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Named after the adjoining NHS hospital, the Countess of Chester Country Park brings the countryside closer to the city. Its marshland and open expanse in among the busy city provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy natural and peaceful surroundings, without having to travel too far from the city’s environs.

The park’s network of snaking paths are suitably surfaced to be usable throughout the year, and are wide enough to be shared by walkers, cyclists, wheelchair users and children’s buggies. There is a variety routes and distances to choose from, providing a space to be more active, within a safe and pleasant environment. The paths also connect up with other local walking routes, which allow you to explore the local area in a bit more depth.

Throughout the park are wildflower meadows that were put in place with the help of local schoolchildren as well as a host of visitors and volunteers. There are regular surveys taken in the park, to provide a good picture of the local wildlife and it is encouraging to know that the number of birds, butterflies and flowers has increased significantly since the country park opened. The current wetland is home to many toads, which are heading to population levels in the UK where they are considered to be endangered.

The Countess of Chester is home to a variety of both wetland and meadowland habitats, and there are also wooded areas that are constantly being enhanced by new planting. A dedicated Nature Reserve within the park was opened in 2020, a project that was part of Chester Zoo’s Wildlife Connections outreach programme.

Although it only opened in 2014, the Countess of Chester Country Park has go on to be a much loved part of Chester, and there have already been a number of fantastic projects on the site which have made a really positive difference to so many people’s lives within, and around, the local community.

A new weekly walking group was set up in 2021, with the backing of Chester City Council, with the aim of bringing people together in the lush surroundings to have a chat, and hopefully contribute to improved physical and mental wellbeing.

There is a 2.6km loop trail that runs around the edge of the country park that is popular for dogwalkers and runners alike.

Although it is owned and run by the Land Trust, it is the Friends of the Countess of Chester Countryside Park that carries out most of the work on the area. It is an active community group that helps look after the site of nearly 100 acres, just adjacent to the city’s hospital. The Friends organise regular volunteering opportunities and play a key role in maintaining the site, helping it retain Green Flag status for a number of years.