|Haysden Country Park|
Barden Lake in Haysden Country Park
|Area||64 hectares (160 acres (650,000 m2))|
|Operated by||Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council|
|Open||7 days a week, dawn until dusk|
|Website||Haysden Country Park|
Haysden Country Park is a 64-hectare (160-acre) country park and Local Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Tonbridge in Kent. It is owned by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, the Highways Agency, Network Rail and the Environment Agency, and managed by the council.
A country park is an area designated for people to visit and enjoy recreation in a countryside environment.
Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.
Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (TMBC) is the second level local authority for the Borough of Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, United Kingdom.
The park comprises 64 hectares (160 acres) of countryside to the west of Tonbridge. The park has two lakes, Barden Lake and Haysden Water, and has a stretch of the River Medway running through it, with various branches and streams. Consequently there are a large number of bridges, many of which are named. The park is home to a variety of wildlife including waterfowl, wild flowers, and insect life. It is designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Interest, and as of October 27, 2008 it has been designated a Local Nature Reserve.
The River Medway is a river in South East England. It rises in the High Weald, Sussex and flows through Tonbridge, Maidstone and the Medway conurbation in Kent, before emptying into the Thames Estuary near Sheerness, a total distance of 70 miles (113 km). About 13 miles (21 km) of the river lies in Sussex, with the remainder being in Kent.
Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI), Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and regionally important geological site (RIGS) are designations used by local authorities in the United Kingdom for sites of substantive local nature conservation and geological value. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has recommended the generic term 'Local Site', which is divided into 'Local Wildlife Site' and 'Local Geological Site'.
The A21 passes on a viaduct near Haysden Water.Immediately to the east of this viaduct, and roughly parallel to it, is the Medway flood barrier. The railway line from Tonbridge towards Redhill, Surrey also passes through the park.
For other roads with the same name see List of A21 roads.
A viaduct is a bridge composed of several small spans for crossing a valley, dry or wetland, or forming an overpass or flyover.
Redhill is a town in the borough of Reigate and Banstead within the county of Surrey, England. The town, which adjoins the town of Reigate to the west, is due south of Croydon in Greater London, and is part of the London commuter belt. The town is also the post town, entertainment and commercial area of three adjoining communities: Merstham, Earlswood and Whitebushes, as well as of two small rural villages to the east in the Tandridge District, Bletchingley and Nutfield.
The park was opened as a Country Park in 1988, but the land had been partly owned by the Tonbridge Council and had been used by the public long before then. It is still managed by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.
Leading off the River Medway is the Straight Mile, which was dug in 1830. James Christie intended this to be a canal leading to Tonbridge Water Mill, but it was never filled with water. The Stone Lock, built in 1829 (also by James Christie) at Haysden, remains largely intact. It leads towards Haysden Water (and continues on the other side of Haysden Water, outside the park). The lock was intended for transferring barges between the level of the Straight Mile and the higher level of the River Medway.
Another section of the park is The Shallows, a winding stream leading off the River Medway, with various gravel beds for crossing the river.It was at one stage part of the River Medway, with meanders which were sometimes shallow and therefore difficult to navigate with large boats. Since the river was used by canal craft, a navigable diversion was constructed around this section. The Shallows then became a quiet backwater stream which is gradually developing into marshland.
A meander is one of a series of regular sinuous curves, bends, loops, turns, or windings in the channel of a river, stream, or other watercourse. It is produced by a stream or river swinging from side to side as it flows across its floodplain or shifts its channel within a valley. A meander is produced by a stream or river as it erodes the sediments comprising an outer, concave bank and deposits this and other sediment downstream on an inner, convex bank which is typically a point bar. The result of sediments being eroded from the outside concave bank and their deposition on an inside convex bank is the formation of a sinuous course as a channel migrates back and forth across the down-valley axis of a floodplain. The zone within which a meandering stream shifts its channel across either its floodplain or valley floor from time to time is known as a meander belt. It typically ranges from 15 to 18 times the width of the channel. Over time, meanders migrate downstream, sometimes in such a short time as to create civil engineering problems for local municipalities attempting to maintain stable roads and bridges.
Barden Lake was created when sand and gravel were extracted from the land between 1974 and 1980. Dragline excavators were used to dig the material out. The Lake is approximately 3.6 metres (12 feet) deep.
A World War II pillbox can be found in the hedgerow along the riverbank. This pillbox and others along the River Medway formed part of the Ironside Line. On 27 May 1944, Prime Minister Winston Churchill put General Sir Edmund Ironside in charge of creating a first line of defence against German invasion forces.
A project to name the 14 bridges that are included in the park was announced on 24 November 2008 at the Tonbridge Forum; names had been decided. As at 2015, this work appears to be complete.
From Tonbridge, the Lower Haysden Road leads towards Lower Haysden and Upper Haysden. On the right (when driving from Tonbridge) is the visitor centre and car park. Regional Cycle Route 12 leads from Tonbridge through the park towards Penshurst, and can also be used by pedestrians. The nearest railway station is Tonbridge (1.5 miles to the visitor centre).
The park is a setting for a variety of leisure activities.
This is run by Tonbridge & District Angling & Fish Preservation Society, and is controlled by a warden on Barden Lake.
This is encouraged on Haysden Lake by Tonbridge Town Sailing Club for small vessels.
Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council publish guidesfor people to use to discover the nature and history of the area. These walks have been described as "interesting"
Since 2006 the park has been a Green Flag Award winning park.In January 2001, the park was applauded by the Tonbridge and Malling Access Group for its achievement in providing access for disabled people.
Maidstone is a large, historically important town in Kent, England, of which it is the county town. It lies 32 miles east-south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the centre of the town, linking it with Rochester and the Thames Estuary. Historically, the river carried much of the town's trade as the centre of the agricultural county of Kent, known as the Garden of England. There is evidence of settlement in the area dating back before the Stone Age. The town, part of the borough of Maidstone, had a population of 113,137 people in 2011. There has been a shift in the town's economy since the Second World War away from heavy industry towards light industry and services.
Snodland is a small town on the River Medway, located between Rochester and Maidstone in the English county of Kent. It is about 27 miles from central London and at the 2011 census had a population of 10,211 people.
The Colne is a river in England which is a tributary of the River Thames. Just over half its course is in south Hertfordshire. Downstream, the Colne is the boundary between Buckinghamshire and London and finally between corners of Berkshire and Surrey. On leaving Hertfordshire, the watercourse splits off into several separate branches, a few of which rejoin it, and its main branch flows into the River Thames on the reach above Penton Hook Lock at Staines-upon-Thames.
Four major rivers drain the county of Kent, England.
Yalding is a village and civil parish in the Borough of Maidstone in Kent, England. The village is situated 6 miles (9.7 km) south west of Maidstone at a point where the Rivers Teise and Beult join the River Medway. At the 2001 census, the parish, which includes the villages of Benover and Laddingford, had a population of 2,236. increasing to 2,418 at the 2011 Census.
Kent County Council is a county council that governs most of the county of Kent in England. It is the upper tier of elected local government, below which are 12 district councils, and around 300 town and parish councils. The county council has 84 elected councillors. The chief executive and chief officers are responsible for the day-to-day running of the council. Paul Carter is the leader of the council. Kent County Council is currently controlled by the Conservative Party and the official opposition is the Liberal Democrats with 7 seats. It is one of the largest local authorities in England in terms of population served and the largest local authority of its type.
Tonbridge and Malling is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2015 by Tom Tugendhat, a Conservative.
The Watermead Country Park is a network of artificial lakes in the valley of the River Soar and the old Grand Union Canal, to the north of Leicester, in the Borough of Charnwood in Leicestershire. It runs north to south along the path of the watercourses, with Birstall to the west and Thurmaston to the east. The parks provide bird watching, fishing and watersports facilities, and are managed by a partnership of Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and Charnwood Borough Council.
East Malling and Larkfield is a civil parish in the district of Tonbridge and Malling, Kent, England. It is about 2.4 miles (3.9 km) southeast of West Malling, 5.5 miles (8.9 km) northwest of Maidstone, and 11.4 miles (18.3 km) SSW of Rochester. In 1962, the parish was formed from two smaller ancient ecclesiastical parishes, East Malling and Larkfield. Covering 4.16 square miles (10.77 km2), the parish is in the heart of the hop fields and fruit-growing region, and has an expanding residential area. The distinct hamlet of East Malling Heath is in the parish. There are two parish churches in the parish. The church at East Malling is dedicated to St James the Great; that at Larkfield to Holy Trinity. There is also a Methodist church in Larkfield.
East Peckham is a small town in Kent, England, made up of nine hamlets and situated about 5 miles (8 km) east of Tonbridge on the River Medway. It was the centre for the hop growing industry in Kent and is still home to the Hop Farm which has the world's largest collection of Oast Houses.
Kingfisher Country Park is a country park in Britain. It is situated in East Birmingham, West Midlands. Initially designated as Project Kingfisher by Birmingham City Council, the park was formally declared a country park in July 2004. The country park is located along an 11km stretch of the River Cole from Small Heath (Birmingham) to Chelmsley Wood (Solihull) at the M6 motorway. It is a Local Nature Reserve.
Ditton is a large village and civil parish in the Tonbridge and Malling district of Kent, England. The village is 4.6 miles (7.4 km) WNW of Maidstone and 1.8 miles (2.9 km) east of West Malling. The parish, which is long and narrow, straddles the A20, with farmland to the south and industry to the north. It lies in the Medway Valley, on the northern edge of the Kent Weald, and adjoins the ancient parishes of Larkfield, Aylesford and Barming.
Tonbridge Castle is situated in Tonbridge, Kent, England.
The Medway Valley Walk follows the River Medway from Rochester to Tonbridge. Above Allington, it follows the bank of the Medway Navigation. It starts on the Saxon Shore Way at Rochester. The North Downs Way crosses the Medway Valley Walk at the eastern end of the Medway Viaduct or motorway bridge. The Greensand Way crosses the walk at Yalding. At West Peckham, it is joined by the Wealdway which continues through to Tonbridge, thus linking with the Eden Valley Walk.
Leybourne Lakes Country Park is near Snodland, in Kent, England. The park, which opened in 2004, was created from disused gravel pits that have been flooded and landscaped to make fishing and wildlife lakes.
Elections to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council were held on 5 May 2011. The whole borough council were up for election. Parish council elections and the national Alternative Vote referendum were held on the same day.
The Tudor Trail is a 6-mile multi-user linear route between 2 historic buildings in the Wealden countryside. It is also part of 'Regional Route 12' of the National Cycle Network.