- Start: Oakmere Park
- End: Oakmere Park
- Country: England
- County: Hertfordshire
- Type: Country
- Nearest pub: Oakmere House Pub and Restaurant near the start of the route
- Ordnance Survey: Explorer 182, start at TL261 013
- Difficulty: Medium
The Countryside Management Service recommends a walk near Potters Bar
OAKMERE and Parkfield have a combined area of 17 hectares, straddling the High Street in Potters Bar, and were acquired by the Potters Bar Urban District Council during the 1930s. Both of these have much to offer the local community, and contain interesting features such as wildlife habitats, picnic areas, lakes or water features, play areas, walks and public art.
Oakmere Park was once the private grounds of Oakmere House - it is now the Oakmere pub and restaurant and provides a welcoming retreat with pleasing views across the park.
The classic 19th-century layout of the park with lakes and specimen trees is still largely intact, although the grand entrance lodges and sweeping carriageway have been removed. In 1999 the main entrance was redesigned with new entrance gates and railings that promote the presence of the park.
The park has a lot of history. On the night of 1st October 1916 a Super Zeppelin was shot down over the park by Second Lieutenant WJ Tempest. The road that borders the park was named Tempest Avenue in his honour. The Zeppelin crashed onto an oak tree to the west of the park and the pilot and all of his crew were killed.
Events are a major feature of the park and are organised in conjunction with the Potters Bar Under Fives Group and Oakmere House Pub and Restaurant. Events include the Easter egg hunt, jazz at the pub, teddy bears picnic and learn to fish day. The notice board by the pub is regularly updated so watch out for new events.
The Potters Bar in Focus group is actively involved in the management and progress of the park. Oakmere Park received the prestigious Green Flag Award in 2002/2003 and 2003/2004.
On the other side of the High Street you have Parkfield which is a more natural open space, part of which is managed as a traditional hay meadow. It also contains the formal Japanese garden. The focal point is the Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple), a beautiful sight in autumn. Nearby, a Roman kiln was discovered in the 1950s and an archaeological survey was carried out with local schools in 2002. An information panel with all the facts can be found close to the site.
Both parks contain over 1,000 trees in total. Oakmere has more introduced species as they were originally planted as part of the estate, and Parkfield has more native species.
The magic of trees
In this trail you are going to meet some of the gentle giants that have lived here for many many years. Native trees are trees that have grown in England since the Ice Age, over 12,000 years ago before the formation of the English Channel. A lot of the trees you see today were introduced by explorers to other countries who risked their lives to bring back some of the beautiful examples you will find in your own garden, local park and woodland. These trees are referred to as non native, or aliens.
Distance About 2.5 miles
Time 1.5 hours
Parking Public car park opposite Parkfield entrance, off the High Street, Potters Bar.
Refreshments Oakmere House Pub and Restaurant near the start of the route
OS Map Explorer 182, start at TL261 013