Individual park description

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Parks and Green Spaces

Crack out the sunnies, grab some bait, text a mate, bring your binoculars, shout the dog, ratch out your runners, unfold your umbrella, we’re going outdoors with Carlisle City Council’s Parks and Green Spaces

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Heysham Park (CA2 7HP)
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Heysham Park (CA2 7HP)

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Heysham Park is a long, narrow corridor of green space running from the Westernmost fringe of the City at Belle Vue right through to the Raffles area of central Carlisle.


Recreational Activities

Numerous facilities are provided throughout the park:

  • Play areas – two modern play areas suitable for children of all ages are located within the park, to the rear of Green Lane and, adjacent to Thomlinson Avenue
  • Multi Use Games Area – a floodlit all weather full size playing surface suitable for a variety of activities, located in Beck Field off Raffles Avenue
  • Kickaround – junior size goal posts are provided at Castlesteads Drive, the rear of Heysham Park Avenue and Thomlinson Avenue for informal ball games
  • There is a flat assessable pathrunning though out the park apart from the west section which is located behind Castlesteads Drive

Park Features

Heysham Park is divided into four themed areas, beginning at the edge of the City at the West:

  • The Country Park lies between the Western boundary of the city and Marks Avenue. Informal footpaths wind between areas of conservation grassland, the Parham Beck and historic field boundary hedges
  • The Play Park is located between Marks Avenue and Shadygrove Road. This area has been recently renovated and is characterised by avenues of trees and swathes of daffodils  
  • The Flower Park stretches from Shadygrove Road to Raffles Avenue and contains numerous significant trees and formal shrub beds
  • Beck Field lies at the Eastern end of the park, between Raffles Avenue and Mardale Road and consists of a large area of mown amenity grassland suitable for various recreational activities

Park history:

  • The park is named after Doctor John Heysham who was a physician who lived 1753-1834.  His work involved promoting the medical interests and sanitary welfare of the people of Carlisle, and in 1782 he founded the Carlisle Dispensary, where the poor of the city could obtain free medicines 
  • On his death in 1834 John Heysham,  left £1000 in trust for the creation of a people’s park.  This money was invested for a hundred years and it became £2300 and this was used to create the park we see today. The park was reopened one hundred years later on August 25th 1934
  • The park was laid out by Percy Dalton, who was the city engineer of 1926 - 1949.  He is also responsible for the design of buildings and other parks around the city, such as the fire and police station at Rickergate, the widening of eden bridge, and Hammonds pond. 
  • The banks of Parham beck and a lot of the little bridges are made up of recycled concrete blocks taken up from the streets of the city when the tramlines were removed.

Play area details

There are two play areas situated in Heysham Park:

 Thomlinson Avenue:

  • Age range play area equipment aimed at : 0 - 12
  • Accessible equipment : Various inclusive play items
  • Is the play area fenced : No

Castlesteads Drive:

  • Age range play area equipment aimed at : 0 - 12
  • Accessible equipment : Various inclusive play items
  • Is the play area fenced : No

Opening Times

Heysham Park is open all day, every day



Theme picker

This A to Z of services list provides links to service pages alphabetically

Import information about our green spaces

Carlisle City Council owns and manages 40 play areas. Each site is inspected weekly to ensure it is safe and tidy, we also carry out repairs and clean equipment when required. Carlisle’s play areas are designed and built to conform to British and European standards BS EN 1176 and BS EN 1177. Most play areas are designed for children aged up to their early teens, however several of our sites also have facilities for older teenagers.

There are 5 outdoor exercise areas located within our parks:

•Bitts Park •Acredale Road •Yewdale Park •Harraby Fitness Trail •Carliol Drive

Use the map search to find your nearest outdoor exercise area.

Suitable for adults and children aged 12 years and above, outdoor exercise areas are a great way to improve your health and fitness for free! Use your phone or tablet to scan the QR codes on any of our facilities to access user instructions, video tutorials and on some sites, a free outdoor fitness app to help you achieve the best possible workout for your needs. All outdoor exercise areas are inspected regularly to ensure they are safe for use. However, if you are unsure about undertaking physical exercise, please consult a doctor beforehand.

Carlisle is home to:

  • 2 Local Nature Reserves, Kingmoor South LNR and Kingmoor Sidings LNR
  • 1 Nature Reserve, Kingmoor North Nature Reserve
  • 1 Country Park, Talkin Tarn Country Park

7 Wildlife sites which are predominately managed for wildlife and conservation

  • Knowefield Wood and Hadrian’s Wood
  • Rickerby Park
  • Engine Lonning
  • Petteril Valley
  • Cummersdale Holmes
  • The Swifts

All show-casing Carlisle’s rich flora, fauna, geology, landscape and heritage.

Walking, running or cycling your local footpath network is ideal for regular errands and exploring your local area and beyond. Local paths can take you to and from work or school, get you to your favourite activities and connect you with your friends, all for free. At the same time you can enjoy the benefits of spending time outdoors and exploring your local parks while greatly improving your mental and physical wellbeing.

There are many miles of footpaths running through Carlisle’s green spaces, creating safe and well-maintained corridors for you to explore a very green Carlisle. Many of these green spaces are connected by an extensive public rights of way network, meaning that you can walk from one side of the city to another easily, often without needing to walk near busy roads.

Public rights of way

A right of way is legally a highway and anyone can use them at any time. There are different types of rights of way, for walking, horse riding, cycling and driving. Cumbria County Council are the highway authority responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the public rights of way network in Cumbria. The definitive map shows the alignment and status of public rights of way in Cumbria.

See the Definitive Map information on the Cumbria County Council website for an illustrative map of public rights of way in Cumbria.  Email [email protected] to report a problem with the public Rights of Way network.

Cumbria City Council logo

Get outsideGetOutside has lots of ideas of ways to explore the local area and beyond

Cycle ways

There is an extensive network of on and off-road cycle ways running through Carlisle. There are two National Cycle Network routes running through Carlisle and it’s greenspaces. These are:

  • Route 7 – Lochs & Glens
  • Route 10 – Tynemouth to Whitehaven
  • Route 72 – Hadrian’s cycle way

More information on the National Cycle Network available from Sustrans

Sustrans logo

Carlisle is a leafy place! With majestic mature trees found within Bitts Park or Knowefield Wood, to newly planted woodlands found within the Kingmoor Nature Reserves.Trees provide many benefits that are essential to a healthy city, they improve the wellbeing of residents, improve economic opportunity, improve individual prosperity, improve the urban micro-climate, stabilise soil, reduce air pollution by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reduce noise pollution, benefit wildlife and are a symbol of civic pride.

Carlisle City Council is responsible for:

  • Trees in parks and amenity green spaces.
  • Trees in cemeteries and closed churchyards.
  • Trees on council allotments.
  • Trees on council owned industrial estates.

Carlisle City Council is not responsible for:

  • Trees on highways, please contact Cumbria County Council 0300 303 2992
  • Trees in school grounds
  • Trees in private gardens, you are responsible for maintain the trees on your property and making sure they are safe.  You can find a list of qualified tree surgeons on the Arboricultural Association website.  Before carrying out any work, check to see if your tree has a Tree Preservation Order on the tree or is it within a Conservation Area by using the Your Neighbourhood search facility on Carlisle City Councils Residents home page.  If the tree/trees you wish to carryout work on do have a tree preservation order or are within a conservation area please see Planning & Building Control.

Carlisle City Council will fell or carry out tree surgery when:

  • A dead tree or dead timber posing a safety risk
  • A dying tree or part of a tree posing a safety risk
  • A diseased tree posing a risk to health of other trees in the vicinity
  • Growth is obstructing roads, footpaths, official signs or streetlights
  • Growth is (above or below ground) causing damage to nearby buildings

Priority is given to trees that are dead, diseased or dangerous.  We also carry out pruning when it’s needed to keep trees healthy.

Carlisle City Council will not normally carry out felling or tree surgery work for the following reasons:

  • To prevent shading/loss of light to properties
  • To prevent minor or seasonal effects such as leaf litter, bird mess, fruit or seed fall or sticky secretions from insects and aphids (honeydew)
  • To prevent effects on TV reception (satellite or terrestrial television)
  • To prevent obstruction of private CCTV cameras
  • Where the work will result in a loss to the wider community
  • Where the threat posed by a tree is based on a perception – decisions will be based on actual evidence and inspections.
  • Pruning of overhanging branches that are not causing an actionable nuisance
  • Obstruction of telephone/utility cables (these are the responsibility of the statutory undertaker such as a utilities provider)
  • To benefit an individual even if they are willing to pay for the removal or pruning of a tree

Please see a full copy of Carlisle City Councils Tree Management Principles in the downloadable documents below.

Is a council tree affecting your property?

Overhanging branches  - If branches from a council tree are overhanging your property, you can cut them back yourself, unless the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or is in a Conservation Area (link to My Carlisle).   You may prune the branches back to the boundary of your property but no further. The work must be done from your own property. You must dispose of any cuttings yourself, do not leave them on Council land.

Tree damaging property  - If you think a tree is damaging your property, the first thing to do is contact your home insurance company for advice. If it is proved that a council tree has damaged your property, or could cause damage in the future, we may carry out work on the tree.

Tree damaging pipes  -  It is very rare for underground water pipes to be broken by tree roots. Tree roots don’t break into undamaged pipes but will take advantage of a pipe that is already damaged.  We don’t carry out work on trees to prevent roots entering damaged pipes, as repairing the pipe is the only certain solution.  If you think a tree is damaging pipes on your property, the first thing to do is contact your home insurance company for advice.

Tree work standards

Carlisle City Council follows nationally recognised standards of best practice, British Standard 3998.  All tree surgery work is carried out by Arboriculture Association Accredited Tree Surgeons.

Tree planting

We plant new trees between October and March. These usually replace trees in the vicinity of the area where a previous tree was removed.  If this not possible, we re-plant in alternate locations. Carlisle City Council endeavours to increase the tree stock and undergo wider planting projects.

How to select an Arboricultural Contractor

An arboricultural contractor, sometimes described as an 'Arboriculturist', 'Arborist' or 'Tree surgeon', will undertake tree work to a specification. However, contractors may say they are members of a trade association - Check the validity of any such claim. The Arboricultural Association produces a list of approved contractors.


Get at least three written quotes and be aware that the lowest quote may not be the best one. It is also advisable to indicate to the contractor when you would like the work to be carried out. Remember that quotes only remain valid for a specific amount of time. Please let the contractor know your decision be it acceptance or refusal.

  • Avoid contractors who use the words 'Lopping' and 'Topping'.
  • Many reputable contractors cover large areas of the country, but you should generally avoid 'door knockers'.
  • The contractor should be able to provide proof of adequate insurance cover for the type of work being undertaken (usually at least 2 million pounds Public Liability Insurance).
  • Reputable contractors will be happy to answer all of your questions, as they have got nothing to hide.
  • Once you have selected your contractor, ensure that the work to be carried out for the agreed sum is confirmed in writing.

Out of hours emergency

If emergency work needs carrying out to a tree on Carlisle City Council land out of hours please contact 01228 817200 or report with online enquiry form

If the emergency is a tree on a highway, please contact 0300 303 2992

Chalara ash dieback

Ash die back is caused by a fungal pathogen hymenoscyphus fraxineus and those trees affected by the disease can decline rapidly.Carlisle City Council has a “Ash Dieback Action Plan” which will identify trees affected by the disease and take the appropriate action to those which pose a risk to the health and safety to people and property.

Report a tree issue

If you have any queries or concerns regarding a council owned tree then please contact the Green Spaces Team by using the online enquiry form, email [email protected]. or call 01228 817200.

Please note that any unauthorised work undertaken to trees owned by Carlisle City Council will be considered as criminal damage and could lead to prosecution.

Trees for schools and community groups

Grants for schools and community groups tree planting can be found through the Woodland Trust  

Tree planting

If you would like a tree planted on green space managed by Carlisle City Council please contact [email protected] to put a request in.

The Grounds Maintenance Team is responsible for ensuring that council owned green spaces and cemeteries are kept safe and well maintained. The team is responsible for the planting of the colourful flower displays in Bitts Park, cutting grass around the city and out reaching rural areas, as well keeping the cities cemeteries beautiful and peaceful places to be.

“the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable.”

Biodiversity is the variety of living things on earth, from the smallest insect to the largest mammal or tree. It encompasses the variation within species and the complexity of habitats where they are found. Biodiversity is not just restricted to rare species and threatened habitats; it includes the whole of the natural world.

However biodiversity is also about people, and how we use and share the environment with its other living inhabitants. It is very much about the quality of our lives, sustainability of development, and local distinctiveness; a healthy biodiversity is a reflection of a healthy and sustainable community.

Carlisle City Council aims to ensure that protecting habitat and species and creating new ecosystems is top priority when managing Green Spaces.

Please visit the Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre for information on the many different species found in Carlisle and to record your sightings.

CBDC logo

Useful links:

Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Cumbria Wild Trust logo

Cumbria Biodiversity Action Plan:

Cumbria City Council logo

There is an overflowing bin in a Green space - Please report overflowing bins to 01228 817200 or using the online enquiry form

What are the opening times of toilets in the parks?

There are toilets available at:

Bitts Park – open daily 9am – 5pm

Hammonds Pond – open daily 9am – 5pm

Talkin Tarn Country Park – open daily 9am – 5pm

When will the grass be cut in my area – Please see programme in Green Space Maintenance above.

I wish to report an unauthorised encampment on a Green Space - Please see Unauthorised Encampments

I would like to report fly tipping in a Green Space - Please report any fly tipping within a green space to 01228 817200 or by using the online enquiry form

I would like to report an issue in a play area - Please report any issues in a play area to 01228 817200 or by using the online enquiry form

How can I find out more information about Hammonds Pond and Talkin Tarn - Use our map search to find out lots of useful information about Hammonds Pond and Talkin Tarn as well as other parks in Carlisle.

How do I report anti-social behaviour in a Green Space - Please call 101 or use the online form. 

I am locked in or locked out of my allotment - Please call 01228 817200 to speak to a member of the Green Spaces Team.  Always have contacts handy of other plot holders who might be able to help you out.

I am concerned about a tree in high winds - If the tree is within a Green Space please contact 01228 817200 or email [email protected]  There is more information available in Trees and Woodland above.

I would like to report an issue with a street light in a Green space – If the light is within a Greenspace please report to 01228 817200 or by using the online enquiry form.  If the light is on a highway, please report to Cumbria County Council on 0300 303 2992 or online

I would like to know more information about the cattle grazing on Rickerby Park -Please use the map search facility or browse the Rickerby Park to find out more information.

Who is responsible for grass verges and roadside trees?Cumbria County Council is responsible for grass verges and trees along the highway.If you have any query please contact them on 0300 303 2992 or online

How can I find out more information about Cycle Tracks in Carlisle - Please see Footpaths, public rights of way and cycleways above.

I would like more information about the car parks located near to a Greenspace – Please see Car Parks –

I would like to report a dangerous dog - If there is a serious risk of injury, damage to property or a crime in progress, call 999.To speak to the police on any issues around dangerous dogs please call Cumbria Constabulary’s Dogs Unit on 101.Also see Dogs and Animal Nuisance 

I would like to report an issue with a river in the city - The Environment Agency are responsible for rivers

Report dog fouling – Please see Dog fouling

Individual park description