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Old Heath Recreation Ground


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Following the public consultation days held in 2012 improvement works to the Recreation Ground are continuing. Below you will find an update on the areas we have been investigating and improving.


Old Heath Cafe  Following public consultation and refurbishment, the community café at The Recreation Ground opened to the public on Monday 2nd May 2016.

Operated by GO4 Enterprises CIC this cafe is ideally situated in the old tennis pavilion between the playground and the community garden on the Recreation Road side of the Rec.

The facilities available include indoor and outdoor seating, toilets available for the public and an outdoor serving hatch. The café also provides people with a place to rest, buy snacks and drinks, and encourages people to stay longer at the Recreation Ground.

In order to keep residents up to date and involved, a notice board is located within the outdoor seating area with details of opening times, events and volunteering opportunities. 

Anyone interested in volunteering at the cafe can make enquires by contacting:


Colchester Borough Council has completed the installation of the new gates that celebrate the heritage of the area.

Funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund was received in 2015 to work with an artist and local residents to design and create new gates for the Recreation Ground that celebrate the history and significance of the area.

Tim Ward of Circling the Square has spent the last six months running workshops and speaking with local people. His designs for the mandala laser cut gates were revealed in December and are now in place at the Recreation Road, Port Lane, Old Heath Road and Wimpole Road entrances. Each entrance celebrates a different aspect of local culture or history: the concept of New Town; the military connection; sport, leisure and retirement and the Co-Op and Paxman's.

 Gate 1 - Military Connection   Gate 2 - Military Connection  
Gate 1 - Military ConnectionGate 2 - Military Connection
 Port Lane Gate   Recreation Road Gate  
Port Lane Gate - Paxmans and the Co-opRecreation Road Gate - Sport Leisure & Retirement
  Wimpole Road Gate  
Wimpole Road Gate - New Town 

Contact the artist: You can contact Tim directly at

Funding for the project was awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund following a public consultation by Colchester Borough Council that found people living in the area wished for more events and activities around Old Heath. Heritage lottery logo

The jogging route waymarker discs have been received and will depict 1km and 100m routes within the Recreation Ground.


The car park on Port Lane has 40 parking spaces.

  • Car park is open 24 hrs a day.
  • To accommodate the school runs, to avoid congestion closer to the school and to encourage some walking to school there is 1hour free parking between 08.00 & 09.30.
  • Payment by pay and display  machine

Up to 2 hrs: 50p
2 - 4 hrs: £2
Over 2 hrs: £4

Up to 2 hrs: 50p
Over 2 hrs: £2

  • No overnight parking except by permit (fee). Only a certain number of permits would be issued to ensure there is parking capacity. This gives residents the opportunity to be assured a parking space in the car park overnight.
  • Overnight parking permits.
  • Height barrier installed to limit size of vehicles. 

For further information about Old Heath Recreation Ground  please email