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Central Park, including Long Wood, Sage Wood, Painsbrook Adventure Playground and Open Space Havering
   
Summary: The area was largely farmland until the 1950s when Central Park was created in order to provide facilities for the families who were moving to the LCC's newly developed Harold Hill Estate; provision of the public park was designated in the LCC's estate layout of 1947. Central Park was provided with a cricket pitch and paddling pool, and a swimming pool was later opened in 1966 in the north west. The park is overlooked by two areas of ancient woodland, Long Wood and Sage Wood, and Paines Brook, a tributary of the Ingrebourne River, runs through the park.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: Petersfield Avenue/Dagnam Park Drive/Gooshays Drive, Harold Hill
Postcode: RM3 > Google Map
Type of site: Public Park
Date(s): 1950s
Designer(s): LCC?
Listed structures:
Borough: Havering
Site ownership: LB Havering
Site management: Parks and Open Spaces
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: closed dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities: Car park, playground, café, cricket & football pitches, tennis/netball
Events:
Public transport: Rail: Harold Wood then bus. Bus: 174, 256, 296, 151, 374, 496
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2007
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.havering.gov.uk

Fuller information:

Central Park was created in the 1950s in order to provide facilities for the families who were moving to the LCC's newly developed Harold Hill Estate (q.v.); provision of the public park was designated in the LCC's estate layout of 1947. The area was largely farmland until the 1950s when the Abercrombie Report posited the need to develop housing in outer London to cater for the growing population of the capital. Development in Harold Hill took place in three stages from the 1940s until the latter part of the C20th, deemed a suitable area for new housing partly due to the opening of a station here by the Great Eastern Railway. Central Park was laid out with cricket pitch and paddling pool at a cost of £10,450 and later a swimming pool, opened in 1966 in the north west.

To the north and east, Central Park is abutted by Long Wood and Sage Wood, two areas of ancient woodland that are surviving fragments of the vast medieval Forest of Waltham that covered much of Essex, but was largely cleared for farming by the C16th. Like other woodland in the borough, Sage Wood has retained the old name it has been known by for centuries. The woods here have pedunculate oak, ash, and hornbeam, and bluebells abound in spring. A tributory of the Ingrebourne River called Paine's Brook, known as Carter's Brook higher up its course to the north, also runs through the park (and is a site of nature conservation borough importance grade 2). It forms a riverside walk through Brookside Reservations, a series of linked green spaces from Harold Wood. South of Central Park is Painsbrook Adventure Playground and Open Space.

Sources consulted:

LB Havering Recreation and Amenities Brochure, 1970. For history of Harold Hill Estate see separate entry.
Grid ref: TQ544923
Size in hectares: 20 (+ 4.3, Long & Sage Woods)
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List: Yes
In Conservation Area: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - abutting Long Wood/Sage Wood: Borough Imp I
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: Green Chain
   

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