West Park is an urban nature reserve on a 12 hectare site in the centre of the West Park village development and is the first public park created in Darlington for 100 years. There is over 30 acres of woodland, wildflower meadows and wetlands, which is now enjoyed by people and wildlife alike.
There are approximately 46,000 trees on West Park Nature Reserve planted with care to construct a feeling of natural woodland, but designed around winding paths and features.
The sites increasing range in habitat diversity encourages an ever increasing number of birds including the rare Kingfisher and insects and butterflies including the rare Dingy Skipper. Events have included night-time bat walks, which is a great way to see just how many of them can be found here.
The largest natural play park in Darlington is here with a sand pit, slide, boulders and a tree house accessed by a rope bridge. It is built into the landscape, and encourages children to use their imagination to create their own games.
West Park has a new purpose built bike track; keen BMX and Mountain bike riders have created a track which is accessible to beginners, but challenging to more practised riders too.
The layout of West Park was designed with especially commissioned pieces of art and poetry. The art takes the form of massive stone and steel sculptures, made by nationally renowned artist David Paton. Walking along the winding paths amongst the trees, you are lead to sightlines that frame the artwork in impressive views. The poet, W N Herbert, has created phrases and stories that echo Darlington's past and present, and these are a central piece in the artwork and bridges around West Park.
There is limited parking next to the park entrance. The park can be found next to Mill Garage on West Auckland Road on A68.