Victoria Park and Watercress Fields

Victoria Park and Watercress Fields

Ashford Borough Council

Parks for People: Explore Victoria Park and Watercress Fields

Have you discovered Ashford’s largest and most central park yet?

There’s something for everyone at Victoria Park and Watercress Fields; including a wealth of history, exciting play spaces, interesting ecology, and quiet spaces to relax.

Download a plan of Victoria Parks and Watercress Fields.

The park has a pivotal role to play in connecting residents with the town’s history, the local area and the built, cultural and natural heritage of the site. Not only that, but it also a great space to explore the environment and access the great outdoors.


Now Ashford Borough Council (ABC) are looking to make the park an even better place to visit, with thanks to support from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund. ABC have secured initial funding to develop a £3.7m restoration and improvement project.

Plans for Victoria Park

The future aims include Green Flag status for the park, building upon the opportunities for community engagement and participation, promoting outdoor activities, and enabling volunteers to gain new skills.

How you can help

ABC looking to form an active Friends Group for joined-up community participation and to enable local residents to shape the future of the area.

Please tell us what you think by completing a short online survey

To help ABC develop the plans, we’d love to hear what you think about the park and what changes you would like to see.

Sign up to the newsletter

If you would like to receive a regular newsletter (via the ABC website) that will provide an update of news, events and project progress, please provide your email address, and we will be in touch.


Get in touch

If you would like to get in touch, or to find out more about the project,
please email the team.

HLF Funding for Victoria Park

Hubert FountainA bid by Ashford Borough Council (ABC) has led to the award of £ 167,000, as the first stage of a proposal for £ 3.2 million, from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund England’s Parks for People programme. The funds will be used toward the development stage of the Council’s Victoria Park and Watercess Fields Masterplan.

Chris Dixon,  Arts and Cultural Industry Manager at ABC, commented to South Ashford Community Forum, when the application was submitted, “The priority for the programme is to conserve the existing heritage of the designated park, intending to make a significant difference to heritage, people and communities in the area. It is a two stage application process. The first stage is to develop a more detailed second round proposal. We are at the very earliest point, with no confirmed detailed plans, but have an ambition to:

  • refurbish the Hubert fountain and piazza;
  • reintroduce or recognise lost cultural and natural heritage elements;
  • provide a volunteers compound and other community facilities; and
  • put in place a range of community events and activities including a new ‘Friends Group’ etc.

The award follows the signing of a number of Section 106 agreements that allocate nearly £ 470,000, due to be paid on occupation of local developments.

Gateway Church takes over Wyvern School building

The Gateway Church have acquired the Wyvern (Riverside) School building in Clockhouse. The New Frontiers Church have for many years met at the North School. For some time they also ran the furniture project in Dover Place and still undertake activities at “The Hub” in Park Mall in Ashford town centre.

The Riverside building has been vacant for some years following the relocation of the Wyvern School to its current building to the north of Brookfield Road.

We understand that the Church expect to have the “Riverside Centre” operational in September of this year.

Christ Church 150 years

© Copyright John Salmon and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence

Christ Church marks 150 years of worship today.

When the South Eastern Railway came to Ashford in 1842 and the large Railway Works opened in 1847, Canon Alcock, the Vicar of Ashford, decided that a new church was needed in South Ashford. An appeal was launched in 1860. With local and nationwide help from the shareholders of the Railway, Christ Church was opened on May 1st 1867. It cost £4,219.1s.1d to build and seated around 600 persons.

The church was built by a local firm Steddy, Joy and Steddy, and the ground was given by the Lord of the Manor, Mr. G.Jemmett. We have roads surrounding the church called Francis, William, Bond and Jemmett. There is also a memorial to this gentleman in St. Mary’s Church, Ashford.
Christ Church was known as “The Railwayman’s Church”, with the pub opposite called “The Locomotive”. Originally a curate from the Parish Church of St. Mary’s Ashford was responsible for Christ Church, but in 1889 the church was consecrated. The first Priest-In-Charge was the Rev.A.W.Palmer.

Christ Church: A short history

Electronic Prescription Service Companies

image003Residents in Ashford have received personalised invitations from a company specialising in fulfilling prescriptions via the Electronic Prescription Service. The company use Royal Mail to deliver prescriptions.

This company is not linked to any local pharmacy.

Residents receiving this invitation should consider whether

  • they want to give their personal information a to a commercial organisation, with which they have no previous dealings, and
  • have prescriptions sent to the company that may give an indication of their health conditions

Support your local pharmacy

With pressure on NHS services there will be an effort to encourage us to use the most appropriate service. In many cases this may be the local pharmacy but, if trade is taken from them by mail based services, local pharmacies may find it difficult to stay in business.

South Ashford Community Forum encourage you to support your local pharmacy by naming them as your electronic prescription service provider. Most local pharmacies operate a delivery service for those that cannot get to the premises.

Help to shape Ashford homelessness strategy

ABC CrestHomelessness can happen to anyone. Being made homeless or at risk of homelessness can have a detrimental impact on family stability, health and wellbeing, relationships, the development of young children, educational attainment and keeping or accessing employment.

Ashford Borough Council manages homelessness as well as any district or borough in the county and has had very a favourable recent audit of it procedures and processes.

It has put in place a range of proactive measures. (more…)

Water in your community

Mr Splosh - Water Saving WeekWhy save water in your community?

  • If everyone in a community uses water wisely it can have a greater and more positive impact on your local water resources, such as rivers and streams – which is where your tap water often comes from. This will help to make your community more resilient to the impacts of climate change and population growth, both of which have an effect on how much water there is in the environment.
  • Saving water in your community helps to protect your local water environments such as rivers, lakes and wetlands: Reducing the amount of water you use can help to minimise the amount of water that is abstracted from your local water resources. If too much water is removed, this can result in wildlife habitats being lost.
  • Saving water in your community helps make a bigger difference: Everyone working together within local communities makes a big difference to people and places! It can help bring communities together and preserve what you love about your local environment, making sure it remains a delightful place to enjoy.