Daventry Country Park – Daventry – Northamptonshire
Having moved to Daventry from Northampton thirty-five years ago I have always considered the Country Park to be one of the districts true gems. When my two children were growing up I often took them to the adventure play area for them to let off some steam and explore and as they grew older I regularly took them for walks around the park pointing out the birds on the lake, in the trees and around the bird tables. My kids got very excited when we spotted Blackcaps, Nuthatch, Swallows, Treecreepers and Buzzards amongst the abundant species of ducks and geese.
As a school teacher in the town I also started to bring the young people down from the Southbrook for nature talks from the Park wardens and I even managed to get them to complete some conservation work as part of a community based learning scheme. The students loved coming down to the park whether it was for science projects, environmental studies or just `getting out of school for a walk in the fresh air down by the water`. I have recently moved much closer to the park and walk almost every day looking and listening to the changing of the seasons.
I always opt to complete the circular walk which is 2.3 miles (3.7km) long but there are numerous marked and hard-surfaced trails throughout the woodlands and meadows. The walks go close to the reservoir with wheelchair accessible bird hides so that walkers are encouraged to stop and view the wildlife. There is also a very pleasant walk across the two meadows linked by a couple of small wooden boardwalks. Apart from the seating areas around the very popular children`s adventure playground there are several picnic spots situated around the park. There is also a wonderful café where you can stop and have anything from a cup of tea to a full English breakfast if desired. The children can also get close to the wildlife feeding the ducks on the wooden platform. I have taken to walking twice around the park every day and I have seen how well the park is used by walkers, cyclists and sometimes horse riders.
If like me you hate the gym but want to stay fit and healthy there is also an outdoor gym in the park. The fitness equipment is located in Northern Field beyond the car park near the entrance. The cardiovascular equipment includes a rowing machine, leg press, cross-rider, air walker, skier, cycle, body twist and rider. With its wealth of wildlife, nature trails and the great expanse of water across the large reservoir the park really is a fantastic facility to have on our doorstep.
Daventry Country park also hosts a Park Run every Saturday morning starting at 9.00am with hundreds of runners of all ages competing against the clock in a 5km timed run. Runners run at their own pace and participate for their own fitness and enjoyment. The Daventry Park Run recently celebrated its 100th park run and is organised and managed entirely by volunteers and new runners are always welcome.
Daventry Country Park is ideally situated on the urban fringe of Daventry within one mile of the town centre and is easily accessible by car, bicycle or on foot with the benefit of cycle ways and footpaths from the surrounding areas. The Country Park has been awarded the Country Parks Accreditation and has received 16 Green Flag Award`s which recognises it`s importance as one of the best green spaces in the country.
Today I read in the Daventry Express about, `a 4000 home North East sustainable urban extension (SUE)` which will be built along the east side of the B4036 Long Buckby road and as far North as the Grand Union Canal. With the current Monksmoor Park development already being built along the Welton road to the North of the park it effectively means that the park will be enclosed by houses, schools, community facilities and shops on all sides. I understand that `green boundaries` are to be set out to provide a buffer zone between the housing development, the country park and the nearby village of Norton.
I appreciate that people need places to live and future homes need to be built somewhere but I do worry about the impact that the current housing developments may have on this wonderful `oasis of nature`. As a haven for wildlife and a place where people and children can escape from the pressures of daily life I do hope that the new developments planned for our town do not damage one of the places that has made it such a great town in which to live in and raise your children.
Daventry District Council are constantly striving to improve the Country Park and appreciate the views and comments of visitors about their plans for the future development of the Country Park. To take part in their survey to help shape the future for Daventry Country Park please visit their website using the hyperlink above and let them know what you think!
If you visit the country park either to walk, run, visit the childrens play area, birdwatching, photography, cycling or any other activity and would like to become a friend of the park as a volunteer you can join The Friends of Daventry Country Park. The Friends of Daventry Country Park are a group of volunteers committed to supporting the work of Daventry District Council and the Country Park Rangers in protecting, preserving and promoting our precious Daventry Country Park. The Friends offer a variety of activities to raise awareness to the benefits of Daventry Country Park, attract more visitors and more volunteers.
Daventry Country Park
Telephone: 01327 871100
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