Around the grounds
Limber up – there’s loads to explore
is for Lake
Our lake’s looking lovelier than ever now, thanks to £3 million of sprucing by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, Northamptonshire County Council and Kettering Borough Council. It’s the heart of our park, with shingle beaches, a pontoon, nature spots and the arboretum for you to enjoy. And there’s a pretty special natural play zone in the works to boot.
is for Ecology
Our second lake, at the south end of the park, is super-secluded, which makes it a great wildlife haven. Eagle-eyed visitors can spot terns, kingfishers, grebes, ibis, swans, diving ducks, and hundreds of droning dragonflies in the summer. Just across the boundary are two SSSIs (that’s Sites of Special Scientific Interest – tongue twister!), which means this is a really important habitat for British wildlife.
is for Flowers
Our small team of gardeners do an excellent job at managing our formal gardens as well as creating new pockets of interest all around the park. We are always on the look out for green fingered volunteers to help us out.
is for Aviary
There will be approximately 60 colourful and chatty free flying birds inside the huge Australian themed aviary named Woolloomooloo including, diamond doves, various finches, budgies and kakarikies , plus lots of interesting plants. Entry is free for Wickys Play Factory users on production of a valid ticket, otherwise enter with a valid wristband or 1 ticket per two people. Minimum 1 ticket.
“You can easily lose a few hours here, as everything is an adventure”
is for Motte and Bailey
Want to be King of the Castle? Just behind our arboretum are the remains of a Norman motte-and-bailey – a 900-year-old castle! The motte (earthworks) is easily visible at either end. This land is managed for us by the local Wildlife Trust, so please keep your pooch on a lead.
is for Watermeadow
Across the A6 (AKA Barton Road) is another historical gem. Before fancy fertilisers, farmers used to improve their crops by flooding their fields with river water using specially-dug canals. Local volunteers helped restore these canals to create our watermeadow: a beautiful habitat full of sedge, reeds – and lots and lots of birds.
is for Heritage
We are rightfully proud of our special heritage and want to share it with all . Charles Wicksteed, our founder, did not follow strict Edwardian protocol. He tore up the park etiquette rule book and was the first park to introduce children’s play as a major feature. We were also the first to allow boys and girls to happily play together and for people from all walks of life to enjoy the acres of grass rather than be confined to formal paths. We were also famous for our goat’s milk ice cream which has just been re-introduced. Our ice cream can be found in the main trading street.
In years gone by…
Charles Wicksteed here! Our original lake was built around the start of the 1920s, and between regattas, swimming, boating and water polo, it got an awful lot of use. Now, the Heritage Lottery Fund has helped us restore it to its former glory, as a focal point for the entire park. Hooray!
Find out more about Wicksteed Park on this page.
Find & Visit Wicksteed Park
We look forward to welcoming you to Wicksteed Park!