the park flowers in the foreground with the bowls pavilion and crown green in the background

Sandford Avenue Park

Our Town Park, also known locally as The Rec, extends from the junction of Sandford Avenue and the A49 northwards for 350 metres to the entrance to Coppice Leasowes Local Nature Reserve

There is nowhere better for people to exercise and relax, and for children to play. It is a large open space, free of traffic, with play equipment, and some sporting facilities. People play Bowls on the crown green, and there’s Tennis courts, Croquet and a skatepark under construction.

Access and Accessibility

Normal opening hours for using the public facilities (Bowls, Croquet, Tennis, Crazy Golf) are from 9am to dusk, daily, by contacting the Park Keeper.

The main entrance is within 5 minutes walk from the main car parks and shops. From the main gate you can see all the way through to the far hedge that marks the boundary with the southern edge of Coppice Leasowes (west side) and it’s wetland areas.

Easy wheelchair access to the park through the green wrought iron gateway from the A49 junction
Easy wheelchair access to the park through the green wrought iron gateway from the A49 junction

The wrought iron entrance gate is wide enough for gardeners’ vehicles. Other vehicles are not allowed. The tarmac slope down to the park is not difficult for buggies or wheelchairs and most paths in the park are tarmac except for the final 100 metres across grass to the Coppice Leasowes Nature Reserve.

Sit and Watch

Three men playing bowls with the pavilion in the background
Crown Green Bowls in the town’s park (the ‘Rec’)

The Bowls pavilion faces on to the crown green where, in the summer months you can sit and enjoy the game, or just watch the Buzzards and Red Kites soaring along the sides of the valley.

Over to the west, the slopes of the Long Mynd rise to the plateau at the top 1650 feet above sea level contrast with the more rugged hills of Caer Caradoc, Helmeth and Ragleth in the east.

Play areas

Blue, yellow and red coloured swings in the park
Colourful Swings for Children

Tarmac paths lead from the entrance northwards to the play areas, crazy golf, and a soon to be opened skatepark.

Skatepark

A group of volunteers, both young and old, are reconstructing ramps reclaimed from Woodside in Telford.

Events

The park is a great place for open air, small scale family events especially during the months when the low lying ground is less likely to be wet. Contact the Town Council Offices for details.

 History

The Sandford Avenue Park was bequeathed to the town in the first quarter of the 20th century as a recreation ground for the benefit of the town’s residents and is managed as a Charity by the Town Council.

(1) the objects of the charity is, in the interest of social welfare, to improve the conditions of life for the inhabitants of the area of benefit without distinction of political, religious or other opinions by the provision and maintenance of a recreation ground.
(2) the land identified in the schedule to this scheme must be retained by the trustee for use for the object of the charity.

Charities Commission, Charity number 1083574 – Church Stretton Recreation Park Sandford Avenue

Management and Finance

The cost of maintaining the Park was shared equally between the Town Council and the South Shropshire District Council until 2010.  However, upon the abolition of the District Council in 2010, Shropshire Council ceased to contribute any maintenance funding.

Annual Costs

The annual cost is approximately £45,000 per year with income from those using the crown bowling green, croquet lawn, tennis courts and crazy golf somewhat less than £5,000.  Therefore the major cost of the Park falls upon Council Tax payers.

Future Plans

The park is for everyone to use, and we are very keen to make it more attractive for everyone. Your input, suggestions and more personal initiatives like the Skatepark are really needed to improve this little gem on the edge of town. We will be launching a campaign soon for ideas and assistance. Please contact us if you have any suggestions.

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