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Fall in love with Stratford Park in Love Parks Week

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It’s Love Parks Week (28 July – 6 August) and we’re celebrating Stratford Park, the largest free-of-charge community space in the Stroud district.

Owned by Stroud District Council (originally as Stroud District Urban Council) since 1935, the beautiful park encompasses woodland, parkland and water features – there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Take a look at the highlights here:

Arboretum Containing one of the finest collections of mature trees in the district some of which are almost 200 years old. Look out for the huge Cedar of Lebanon and Western Red Cedar plus Monkey Puzzle Trees, Wellingtonias, Tulip Trees and Indian Bean Trees,.

Woodland Follow the shady woodland walk which follows the banks of the Painswick Stream and features an area of beech wood which is carpeted with wild garlic in the Spring.

Parkland There are two grassy areas: a sheltered site within the arboretum and a larger, open area by the children’s play area for games and letting off steam.

Bandstand Bring a picnic and blanket or chairs and watch a variety of bands playing during summer weekends, including Stroud Red Band on 6 August from 2.30pm – 4.30pm. There are some slots still available so if your band would like to play please get in touch by emailing stratfordpark@stroud.gov.uk 

Sensory Garden Installed by Stroud Valleys Project, community groups and volunteers thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, this accessible garden provides a multi-sensory experience with an array of sounds, sights, and textures. Marked by a large wooden arch carved by chainsaw artist Denius Parson the area includes a willow arch, pollinator beds, seating, a labyrinth and wheelchair-friendly zone.

Lake The lake is home to a variety of waterfowl. Please don’t feed them bread which isn’t healthy for either the birds or the water quality. Bags of grain can be bought at the Museum in the Park or take bird seed, oats, peas, lettuce or sweetcorn.

Victorian Orangery Grade II listed, housing a butterfly and bee garden, it is a  fine example of a Victorian conservatory.

Painswick Stream Rising in the Painswick valley, the stream meanders along the edge of the park.  

Victorian footbridge Walk across the Grade II listed footbridge which spans the stream and spot the animals that frequent the park on the bridge plaques.

Enclosed toddler play area Situated at the entrance to the leisure centre, the area includes play equipment suitable for toddlers. Why not double the treat with an ice cream from the nearby café?

Children’s play area A variety of equipment includes swings, slides and activity frames for children aged between 4-11 set in a large, grassed area. Some of the equipment is due to be replaced in the autumn.

Miniature railway Run and maintained by Stroud Society of Model Engineers; the next event will be on Sunday 27 August at 2pm.

Parkrun The park is home to the picturesque Stroud parkrun, a weekly, free-of-charge friendly 5k event that can be run or walked every Saturday at 9am. Children and dogs are welcome. See https://www.parkrun.org.uk/stratfordparkstroud/ for details of how to take part or volunteer.

Lawn bowling green Members play on the beautifully manicured green surrounded by flower and shrub borders. For more information see https://www.bowlsengland.com/club/stroud/

Skate park Situated at the entrance of the park with ramps for skateboards and scooters.

Take part in a scavenger hunt Travel around the park and find the answers to the questions which will reveal a secret phrase in the Stratford Park Go Outside map: https://cmsroot.stroud.gov.uk/media/2208813/220801-go-outside-stratford-park-scavenger-hunt-printable-instructions-2.pdf Other routes including a dog walk, Health & Wellbeing trail and accessible route are available.

Stratford Park leisure centre Featuring an indoor pool, sports hall, squash courts, gym, exercise classes, sauna, outdoor tennis courts and an all-weather football pitch.

Stratford Park Lido Built in 1937 this unheated spring fed pool features a Grade II listed diving board. Open daily until 7pm during the summer holiday.

Museum in the Park Once occupied by an order of Anglican Monks, the free-of-charge museum has more than 4,000 objects on display, from dinosaur bones to an original lawnmower built by the inventor of the machine which transformed our gardens, Edwin Budding.

Walled Garden The Museum in the Park’s `secret’ garden is a treat for the senses. You’ll find beautifully planted borders, sculptures, a dipping pond, Gloucestershire apple and pear trees, and a lawned area used for events and activities.

Royal gates Two sets of park gates have royal connections: those at the east of the park onto the Painswick Road were installed in 1953 to mark the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth while the main entrance gates were added in 1977 in celebration of Her Majesty’s Jubilee.

Green Flag award The park has been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award multiple times by Keep Britain Tidy which recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces.

Wildlife The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife. You can spot dozens of varieties of birds including owls, kingfishers and woodpeckers, insects, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles.

Parking There’s plenty of free-of-charge parking, including four disabled bays.

Public toilets Open from 7am – 7pm including one disabled toilet accessible with a RADAR key.

Dog friendly Stratford Park is a treat for dogs, with a marked dog walk route around the boundary of the park. Please pick up after your dog – there are plenty of bins.   

Cllr Trevor Hall, Vice Chair of SDC’s Community Services & Licensing Committee said: “There’s something for everyone to enjoy in Stratford Park. It is particularly valuable at this time of year as a much-loved and free-of-charge amenity for children during the school holidays.”

“Two of the objectives in our Council Plan are to ensure everyone has access to good quality leisure opportunities that meet their needs and provide accessible environments that people can enjoy, and which positively contribute to their good health and well-being.”

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