The country park is enjoyed by a wide variety of different users, each with their own interests and motivations. We try hard to balance these users to ensure peaceful co-existence.
Please ensure that you respect our other users by keeping your dog under control at all times. We provide a few dog bins around the perimeter of the park and request that you collect all dog excrement.
In addition, we do not allow dogs in the play park under any circumstances and dogs must be on leads in the areas signed - the main walkway to the bird feeding area, the Activity Center beach front and in our nature areas during bird nesting season (April - July). These areas include Middle March, Herons Water, Sandford Lake and Levells Lake.
Blue-green algae occurs naturally in our freshwater lakes. During prolonged spells of warm and dry weather, it can occasionally form algal blooms and potentially pose a risk to dogs entering the water. We suggest that dog owners exercise caution during the warmer months. If you suspect that your dog has been exposed to this algae, please seek advise from a vet. Further information about blue-green algae is available from the Environment Agency website.
The country park is a popular destination for families to bring their bikes for a safe excursion away from the busy roads. Please have consideration for other park users, particularly around the play area, and cycle at a reasonable speed.
A perfect activity for families and friends to enjoy on hot sunny days on the water. Hire kayaks, canoes and paddleboards for an entertaining, challenging or relaxing experience. Our sailing dinghies can also be hired out for those with previous experience. Find out more on our boat hire page
Swimming in the lake
The lakes are busy places with water craft and anglers making the most of these fantastic venues. For your own personal safety, please refrain from swimming in the lakes.
Bring your own boat
You can launch your own non-powered craft or model boats onto Black Swan Lake for £10 per day or £6 per afternoon (1pm-5pm) per boat during our operating hours (PDF document).
Inflatable craft will need to have at least two sponsons and everyone on the water needs to be wearing a buoyancy aid or lifejacket. Paddleboard users can use a leash instead.
If you are launching your boat regularly, or wish to launch outside our operating hours, you may wish to sign up as a member for free launching. You can find out more on our membership page.
Hobbies and pastimes
We know that wide open spaces can often be a luxury and encourage visitors to enjoy a variety of hobbies whilst at the country park. However for legal and/or safety reasons, please refrain from the following activities:
Model planes and drones
We don't allow the use of model planes or drones at our sites unless a specific event is being held where permission has been granted. Event managers must ensure compliance with CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) guidelines, provide risk assessments and appropriate liability insurance. Please note, we do not guarantee permission in these instances.
Due to the the environmental impacts, possible fire risks and dangers to wildlife and livestock we do not allow balloon or sky lantern releases on site.
We have a number of electricity pylons crossing the country park. For your safety, please refrain from flying kites during your visit.
We manage a number of environmentally sensitive sites with great care. Disturbing the ground can cause irreversible damage to these habitats. Help us protect our countryside by refraining from metal-detecting.
Picnics and barbeques
You can find picnic tables and benches scattered around the country park for the enjoyment of our visitors. To preserve the beauty of the country park, we ask visitors to refrain from using barbeques of any kind. However we do offer a gas barbeque for hire to groups hiring one of our rooms. Read more about our Room and Land hire.
Lavells Wetland Trust (formerly known as Friends of Lavells)
Lavell’s Lake is in the northern most part of the country park and set in about 46 acres of a mixture of managed wetland habitats, including Phragmites reed beds, sedges, grass areas, coppiced scrub and hedgerows. We work in partnership with FOLL to manage this very special nature reserve. Visit the Lavells Wetland Trust website for more information.
Recycling and bins
We're committed to conserving the environment to the benefit of people and wildlife. There are generally bins (including for dog poo) at the park entrances although we do ask that visitors try to take any rubbish home with them. You can also find one of the borough's recycling banks in the main car park of the country park, which is also a great place to recycle any rubbish from your picnic.