Cassiobury Park is a 77 hectare (190 acre) area of grassland and woodland west of Watford town centre with the River Gade and Grand Union Canal flowing through it at its western end.
For the children there are paddling pools and a miniature railway as well as two playgrounds. For sports fans there are football pitches, tennis courts and croquet lawns. The kiosk at the pools is open on weekends and school holidays whilst café Cha Cha is open all year round.
In 2007 the Park won the prestigious Green Flag award which places it with some of the top parks and open spaces in the UK. It has achieved this award for three years running and was recently voted in a poll of local residents as number one thing they most enjoyed about the town of Watford.
Fourteen hectares (34 acres) are designated a local nature reserve which consists of wet woodland and watercress beds. This is managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.
Around 46 species of bird breed in the park annually as well as other wildlife such as Muntjac deer, Grass Snake, Mole and many species of fish in both the river and canal.
This woodland comprises of 65 hectares (160 acres) of ancient woodland situated across the canal from the Parkl and is locally famous for the Bluebell display in May. It was also a good site for Hawfinches until the late1980s when unfortunately they disappeared. West Herts Golf Course runs through part of the woodland so care is needed when walking parts of it!
There are brown signs directing visitors around the surrounding area and the Park is most easily accessed from Rickmansworth Road by taking Cassiobury Park Avenue to the end and turning right into Gade Avenue. There is a car park with free parking for just over 100 cars at roughly TQ 093 967.
Watford Metropolitan Line station is situated on Cassiobury Park Avenue; on leaving the station either turn right to Gade Avenue or left to Shepherds Road for entrances to the Park.
Buses from the surrounding towns terminate in Watford town centre and the park is a 10-15 minute walk from there.
Whippendell Woods has a car park on Grove Mill Lane at approx TQ 080 983 (don’t leave valuables on view!) but you can also access the woods via Cassiobury Park by walking over the canal bridge and take one of the public footpaths
View a full list and report here.
A total of 145 species has been recorded in Cassiobury Park and Whippendell Woods with the earliest record from 1905 but mainly from the 1920s onwards. Resident birds now include species like Little Owl and Ring-necked Parakeet as well as the more normal fare of tits, finches and thrushes.
Rare and unusual records over the years include Common Scoter, Corncrake, Leach’s Petrel, Night Heron, Spotted Crake, Curlew Sandpiper, Nightjar, Wryneck, Waxwing, Red-backed Shrike and Golden Oriole.