Pocket Park

Byfield Pocket Park is part of a former railway cutting adjacent to the Brightwell.
The idea of Pocket Parks originated in Northamptonshire. They are natural areas of countryside which are owned, looked after and cherished by the local community for peaceful enjoyment, the protection of wildlife and to provide access for all.

You will find Pocket Parks all over the county of Northamptonshire, to be enjoyed by all.

Before 1963 this area was a busy railway station with two platforms, a woodyard, cattle yard buildings and much hard standing (some of which is still slightly visible in places). Pocket parkAfter Dr Beeching closed the line it was left to go back to nature and there was some tipping in the cutting.
In 1980 the Parish Council started negotiations with British Rail to buy the land. Part of it was needed for the new burial ground and a questionnaire was sent round the village about the rest of the land. As a result the area between the platforms and the meadow were infilled.

In 1985 the idea of a Pocket Park was proposed to protect the site's wildlife value. And it was fully established in 2001. It covers 3.58 acres
Over the years there has been much planting of Northamptonshire trees to extend the natural woodland cover, and there is a lovely 'Woodland Walk' through the site. This has helped to provide a peaceful area for us all to walk and enjoy contact with the natural world while conserving the woodland and scrub area with minimal disturbance.

    Oak tree in pocket park.jpg
A meadow area on the Church Street side is grazed by local sheep. Growth and spread of wildflowers in the meadow and elsewhere is encouraged
Recently a new group of volunteers have started to tackle areas which have been neglected. If you are interested in meeting for one morning a month to help conserve this lovely area please contact Cllr Pom Boddington at pom.boddington@outlook.com or at Westrop House, 31 Bell Lane.


Flora and fauna spotted in pocket park

•Meadow Pipit
•Grasshopper Warbler
•Marsh Tit
•Doves-foot Cranesbill

•The site is partly accessible to wheelchair users from the Church Street entrance.

Rights of Way
•EF2 runs through the northern side of the site.

How can I find it?
From Church Street turn into the entrance near the burial ground by the information panel, or from the playing field take the steps behind the Cricket Pavilion which lead into the woodland area. A map can be found here

Please note: Because of the proximity of the village burial ground it is important that visitors and volunteers alike respect the needs of the bereaved for quiet contemplation

What is a Pocket Park?
Pocket Parks are open areas of land
•owned and managed by local people
•providing free, open access for all at all times
•helping to protect and conserve local wildlife, heritage and landscape
Since the early 1980’s, the County Council have helped create 80 Pocket Parks. They vary in size from 0.04ha to 35ha and are found in all types of locations from town centres to quiet villages.
Pocket Parks serve many purposes. They make a valuable contribution to the protection and conservation of Northamptonshire's landscape, heritage and wildlife, as well as giving local people the opportunity to enhance the place in which they live or work. In addition, Pocket Parks can assist in the regeneration of areas as well as help to maintain existing features.