The District Council unveils exciting new plans for Sherwood Avenue ParkPosted on: Monday, December 11, 2023
Newark and Sherwood District Council is thrilled to unveil plans to reinvigorate Sherwood Avenue Park, which were shaped by ideas and feedback from the local community.
The proposed plans for the site include a number of exciting features, with areas built for all sections of the local community including:
The Welcome Area – Visitors will be greeted into the park through this area which will feature a range of planting, from meadow style planting to a new avenue of ornamental trees. New and improved park entrances will be created, one for pedestrian visitors and another for vehicle access.
There will be an outdoor area for local traders and artists such as local coffee or food businesses, or local performers and entertainers!
The Active Zone – All ages and abilities will be able to enjoy the new Active Zone, which includes a variety of areas for fun and fitness including:
- A brand new, state of the art skate park in the site’s old lido. Plans for this have been developed with the help of local skate groups.
- A skate park rest area
- A multi-use sports pitch
- A free ride area for biking and skating
- A fitness trail with a selection of outdoor exercise equipment
- A spiralling grass staircase-like trail for visitors to walk up and view across the park, with a mounted plaque to show the direction and distances to local sites such as Newark Castle.
The Nature Zone - A Silver Birch avenue will lead park visitors into the Nature Zone along a wheelchair-friendly path made from recycled materials such as brick, slate, wood and gravel. Visitors will be able to enjoy nature peacefully tucked away on a bench or with friends on the recycled tree log seating areas.
This area has been designed with biodiversity and wildlife at the heart of the plans, with new habitat areas such as log piles, insect houses, bat boxes and hedgehog hides all included. An extensive planting programme will also take place to benefit pollinators and foraging wildlife including the creation of 500 square meters of wildflower meadow and the planting of 40 new trees, 250m of hedgerow, 5000 bulbs and a fruit bearing orchard.
The Play Zone - Designed with creative play and fun in mind, this area will be the perfect spot for children to enjoy the outdoors. Children will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they whiz along a zip line under a canopy of trees and splash their toes in the Splash Area with a water rill and water-play equipment! A new and refurbished play area with ten pieces of accessible play equipment is also included in the plans, and parents will be able to relax in seated areas with a full view of the zone to keep an eye out as their family enjoy the park.
The plans to reinvigorate the site were developed using the results of the consultation and feedback shared by residents, local community groups and schools, and the District Council has been working closely with partners from Newark Town Council and Nottinghamshire Police to ensure these ideas were captured in the plans. One of the ideas that came from the consultation was featuring a Splash Pad and, whilst Sherwood Avenue isn’t a suitable location for this brilliant suggestion, the idea was so well received that the District Council is looking at the possibility of implementing it elsewhere in Newark.
Councillor Emma Oldham, Portfolio Holder for Biodiversity and Environmental Services at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “These plans are a wonderful example of the community coming together to create something really special. Your views and ideas helped to shape the future of Sherwood Avenue Park and I hope that everyone can see their feedback captured in the plans and are excited to see this green space once again become a hub of activity and socialising!
“We know that our beautiful local parks and green spaces are vital to helping wildlife and biodiversity thrive, and we also know that they are important to our residents as a space to socialise, exercise or simply to get outdoors and find some peace and quiet. I hope residents are as excited as we are to see these plans come to life and I encourage you to get in touch to tell us what you think!”
Located just outside of the market and retail heart of Newark Town Centre, the park currently features a skate park, play area, and multi-use games area, in a sunken part of the park which once housed the town’s former lido. However, these facilities are aging and becoming costly to maintain in their current state, which is why the District Council, which maintains the park, have joined forces with Newark Town Council, which owns the park, to reinvigorate the space.
Councillor Neil Ross, Leader of Newark Town Council said: “Sherwood Avenue park and skate area is part of Newark Town Council's contribution to play and leisure amenities in Newark. Over the years its condition has deteriorated, so it is due for some renovation. It is a very well loved and well used area, by people of all ages, and it has particular appeal to those who enjoy skate activities.
“This year we have worked with Newark and Sherwood District Council to completely redesign the park and greatly improve the facilities. The new park will cater for adults and children of all ages with new play equipment, water features, natural habitats and enhanced features for skaters and young people. It will also create a green oasis close to the town centre. It will be somewhere to sit and enjoy the natural environment, with friends and family.”
In the public consultation some concerns were raised about anti-social behaviour in the current park and the District Council has taken these concerns into account. Councillor Paul Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Community Relations at Newark and Sherwood District Council offers reassurance on this: “We know anti-social behaviour in town centre locations is a concern of many of our residents and we have worked with our partners from the Police to ensure substantial safety and security measures are in place in order to deter ASB from the new park plans you see before you today. CCTV improvements are going to made and changes to entrances and exits have been developed with deterring offenders in mind.”
Residents will be updated on the plans moving forward via the District Council’s social media channels, resident newsletter and website and will be able to submit feedback to us on the proposed plans via an online survey in January.
To view the drawings giving an indicative view of the proposal, please click on the links below:
We asked, you said, we did…
In May 2023, Newark Town Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council (NSDC), consulted with the public and other key stakeholders such as local schools, college students and those living within proximity of Sherwood Avenue Park on what they would like to see at the park in the future.
The outcomes of this consultation have informed the plans for the development of Sherwood Avenue Park.
A survey was developed to gather the views of the public, and key stakeholders, on the proposed development of Sherwood Avenue Park. All parties consulted were either talked through, or able to read through, the potential areas for development and share their views on these.
The survey was completed 317 times, 260 respondents answered all questions and 57 respondents partially responded. 75% of respondents provided their postcode telling us that 96% of respondents lived in Newark and Sherwood.
You said about the current park…
When considering what features the new park would have, we asked several questions including two below:
What are the best features of the park?
- 38% said the trees and green spaces.
- 21% mentioned the play and skate park.
What are the worst features of the park?
- 32% mentioned ASB issues.
- 30% mentioned that the park needed updating.
- 5% of respondents mentioned there was not enough for children of different ages.
You said about the development of the park…
The respondents to the survey were overall in support of the potential improvements and developments to the facilities within Sherwood Avenue Park. Respondents were asked about specific areas of the park:
Children’s play park
76% of responses (241 people) supported the inclusion of an updated children’s play park.
5% of responses (16 people) did not support it.
19% (60 people) did not answer this question.
59% of responses (188 people) supported the inclusion of a new skate park.
21% of responses (67 people) did not support it.
20% (62 people) did not answer this question.
Community garden / tree orchard
66% of responses (208 people) supported the inclusion of a community garden / tree orchard area.
15% of responses (48 people) did not support it.
19% (61 people) did not answer this question.
Sensory play / garden area
72% of responses (227 people) supported the inclusion of a sensory play / garden area.
9% of responses (28 people) did not support it.
19% (62 people) did not answer this question.
- When asked specifically about what they would like to see in an updated children’s play park:
- 33% of respondents said that the facilities need refreshing and updating.
- 17% said a separate toddler play area.
- 13% said to reinstate some splash water park facilities.
- 13% said a wider variety of equipment.
- There were 78 comments of concern around ASB.
- There were 27 comments were in favour of a sensory garden.
- There were 13 comments around ensuring it is accessible for all users.
- Other suggestions included:
- refresh of current facilities.
- a wider variety of park equipment for all ages.
- inclusion of picnic benches.
- more to help prevent ASB.
- investment in areas surrounding the park.
- preservation of greenspace and wildlife habitats.
- introducing activity days.
What we did…
We took the best bits of the current park that respondents liked to see…
Trees, green spaces, play park and skate park.
We cross referenced that with the respondents’ worst features of the park…
ASB concerns, in need of updating and not enough for children of different ages.
And combined them into plans which:
Enhance the areas respondents like and addressed the areas respondents were concerned about. And then added new additional features suggested from the feedback which would further enhance the space for a variety of different park users.
What our plans do…
Using the feedback from our consultation, our plans have been developed to include:
A Play zone featuring:
- a new zip-wire (a suggestion that came out from our survey)
- a splash area with a water rill and water play equipment (suggestions that came out from our survey)
- a new and refurbished play area including ten pieces of accessible play equipment.
An active zone featuring activities for all ages (a suggestion that came out from our survey):
- a new skatepark.
- multi-sports pitch.
- free-ride area.
- fitness trail.
- a spiralling glass staircase.
A welcome area featuring:
- a range of planting, including meadow-style area and a new avenue of ornamental trees and native species (suggestions that came out from our survey)
- an area which can also host local, pop-up traders, or local performers and entertainers
A nature zone featuring:
- a wildflower meadow.
- the planting of 40 new trees, 250 metres of hedgerow, 5000 bulbs and a fruit bearing orchard complete.
- a wheelchair friendly path made from recycled materials such as brick, slate, wood and gravel.
- recycled tree log seating areas (suggestions that came out from our survey)
- new habitat areas such as log piles, insect houses, bat boxes and hedgehog hides. all included (suggestions that came out from our survey)
New security measures including:
- the installation of new CCTV camera and improved sight lines into the park
- gates to the park.