Welcome to Bunkers Park
Bunkers Park, as we know it today, started in 1995 when Dacorum Borough Council acquired the land from the Commission for New Towns (later known as English Partnerships). Prior to this, the land had been farmed for many centuries with maps from 1877 showing the field boundaries. The hedgerows along the edges of the park are thought to date back to the 10th century and locally there is evidence of an Iron Age farmstead just to the south west of the Park.
With the land in the possession of the Council, and following work carried out by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, plans were put together in 1997 to identify a vision for the future open space. The Management Plan was finalised by the end of that year and in February 1998, with the help of 200 local residents and 600 local school children, Chambersbury Wood was planted in the fields on the northern side of the Park. The planting was so successful that, 12 years later, it became necessary to thin out some of the trees to allow others to develop to their full potential. The Park extends to 123 acres and, together with Long Deans, forms a leisure area and nature reserve to the east of Hemel Hempstead. The land forms a natural boundary to the development and is part of the Green Belt surrounding the town.
Some of the original field names remain, such as Long Saunders (adjoining Bunkers Lane), Bunkers Common and White Field, which are now known as Bottom Field, while Chambersbury Wood is where Winchdells and Hill Field used to be. Mattens are the fenced pastures in the fields once called Winchdells and Rumballs and are now home during summer months to a small herd of Belted Galloway cows from Box Moor Trust. In 2021 three heifers arrived on 23 April and they will, hopefully, remain until October when they will return to their winter quarters on Box Moor Trust land. The date will depend largely on the weather which dictates the rate at which the grass grows.
The Map below shows the location of the park with details of its layout, access points and footpaths.
The next working party of Friends of Bunkers Park will take place on Saturday 18th September, the first since the relaxation of lockdown rules. The type of work we undertake ranges from hazel coppicing to hedge laying or clearance of undergrowth where necessary. If you would like to join this sociable group for some light work please be at the car park between 9am and 9.15am where you will be made very welcome. All work is supervised by a Woodlands Officer from Dacorum Borough Council and all tools are supplied. Also supplied are tea, coffee and light food including, if we are lucky, home made cake. We usually meet about once a month and work until around midday but there is absolutely no compulsion to stay to the end.
This is a great opportunity to help maintain this wonderful amenity, to meet new friends and to take some gentle exercise.