What used to be here?
A twin‑gated ramped vehicular entrance to the north‑west and a grass bank across the north of the park, upon which in 2008 FoSJP had created a Local Floral Nature Reserve of wild flowers.
What’s here now?
The North-West Entrance has been retained; it now uses the gate that was previously at the original Winchester Road entrance, disused since the early 1980s; the old gate has been replaced with new sections of railing, retaining the original gate posts as an historical marker.
There’s now a Scenic Walkway which traverses the grass bank across the north of the park, with three new lookouts with benches. To the western end, there’s a new pedestrian gate from the NW Entrance into the Scenic Walkway; to the eastern end, the Scenic Walkway drops down to meet the NE corner of the pathway around the Central Pitch. The grass bank has been restored and seeded with grass and wild flowers. FoSJP’s two nature‑related information signs have been re‑installed, one in front of each of the lateral lookout benches, and FoSJP will be commissioning a new heritage‑related sign for installation in front of the central lookout bench.
There’s now a small North-East Entrance with rustic timber steps and a timber handrail up to the pavement near the traffic lights at the junction of St.James’ Road and Winchester Road.
It was decided that the north end of the park should be more informal, in contrast to the formal layout of the Botanical Walk towards the south end: hence the intent to restore FoSJP’s Local Floral Nature Reserve.
The lookouts on the Scenic Walkway provide good viewing points e.g. for watching games on the Central Pitch or just an overall view of the rest of the park. Being slightly set back into the bank, they provide some shelter from wind and are excellent sun traps.
The NW Entrance is needed for vehicular access by Southampton City Council maintenance and emergency vehicles, with a minimum width requirement of 3m.
The NE Entrance was added to make access to the park easier for local residents living on that side of the park, and also for visitors from Southampton General Hospital: one of the target audiences identified by the Parks for People project. The handrail to this entrance was requested by residents of a nearly sheltered housing scheme.
This end of the park is used by dog walkers, so self‑closing gates have been installed for the new pedestrian gates for the entrance to the Scenic Walkway and for the NE Entrance.
Using this area
Please close all gates after you’ve used them, to reduce the risk of dogs or children running out onto the roads;
Please keep off the bank where it has been re‑seeded, to allow the grass a chance to re‑establish itself;
Please do not cycle or use skateboards etc. along the Scenic Walkway.
BEFORE – North Bank, September 2009
AFTER – Scenic Walkway, April 2012
BEFORE – NE Corner of Park, July 2009
AFTER – NE Entrance, April 2012