Westlands Country Park officially opened to the public in August 2007. It covers an area of approximately 16 hectares of woodland and open grassland.
Westlands Country Park site information (PDF, 1.62MB)
How to get there
By road: 1 mile west of centre of Colchester via Maldon Road and Straight Road with an entrance from James Carter Road (off Straight Road). CO3 4RN Find on the map
Parking: No official parking area is provided for the site, some limited local parking maybe available on James Carter Road.
By cycle: Colchester by bike map
All day, every day.
Facilities and access
- Easy access trail around the perimeter of the country park.
- Play zone (fenced) near to the James Carter Road entrance.
- Trim trail next to grassland meadow.
- Zip wire and swings close to the centre of the country park.
- Access through country park to Stanway Green and Gosbecks Archaeological Park and the Roman River Valley.
- Main entrance on James Carter Road with two access points from the link between Maldon Road and Stanway Green.
History, vegetation and wildlife
Created on the site of the former Shrub end landfill, the site is owned by Essex County Council and run in partnership with Colchester Borough Council. Following closure of the landfill operation the site was capped and planted with trees in three phases between 1998 and 2002. In 2007 the Friends of Westland Country Park was formed, with the aim to protect and enhance the wildlife and amenity of the country park. The park was officially opened in August 2007. The Friends of Westland Country Park were instrumental in raising funds for the play equipment located in the country park.
Essex County Council operate a comprehensive programme to monitor and control pollution, and gas is burned at the on-site flare located in a secure compound on the west of the site. In early summer Common Vetch, Grass Vetchling and Meadow Vetchling can be seen, later in the season Bird’s-foot-trefoil, and Tufted Vetch appear. In areas of disturbed soil Bristly Ox-tongue and Teasel are common. Roesel’s Bush-cricket and Meadow Grasshopper can be heard in late summer.The trees have established well with the Hazel becoming mature enough to produce hazel nuts. The Oak plays host to all manner of insects including gall wasp larva; look out for Spangle Galls on the underside of Oak leaves. The Field Maple and Cherry leaves add colour to the site in autumn.
Grassland management operates on a number of levels, the margins of the main paths are cut regularly throughout the growing season, a kick around area next to the trim trail is cut three of four times a year, and approximately two to three hectares of grassland vegetation is cut on each year during the autumn. A small wildflower area has been established near to the James Carter Road entrance, this is managed by the Friends of Westlands Country Park with the assistance of the site ranger.
Trees originally planted with the aid of a Forestry Commission grant are well established and a five year programme of thinning to ensure their good health and a successful understory will commence in 2013.
With the publication of the Management Plan the Councils (both ECC & CBC) are working with local people in the hope to provide a safe and stimulating experience for visitors to this unique site. The Countryside Team produces a yearly Action Plan for the site, in line with the aims of the Management Plan, both these documents can be viewed from the links opposite.
Westlands Country Park action plan of works 2021-22