Spring walks around Sheffield Park and Garden
As the days get longer and warmer, come and rediscover the outdoors at Sheffield Park and Garden. There's more to explore than just the formal garden, so why not take a walk to one of these areas next time you visit to reconnect with nature?
Stir up your senses as nature awakens to a new year of growth. Join us in the outdoors this spring and feel new shoots of optimism grow with the new grass and blossoming trees. Come rain or shine, there are plenty of areas to explore around Sheffield Park and Garden, so grab your wellies and plan a day out with us this spring.
Stroll amongst the trees in Walk Wood
Tucked away on the north side of Sheffield Park and Garden is Walk Wood, an area of woodland steeped in history with abundance of wildlife and natural art sculptures.You can follow the network of paths and boardwalks around the woods, or just dive in and explore the area. As spring develops, the bluebells carpet the floor and wildlife is abundant. Look out for the series of natural art sculptures too as you follow the paths round. These were created by local artist, Keith Pettit, using materials from the woods and provide some great interventions to the landscape.
Access to Walk Wood is from Flint Road and Big Tree Walk. Dogs are welcome on a short lead.
Head to historic East Park
Just below the cricket pitch is East Park, another area of woodland steeped in Second World War history. As you walk around here you may see the tell-tale signs of concrete paths, brick and concrete from Nissen Hut foundations. This area was known as Fletching Camp while the section that stretched from the road entrance to the bottom of Lower Woman's Way Pond was called Sheffield Park Camp. An archaeological excavation took place last year where networks of paths, hut foundations and washing facilities were discovered, as well as a few personal items such as a beer bottles.
Take some time to explore this quieter area of the estate. East Park is also the only part Sheffield Park where dogs are welcome for off-lead walkies.
Roam wild on the Parkland
There's so much to explore on the parkland. From Ringwood Toll to the Skyglade to the River Ouse. If you're visiting with children, they'll enjoy exploring Ringwood Toll where they can follow the natural play trail and enjoy the challenges of jumping from tree stump to tree stump, or playing on the see-saw. All the equipment has been made from trees from within Ringwood Toll by our ranger and volunteers. You can also have a go at den building, or just enjoy one of the dens that's already there.
Next, head over to the Skyglade to lean against one of the eight 12ft panels of Sussex oak, all taken from the same tree. Placed at compass points, the panels create a viewing circle, perfect for leaning against and enjoying some cloud spotting. Even if you don't know your cumulus from your altostratus, finding shapes in the clouds is something all ages can enjoy, so look up for a dinosaur, fish or face suspended in the air. Take a moment to enjoy the relaxing sounds of the countryside.
Further down from Ringwood Toll, you'll discover the River Ouse. It's could be a muddy walk at this time of year so make sure you wear your wellies before you set off.
The river has recently undergone a restoration project which has involved removing some of the overgrown trees along the river bank, adding some berms to break the flow of the water, plus the addition of two new bridges so you can cross the river to reach new areas.
The rope bridge takes you over Irongates Lock onto the island. Last year the lock underwent extensive restoration and it's the first time visitors have been able to explore the island for many years. The wooden bridge takes you across to the opposite bank where you can join the Ouse Valley Way path network to explore beyond Sheffield Park. The village of Newick is only a short walk away along this path.
Follow our walking trail
To take in all of the sights on the parkland, you can download this walking route we've put together that starts from the car park and takes you in a loop of the parkland. Watch out for wildlife up above and enjoy the peace and tranquility of such an open expanse of parkland.
So embrace the new season and plan to get outdoors to feel the sun on your face and the restorative joy of the first signs of spring.