The parkland at Sheffield Park and Garden

Our historic parkland dates back several centuries and has had many uses including as a deer park and a Second World War camp. It is now grazed with livestock and is home to our wildlife haven, Skyglade and our natural woodland play trail in Ringwood Toll.

  • Our parkland area is free to visit and does not need to be pre-booked. It is open dawn till dusk. 
  • Dogs are welcome - but please keep them on a lead due to livestock grazing (apart from in East Park which is the only place in the estate that dogs are allowed off-lead).
  • There are no toilets or refreshments on the parkland.
  • Paths are unpaved and may prove difficult for visitors with mobility issues. Read our full access statement. 

 

The Bridge over The River Ouse at Sheffield Park

Follow our River Ouse Restoration project

Follow our project to restore the section of the River Ouse that runs through the Sheffield Park estate. Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

 

 

Space to play

Explore the parkland to discover the natural play trail in Ringwood Toll and stop by Skyglade where you can indulge in some cloud watching.  Climb trees, fly kites and play in streams in this landscape that is nature’s outdoor playground.

Take a walk

To fully explore the parkland, why not follow a 3 mile trail taking in all the views and landmarks across the parkland? This is a moderately hard walk that will take you about an hour and a half and dogs are welcome to join you on short leads. 

Aerial view of the parkland at Sheffield Park, East Sussex

Estate walk at Sheffield Park

Explore the wider Sheffield Park estate and discover the historic and natural importance of this piece of Sussex countryside.

Dog peering through bridge at Sheffield Park East Sussex

Visiting Sheffield Park with your dog

Whilst we are operating the pre-booking system, dogs are welcome in the garden at any time. Find all the details you need to know here plus information about our dog-friendly facilities.

Skyglade at Sheffield Park, East Sussex

Skyglade

As you walk on our parkland you may get glimpses of something sculptural but natural, hidden in a copse surrounded by fields. Go through the gate and you will discover Skyglade, a place for pausing and taking in views of the big open sky. Skyglade has been built from eight 12ft panels of Sussex oak, all taken from the same tree. The bark has been left on the wood to give them a natural look in-keeping with the veteran oaks that surround them. Placed at compass points, the panels create a viewing circle perfect for cloud spotting and our star gazing evening events.

History

Explore over 250 acres of parkland where paths and resting spots dating back to the 18th century once existed for pausing to enjoy the views back towards the lakes and out towards Fletching village. Copses of trees are dotted around the hillside, attributed to 'Capability' Brown and creating the English landscape appearance he was so famous for.  Also dating back to the same time is Irongates Lock, built by the First Earl of Sheffield to allow navigation of the River Ouse.

While walking in the parkland you will often hear the sound of the steam trains approaching on the Bluebell Railway, and spot the tell-tale sign of clouds of steam through the trees.  At such moments, it is easy to imagine that this landscape has remained largely unchanged for the last 100 years.

A well-preserved pillbox from the Second World War can be found at the bottom of Spring Field, nestled in the hillside.

Early morning light on Pillbox Pond at Sheffield Park, East Sussex
Early morning light on Pillbox Pond at Sheffield Park
Early morning light on Pillbox Pond at Sheffield Park, East Sussex

2018 - the 10 year anniversary of opening the parkland to visitors

July 2018 marked the 10 year anniversary of opening the parkland to visitors. The land had previously been used by tenant farmers to grow arable crops, such as wheat and oats, and it's been a slow (and still ongoing) process to revert it back to grassland.

The parkland when it was used for arable farming.
Sheffield Park parkland as arable farmland
The parkland when it was used for arable farming.

By signing up to the Countryside Stewardship Agreement, a government scheme for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and land managers to make environmental improvements, we have been able to focus on lowering the nutrient levels in the soil. The most effective way to do this has been by having livestock grazing the land, keeping the grasses down and eating the thistles. This has enabled the land and grassland to recover and native species to return. 

The parkland, 10 years on from opening to visitors
Sheffield Park parkland 10th anniversary
The parkland, 10 years on from opening to visitors

Work is certainly not over yet though. Plans are in place to restore the ponds on the parkland, the River Ouse restoration work is still ongoing and more wildflowers are being encouraged to spread across the grassland. It's a great area to explore so if you're looking for some peace and tranquility, head down this way and discover what makes this area so special for yourself.

Sheffield Park late autumn trees towards Pulham Falls

Share your visit

We love seeing your photos so don't forget to share all your pictures with us on social media using the hashtag #sheffieldpark! Do tag us as well
Facebook: @sheffieldparkandgarden
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Twitter: @sheffieldparkNT