Parklands Open Space

Photo Credit: Paul Vine

Parklands Open Space was formerly part of Gaynes or Engaynes manor, whose name derives from Vitalis Engayne who owned the estate from 1218. It had numerous owners until 1780 when Sir James Esdaile purchased what was then little more than a farmhouse. He built a new manor house, since demolished, and laid out the 100-acre park. A stream was dammed to create a lake, with a bridge built at its east end, clumps of trees were planted and shrubbery walks laid out. From 1817 on parts of the estate, by then c.750 acres, were sold off to various private owners and eventually in 1929 the estate was sold for building development. Some old trees survive amongst new housing. The lake and Parklands Bridge remain, together with a grass walk along the northern bank, which were acquired by Hornchurch UDC for public open space. The silted-up lake was cleaned in 1956/7 to enable fishing, a public amenity until then not provided by the Council.

This attractive local park contains a large lake surrounded by woodland. The lake is stocked with fish and is well used for angling. The fairly narrow, steep banks along the southern and northern margins support a mix of tall herbs, willow (Salix) scrub and wet marginal vegetation. The latter is particularly diverse and includes great willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum), water forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides), gypsywort (Lycopus europaeus), yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus), great reedmace (Typha latifolia), brooklime (Veronica beccabunga), great pond-sedge (Carex riparia), reed sweet-grass (Glyceria maxima) and others. The northern boundary is narrower, hemmed in by the main area of amenity grassland but still with some tall herb and marginal plants. The lake includes two wooded islands, one dominated by alder (Alnus glutinosa) and one by aspen (Populus tremula). The small eastern extension of the lake, beyond an ornate bridge, is dominated by common water-starwort (Callitriche stagnalis) and is potentially a good invertebrate habitat. A variety of dragonflies and common waterfowl are present. Kingfishers are seen frequently and may breed. The lake is an important feeding site for bats, with large numbers of pipistrelles and smaller numbers of noctules and Daubenton's bats regularly seen throughout the summer.

The surrounding woodland includes various dominant species. To the west there is a canopy of abundant sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) and sparse oak (Quercus sp.) with English elm (Ulmus procera) and areas of holly (Ilex aquilifolia). The ground flora is dominated by ivy (Hedera helix) with frequent wood false-brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum). The southern boundary is formed by a very impressive treeline of white, weeping and grey willows (Salix alba, S. x sepulchralis and S. cinerea), hybrid black and Lombardy poplars (Populus x canadensis and P. nigra ssp.italica), plus sycamore and ash (Fraxinus excelsior). The eastern end is locally wet with much horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), sycamore and ash. Breeding birds in the woodland include goldcrest.

Parklands Open Space was formerly part of Gaynes or Engaynes manor, whose name derives from Vitalis Engayne who owned the estate from 1218. It had numerous owners until 1780 when Sir James Esdaile purchased what was then little more than a farmhouse. He built a new manor house, since demolished, and laid out the 100-acre park. A stream was dammed to create a lake, with a bridge built at its east end, clumps of trees were planted and shrubbery walks laid out. From 1817 on parts of the estate, by then c.750 acres, were sold off to various private owners and eventually in 1929 the estate was sold for building development. Some old trees survive amongst new housing. The lake and Parklands Bridge remain, together with a grass walk along the northern bank, which were acquired by Hornchurch UDC for public open space. The silted-up lake was cleaned in 1956/7 to enable fishing, a public amenity until then not provided by the Council.  It was acquired by the London Borough of Havering in 1965 and is nowadays an important public open space for local Corbets Tey residents.

Features of the park include:

  • Site Type: Publicly accessible open space
  • Site Area: 11.44 acres (4.63 Hectares)
  • Car Park off of Park Farm Road.
  • Archery
  • Fishing
  • Conservation Area
  • Heritage interest
  • Lake/Pond
  • River

Public Transport:

  • Nearest Train Station: Upminster - 2km
  • Nearest Bus Stop: Corbetts Tey Road – 0.5km
  • Bus Number: 370, 373

Contact Information:

  • Site Management Organisation: London Borough of Havering
  • Site Manager: London Borough of Havering Parks Service
  • Phone: 01708 434743
  • Email: parks@havering.gov.uk
  • Website

Address:

Pedestrian access

  • Corbets Tey Road
  • Upminster
  • RM14 2DT

Vehicle Access

  • Park Farm Road
  • Upminster
  • RM14 2XU

Grid Reference: TQ 558 851


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