Workington Hall Parklands
Workington Hall Parklands includes the grounds of Workington Hall, Curwen Park and Mill Field.
Situated near the centre of Workington, the parklands are popular with dog walkers, cyclists and the local community. The park is rich in history, Mary Queen of Scots stayed in Workington Hall on her last night of freedom in 1568 and the Curwen’s were a prominent family throughout the history of Cumberland.
In the upper park, attractions and facilities include:
Workington Hall - a historic Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument
Mature woodland with a network of paths and lots of wildlife
A miniature railway
An historic carriage way and associated features such as the Cuckoo Arch
A skatepark at Horse Close
In the lower park, the floodplain of the river Derwent (Curwen Park; Mill Field) there are:
attractive walks along the river Derwent and Mill Stream including a pedestrian and cycle track
the Yearl - a wear in the river Derwent at the eastern extremity of the park - a good site for watching the wildlife of the river
open parkland and meadows
The Parklands are also a great place for those with an interest in wildlife. The stream through Mill Field (Mill stream) is man made and sheep are a common site within Curwen Park and Mill Field due to links with the nearby Schoose Farm. Mill stream supports a variety of wildlife including Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Mallard, Moorhen, Grey Wagtail and the occasional kingfisher. Small numbers of dragon and damselflies can also be seen during the summer including Common Darter, Southern Hawker and Blue-tailed Damslefly. Butterflies can be abundant in late-summer, nectaring on thistles, knapweed and other streamside flowers, with species including Peacock, Painted Lady, Ringlet and Small Copper. Otters have also been spotted along the adjacent River Derwent and the within stream.
The fields and surrounding rough grass are a haven for insects including several species of butterfly and a few different species of bee. Deer have been spotted in the fields on occasion and owls are known to be present in the woodland on Mill Field.
The woodland between the fields and Horse Close supports good numbers of woodland birds including Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Jay. In summer Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff can be seen, or more likely, heard. Great Spotted Woodpecker and Mistle Thrush can often be seen in the mature trees in the parkland near the Hall. Red Squirrels are more commonly spotted between the lodge on Washington Street and the Curwen Centre in the middle of the park but are also present in the woodland area near Horse Close Car Park.
Red Squirrels can also be seen in the vicinity of the Hall, especially early in the morning. This area is also good for bats, mainly in the early hours of the morning and at dusk. During the day at certain times of year the bats have been found to roost within the bark of some of the older trees in the park. For this reason you may see some trees that have been pollarded rather than removed altogether as they are providing vital habitat for these creatures. Bats also use the nooks and crannies in the Hall as a daytime roost.