February 18th 2023 – The Friends of Castle Park Winter Tree ID

Thank you to all that joined us for our Winter Tree Identification activity!

We had a lovely walk around the park looking at the different trees and the features to look out for when trying to identify them. We are pleased to say that everyone passed the test at the end of the session and managed to correctly identify Ash, Oak, Horse Chestnut, Alder and Hazel.

February 13th 2023 – Landscape improvements around Waytemore Castle

The hedge at the base of Waytemore Castle mound is being taken out as part of the on-going landscape improvements.  It will be replaced with traditional metal estate railings which will make the castle more prominent within the landscape. 

The removal of the hedge will focus attention back onto the monument and, along with some new dramatic lighting, help to discourage anti-social behaviour and littering. Visitors will continue to access the mound via the existing steps.

The hedge, a relatively modern addition, has no historical significance.  In contrast, the castle motte, a medieval fortification introduced into Britain by the Normans, is over nine hundred years old.   Built in towns, villages and open countryside, motte and bailey castles occupied strategic positions and dominated their immediate locality.                                                              

The hedge is primarily box hedging which has been suffering from box tree moth infestation.  New hedges are being planted in other areas of the park, including around the war memorial.

January 28th 2023 – The Friends of Castle Park take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch

“A very pleasant way to spend an hour in Castle Park…”

Thank you to everyone that joined us for the Big Garden Birdwatch at the weekend. This annual campaign run by the RSPB is the world’s largest garden wildlife survey which helps contribute to records determining how and why populations of birds are changing.

The final count for the number of birds seen during the hour: Blackbird 2, Blue Tit 3, Great Tit 4, Long Tailed Tit 6, Magpie 1, Wood Pigeon 4, Robin 2, Wren 1, Mallard 4, Moorhen 3, Dunnock 1, Siskin 7, Chaffinch 2, Tree Creeper 1.

For information about future events and activities, please see our events page or visit our Facebook or Instagram accounts.



December 12th 2022 – Castle Park Skate Park Works are Back Underway

The Castle Park project has been given the go-ahead to tackle the challenges recently encountered with the skate park. A new contractor will be on site at Sworder’s Field Skate Park in Bishop’s Stortford this month to continue work on its exciting transformation. 

PFL Group, a family-run business with over 20 years of experience, is taking over from Freestyle Collective after it went into administration in September. Work will start on the drainage and walkways this side of Christmas, followed by the construction of the skate park features in the new year. Final timeframes for completion will depend on weather over the winter months, but it is hoped the new facility can open to the public in spring 2023.

The project is funded by a £2.5m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Community Fund, together with contributions from East Herts and Bishop’s Stortford Town Councils. Works include better connectivity between Castle Park, Sworder’s Field and Castle Gardens, improved access to Waytemore Castle, a community garden and café and a major refurbishment of the Markwell pavilion including new Changing Places toilets.  



November 26th 2022 – The Friends of Castle Park Tidy up the Castle Mound

What a lovely Saturday morning out in the fresh air! Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who helped us clear up litter and vegetation from the castle mound. The weather was ideal and we achieved a lot in a short time. The heritage of this site is so important and keeping the area clear of litter and removing problematic vegetation contributes towards protecting the historic castle walls and highlights the beauty of the space.

To get involved with future conservation activities, please contact:

September 6th 2019 – Final Day of Community Archaeological Digs

What a grand two weeks it has been, from scorching 30+ degree heat to pouring it down with rain! The group of volunteers have learnt many new skills and begun the journey of unearthing the history of Castle Park. It has been a pleasure for us working  in partnership with L~P: Archaeology, who have not only provided vast amounts of knowledge and skills, but also provided much laughter! We will be working with them for the next three years to deliver the archaeological and heritage aspect of the National Lottery Heritage Fund project. There were many interesting discoveries and finds over the two weeks, these will be reported on and documented shortly.

August 29th 2019 – First week of Archaeological Dig Nears an End

We have had a fantastic week working with L-P: Archaeology East of England on the first week of two community archaeological digs. We managed to survive 33 degree heat for the first two days and lots of rain on the third day! The volunteers have been supported by  L-P: Archaeology, learning new skills and discovering the history of Castle Park. We welcome everyone to our Heritage Day, showcasing the finds on Sunday September 1st 11am – 3pm at Castle Park.  L-P: Archaeology will be attending to answer any questions you might have! There will also be a chance for children to become involved in replica digs and have a look at what has been found in the park.

 August 20th 2019 – A Visit to the U3A Annual Show

U3A Annual Show was held on Tuesday at Markwell Pavilion in Castle Park, the Bishop’s Stortford U3A was started in 1985, and currently has over seventy interest groups, with a total membership in excess of 1,000. At the annual show there was a showcase of home-grown vegetables, homemade jams, chutneys and cakes and an array of flowers. The group who regularly meet at Markwell Pavilion have an array of activities for everyone to enjoy and join in with.

August 15th 2019 – We are in the news !

The 2019 Wildlife Day was a great success and we are already looking forward to 2020! The Bishops Stortford Independent published this vibrant gallery to their paper. Everyone who attended had a great time; there were plenty of activities throughout the day to entertain the whole family, from bug collecting, bird of prey display and much more!

Wildlife Day 5