Wivenhoe Park

Pretty as a picture

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Wivenhoe Park in the summer

Even Constable couldn't resist Wivenhoe Park.

Within a few steps of our library on Colchester Campus you are immersed in the beauty of our parkland. Our historic Wivenhoe Park is the perfect place to relax and think big.

Immortalised in oils by world-famous painter John Constable, Wivenhoe Park remains a striking landscape of more than 200 acres. Constable's masterpiece now hangs in pride of place at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, but you can enjoy the park itself every day.

Our careful stewardship of the parkland means we're the proud holder of a Green Flag Award and our Grounds team love maintaining this wonderfully tranquil place for all to enjoy.

John Constable's painting of Wivenhoe Park)
John Constable's painting of Wivenhoe Park

Wivenhoe Park is home to a range of plants and wildlife including some extraordinary and historic trees. If you would like to find out more we've produced a guided tree walk which takes you around the parkland and describes the trees you see along the way plus a history walk you can access through our FindYourWay app.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy our parkland but please be considerate - keep dogs on leads and clean up after them.

Flora and fauna

Our site provides many habitats including amenity, marshy and acid grasslands, reed beds, woodland and eutrophic and mesotrophic lakes. These habitats are home to insects, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fungi and fauna. We encourage wildlife by placing insect hotels, bird boxes and hedgehog boxes around the campus.

Our trees

We're home to over 2,800 trees, including rare species and veteran trees. The variety of species and ages provide habitats for a range of animals and support the growth of fauna and funghi. Our Tree Walk is a self-guided tour of some of our notable trees.

Lakes

The park has three consecutive man-made lakes which, along with the areas surrounding them, provide a habitat for various duck species, Canadian geese, moorehends, coots and recently a pair of cormorants. The lakes themselves are home to several fish species.

In the future we plan to enhance our facilities around the lower lake by adding boardwalks, lighting and an amphitheatre.

Biodiversity

We encourage wildlife by creating and maintaining a wide variety of habitats. Our habitat surveys have identified species as diverse as woodpeckers, kingfishers, five species of bat, grass snakes, common lizards, hedgehogs and harvest mice. We're also home to several scarce species of spiders, moths and bees.