enjoy natural and peaceful surroundings as they wander around the park’s pathways.

The Land Trust is working in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) to manage the park for local communities. We will take a long term approach to management, building the benefits over time. The park hosts a varied programme of events which includes activities that improve people’s health, deliver education and training as well providing opportunities for volunteering.

What you can see

Down at the wetland you may spot a Kingfisher spectacularly dart into the water or a grey Heron patiently waiting at the water’s edge. Kestrels hover majestically over the grasslands, which in summer attract colourful butterflies such as the Common Blue, Peacock and Red Admiral. Whilst in the woodland you may see a Greater Spotted Woodpecker or a Sparrowhawk.

Chester parkrun

Chester parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9am. It is a 5 km challenge – you against the clock – and is free and open to all, whatever your age and whether you want to run, jog or walk. More than 1,000 different people have completed Chester parkrun since it started in July.

The event is entirely organised by volunteers – around 16 people help out each week – so you can still get involved even if running isn’t your thing.

Visit the Chester parkrun page for more information. All participants should register online (which is free) and bring a printed copy of their unique identification barcode each time they attend.

Walks and Volunteering

There are regular Health Walks, Buggy Walks, Nordic Walks and Green Gym sessions at the park – visit the Events page for details of what’s coming up.

Life for a Life Memorial Forest

The Chester Memorial Forest was opened in July 2015 by His Grace The Duke of Westminster. The aim of the memorial woodland is to help enhance the biodiversity of the park so that eventually it will become a popular woodland walk surrounded by pastoral meadows.

The Life for a Life scheme allows people to plant trees, such as English oak, Silver birch, Mountain ash and Wild cherry, in memory of loved ones, helping to create a beautiful forest that everyone can enjoy.

Find out more at Life for a Life Chester Memorial Forest.

Location

Valley Drive, Chester , Cheshire, CH2 1UL

Site size: 19 hectares

Visitor Information

Opening Hours

Park open from 7.30am - 6.00pm

Car Parking

Yes - Open from 7.30am - 9.00pm * Please note - park users are permitted to use the Hospital staff car park at the weekends when the Country Park car park is often full.

Toilets

There are some in the hospital five minutes walk away
(click here to find the nearest public toilets)

Café

Public access café within the hospital approximately five minutes walk away

Entrance cost

Free

Accessibility

The park’s all-weather paths are wide enough to be shared by walkers, cyclists, wheelchair users and children’s buggies. The paths offer a choice of routes and distances and the opportunity to be more active, within a safe and pleasant environment. The paths also connect with other routes, which allow you to explore the local area

Footpaths

Yes

Dogs

Well controlled dogs

Things to do

5 totem poles in the park to find, dipping platform and boardwalk, measured distance route

Other nearby attractions

The Greenway (cycle and footpath) are approximately 10 minutes away, providing a green link to other areas. It is also adjacent to the canal and links to lots of local footpaths.

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Countess of Chester Country Park Contact


The site contact for our Countess of Chester Country Park space is Neil McMahon

This space is managed in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)

History

Much of the new park is located on a former landfill site that was next to the Countess of Chester Hospital. This closed in the 1970s when it was made safe, capped with soil and grassed over. Thirty years later the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) took ownership of the site, allocated some of the land for housing development and gave 19-hectares to the Land Trust to develop a country park.

The park is located in Upton, Chester, between the Countess of Chester Hospital and Parkgate Road. The land is within the Chester greenbelt and borders on the Shropshire Union Canal.

Development

The Homes and Communities Agency provided the Land Trust with funding which will effectively secure the long term future of the park. This funding will ensure this park can be managed for community benefit which will have a direct effect on the lives of thousands of local people, creating positive outcomes for health, social, cohesion, education, environment and the local economy. The Trust will work with other adjoining landowners including the NHS Trusts, to secure the future of the open space as a community health and well-being park.

To create the park, a series of pathways and trails for walkers and cyclists were constructed, connecting to local footpaths and the canal towpath.   Hedge laying and localised tree planting have helped to enhance and conserve the site’s ecological interest, open views and existing features.

Work has been undertaken by the Environment Agency to create a reed bed, while drainage improvements have been carried out at Finchetts Gutter. The park has also been registered as a NHS Forest site and a Jubilee Wood, as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Land Trust Contact

To contact the Land Trust about this site or how we could help manage your space please email our Estates Manager Sarah Palgrave-Neath or call 07795 126687

Download Countess of Chester Country Park Case Study Download Health for Life programme Case Study Download Walking route - Countess of Chester Country Park

Awards

This site has received the following awards:

  • The Land Trust shortlisted for Healthcare Transformation Awards

  • Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the Land Trust have been shortlisted in the category of Improving Patient and Community Engagement at the Healthcare Transformation Awards.

  • Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management Award – July 2015

  • The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) is the leading professional membership body representing and supporting ecologists and environmental managers. Its award scheme is all about recognising positive environmental and conservation impacts across the country.

    The Countess of Chester County Park was honoured with a Highly Commended NGO (Non-governmental organisation) Impact prize at the recent Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

    Since being opened to the public by the Duchess of Cornwall last September, the Upton-based site, next to the Countess of Chester Hospital, has already proved popular with residents, visitors, staff members and users of the hospitals.

  • Chester Civic Trust New Years Honours – January 2015

  • The Countess of Chester Country Park was honoured with a Chester Civic Trust award for benefiting the built environment.

    The Chester Civic Trust selected the public park as a benefactor of the Civic Trust’s awards scheme recognising changes to the built environment during the past 12 months.

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