Charity of the month - Shenley Park Trust
PUBLISHED: 10:13 21 May 2016
shenley park trust
A 1,000-year-old public park with historic buildings, gardens, an amphitheatre, orchard, woods and important wildlife habitats takes some looking after – the job of the dedicated Shenley Park Trust
Dating back far enough for a mention in the Domesday Book, Shenley Park’s long history includes a spell as the site of a psychiatric hospital and a private estate known as Porters Park, but the 45 acres of parkland in south Hertfordshire is now an important public space.
The park is an oasis for wildlife. The meadow has 85 different species of wild flowers and grasses and a survey in 2006 recorded 22 different types of birds.
Its orchard is home to 120 different varieties of apple, including many unusual and rare varieties, for example the Seabrook Pearl, which originated in Essex and is now thought to be found only in Shenley. The site’s annual Apple Day in the autumn attracts around 3,000 visitors and the estate has been producing its own delicious apple juice for 10 years.
The Shenley Park Trust was set up in 1992 with the aim of developing and maintaining the site for the benefit of visitors and the animals and plants that make it their home. In addition to the meadow and orchard, the trust cares for the park’s woodland walks, historic buildings such as a former chapel, and a two-acre landscaped Victorian walled garden with a terraced amphitheatre. The country-style Orchard Café with its dog-friendly garden as well as two children’s play areas make this a great place for a family day out.
There are a number of ways people can support the trust. Volunteers are always needed to help with minor maintenance, while attending the Apple Day, the café or a summer show in the walled garden ampitheatre all helps the park to thrive. Shows in the garden this summer include Twelfth Night performed by the Company of Ten on June 4-5 (abbeytheatre.org.uk) and The Pantaloons’ productions of The Canterbury Tales on July 3, Gulliver’s Travels on July 8 and Once Upon a Time There Were Four Little Rabbits on July 23 (thepantaloons.co.uk). w
To find out more about events, volunteering and what’s on offer at the park, visit shenleypark.co.uk, call 01923 852629 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning a visit? Shenley Park is five miles south of St Albans, one mile east of Radlett, on the outskirts of Shenley village. The address for your sat nav is Shenley Park, Radlett Lane, Shenley WD7 9DW.