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Hillyfields Community Park

The history of HillyfieldsPhoto of Hillyfields Community Park

The site is a large informal open space with some remnant orchard located in the densely populated Medway Ward close to the centre of Gillingham.

It was in the ownership of Kent County Council and used informally as a playing field by Hillyfields Junior School until the establishment of Medway Council. It was then transferred to Medway Council in 1999.

The site had never been developed as a park and as it lacked any infrastructure such as paths, lighting, seating, amenity and structural planting. The site is used for informal recreation by the local community.

Hillyfields now

Hillyfields Community Park has had extensive infrastructure improvements to make the park safe and accessible to all. The new play area, opened in December 2008, has a unique design, which incorporates natural play and risk elements. The old orchard on site is now in the early stages of community project. Through partnership working and consultation between Medway Council, Friends of Hillyfields, Groundwork, local residents and local schools, Hillyfields Community Park has become a much valued asset in the Gillingham area.

Friends of Hillyfields

The first meeting for the Friends of Hillyfields was in November 2005. The Friends of Hillyfields have worked in partnership with Medway Council to improve the site with:

  • footpaths;
  • interpretation panels;
  • work within the orchard;
  • a new play area;
  • a teen shelter;
  • boundary planting to make the park more welcoming.


Medway Design and Culture AwardsPhoto of the Medway Culture and Design Awards ice sculpture

In 2010 Hillyfields received a Medway Design and Culture Award. The Medway Culture and Design Awards are a signature event in Medway's cultural countdown to 2012. Run by Medway Council and Medway Renaissance, the awards celebrate the thriving cultural sector in the area and the importance of quality and diversity in building and landscape design.

Green Flag Award

In 2009, 2010 and 2011 Hillyfields received a Green Flag Award. The Green Flag Award Scheme is a nationally recognised standard for parks. Green Flag award logoIt sets out eight key criteria, which should be met to enable better management of parks and open spaces. Local Authorities apply for this award and produce a management plan. If a site is deemed to meet the eight criteria then a Green Flag is awarded. This must be done annually to maintain the Green Flag, as continual auditing and improvement is the key to successful management of parks.


For more information contact Greenspace Services by telephone: 01634 306000 or by email: info@medway.gov.uk

Write to: Greenspace Services, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR