The Denes is made up of six green spaces forming a major linear park in Darlington. It follows the meandering course of the Cocker Beck (running alongside 1.5km of it) and provide a wide range of informal and formal recreation for visitors.
It is host to a wide range of wildlife, including kingfishers, otters and bats.
The restoration works which began in 2011 have widened the bridges, installed rope bridges and added ornamental arch ways, celebrating the individuality of the six Denes.
Sheddy Dene - see if you can find the stepping stones and play bridges
Bowling Dene - a bowling green and bowling green pavilion
Footie Dene - a lovely flat green space, ideal for games of football
Paddly Dene - a haven for wildlife
Play Dene - A toddler and junior play area with a zip wire and play bridge
Tennis Dene - free tennis and basketball courts for everyone to use
The friends of the Denes were established in 2006 and their aim is to show the best side of the Denes so it is used by more local residents. If you'd like to volunteer or get in touch, please email [email protected].
Friends of the Denes history project on Facebook [external link].
History of the Denes
In the 1860s, the Pease family developed two lavish estates in the countryside to the North-West of Darlington: Pierremont and Brinkburn. At the heart of their pleasure gardens was the Cockerbeck Valley, with paths laid out to cross-cross its course and climb its slopes.
The estates were broken up at the start of the 20th Century, and terraces of houses marched upon their land.
But the valley was too deep to build upon and so it was saved, first as allotments during the First World war, and then as a public park, which opened on September 4, 1925.
For more historical information about the Denes, please visit your local library to read the booklet "a history of the Denes" by Chris Lloyd.
For more information about The Denes, contact the ranger on 01325 406719.