Chelmsford City Council

Using or hiring our parks

In light of the latest government advice due to the coronavirus, we have now closed all play areas, outdoor gyms toilet blocks, tennis courts and multi-use sports surfaces‎ within our parks. We have also suspended our volunteering activities. The parks themselves are still open. However, the vehicle entrances to Hylands Estate and the car park at Saltcoats Park/Compass Gardens in South Woodham Ferrers are closed until further notice. You can read more on our coronavirus page.

For the enjoyment and welfare of all visitors to our parks, we ask that you follow our guidelines for what you can and can't do.

If you have any questions about our guidelines, you can contact us. You can also report a problem if you think someone isn't following our guidelines or if you see something that is dangerous, damaged or broken.

In our parks, play areas and green spaces, you can:

  • ride a bike on the cycle paths and designated tracks
  • ride horses on the bridleways
  • play ball games, if there are no signs saying they are not allowed
  • walk your dog and let it off the lead, if your dog is well-behaved and you pick up any waste

You can also:

  • hire a park for an event
  • fish in our parks (but not in Central Park lake)
  • organise a group fitness session, if you contact us to discuss it first

When you are using our parks, play areas and green spaces, you need to follow any rules on signs and listen to park staff.

In our parks, play areas and open spaces, you can't:

When you are using our parks, play areas and green spaces, you need to follow any rules on signs and listen to park staff.

If you believe you have lost an item in one of our parks, you can contact us.

We will hold any property we find or that is handed in to us for eight weeks. If an item is not claimed after this time, we will dispose of it.

If you are claiming an item of high value, we may ask for proof of ownership before we can return it to you.

You do not need to pay for or book the park if:   

  • no more than 50 people are attending your event
  • you will only be bringing a gazebo and/or a few outdoor chairs
  • your event takes place during the park’s normal opening hours
  • you will not be playing any music at your event

If you are hosting a small gathering of less than 50 people in one of our parks, you should: 

  • contact us to check if the park is being used for any other events first
  • be considerate of other people using the park
  • clean up the area after your visit 

You should not: 

  • use a barbeque
  • take part in any activity that could pose a risk to any one coming to your event, or other visitors to the park

A larger event, such as a charity run, community picnic or food and drink festival, would involve:  

  • more than 50 people attending
  • bringing in infrastructure into the park, such as staging, lighting or a marquee
  • playing live or recorded music

If you are planning to hold a larger event, you need to contact us at least six weeks before your event. This is so we can consider the viability of your event and ask you to complete an application form.

Once we have received your form, depending on the size and scale of the event, we may ask you to:

  • provide risk assessments, public liability insurance and an event management plan
  • pay a hire charge


You will also need to follow our public open space procedure.  

Hylands Park 

If you wish to hold an event at Hylands Park for more than 5,000 people, you will need to contact Hylands House and Estate

Mandatory field

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Last updated: 24 March 2020

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