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Green spaces

In Dacorum, we aspire to protect and enhance our natural environment, heritage and habitats. 

Dacorum benefits from a tremendous resource of high-quality parks and recreation areas set within some of the most remarkable landscapes in the country.

Within the Dacorum Development Programme, our key projects for green space are found within the Hemel Town Centre and Two Waters Regeneration Spatial Package.

Jellicoe Water Gardens

Improving enjoyment of the Water Gardens and shopping experience

The Jellicoe Water Gardens are one of the most important post-war heritage sites in Dacorum. Designed by Geoffrey Jellicoe as an integral part of his masterplan for Hemel Hempstead New Town, they were placed on English Heritage's Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in 2010.

However, nearly 50 years since their completion, the Water Gardens were in need of significant investment to restore them to their original condition.

We were awarded £2.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund / Big Lottery Fund Parks for People programme to restore the Gardens to their former glory, with a further £1 million investment from us. The works are now complete and the restored Gardens opened in late July 2017.

Improvements include the restoration of the Gardens' original structures, such as the bridges and the viewing platforms, the creation of a central hub at the flower garden (opposite Bank Court), with seating, attractive planting displays, a custom-made play area, and space where people can meet, relax and enjoy the Gardens. Near to Combe Street, there's a community garden where volunteers can learn gardening skills.

For more information visit the Jellicoe Water Gardens page.

Friends of Jellicoe Water Gardens

Volunteer group, the Friends of Jellicoe Water Gardens, helped with the restoration of the Gardens, joining in with special events and sharing the Gardens' history and heritage.

New members are always welcome. For more information, to join the Friends Group, or to regularly receive the Water Gardens newsletters please contact emma.cooper@dacorum.gov.uk or call 01442 228352. 

Two Waters Open Space

This project aims to improve access to open space, and provide better connectivity through the green gateway to the south of the town centre between the Hemel Hempstead station and Apsley. This area includes the working countryside of the Moors, Heath Park Gardens and the green corridor incorporating the rivers Bulbourne and Gade, the Grand Union Canal and the lakes at Apsley. This project aims to enhance this important green infrastructure, to provide a quality setting for Hemel Hempstead, and valuable recreation space for local residents.

In October 2010, the Two Waters Open Space Feasibility Study was completed. This study assessed local constraints and opportunities, and identified and tested a range of potential enhancements and options for change through the study area.

Adobe PDF icon Two Waters open space consultation findings July 2010 (PDF 31.9 KB)
Adobe PDF icon Two Waters Feasibility Report (PDF 1,445 KB)

Heath Park

This project aimed to improve Heath Park as a community park with facilities to encourage people to visit and relax.

For further information, visit our Plough Zone page.

Green Space Strategy

The Green Space Strategy is a vision and plan to deliver improved public spaces within the borough and to help protect our environment from the pressures of development. It sets out Dacorum’s commitment to manage and preserve green spaces – including managed parks and woodlands, nature reserves, and play areas – and to sustain the quality of neighbourhoods.

Green spaces are integral to Dacorum, and important components of people’s health and well being, the Borough’s economic prosperity, the biodiversity of the environment and our contribution to sustainability. The Green Space Strategy will improve the quality of neighbourhoods, to meet community and planning needs, and to deliver our priorities and those of The Dacorum Partnership.

The views of Dacorum’s residents, stakeholders and the Dacorum Partnership have helped to develop and inform the strategy.

Our Vision

In Dacorum, we aspire to protect and enhance our natural environment, heritage and habitats. With the involvement of the community, we will create attractive, sustainable, accessible and well-managed green spaces.

The priorities of Dacorum’s community form the foundations of the Green Space Strategy and the basis of the following policies:

  • Policy 1 – To protect our green space from development
  • Policy 2 – To protect and enhance our natural environment, heritage and habitats
  • Policy 3 – To create attractive sustainable, accessible and well-managed green spaces
  • Policy 4 – To manage our green spaces with community involvement to ensure they are fit for purpose
  • Policy 5 – To make people feel safe
  • Policy 6 – To use development opportunities to improve the quality and provision of open space

The green spaces and facilities of the individual towns and villages within the borough will be improved through an action plan developed from a detailed assessment of the borough’s resources using the community priorities of Improving Quality; Increase Facilities; Nature Conservation and Easy Access to the Countryside. 

Consultation took place on the draft Green Space Strategy during April – June 2010 and the final document was published in January 2011.

An addendum to the Green Space Strategy was prepared in October 2012, to update the actions relating to the Water Gardens and Gadebridge Park, to reflect the ambitions of the Hemel Hempstead Town Centre Masterplan. The Green Space Strategy had considered the views of the Dacorum Chalk Rivers Restoration Strategy, which advocated restoring a more natural chalk stream through the town centre and moving the River Gade through Gadebridge Park, to the lowest point of the valley.

The Dacorum Chalk Rivers Restoration Strategy was prepared prior to the listing of the Water Gardens and the emerging vision of the Hemel Hempstead Town Centre Masterplan. Details of the environmental issues relating to the Water Gardens and Gadebridge Park and the revised actions can be found in the Green Space Strategy Addendum October 2012. 

Adobe PDF icon Green Space Strategy (PDF 2.9MB)
Adobe PDF icon Green Space Strategy Addendum (PDF 129KB)