Gadebridge Park is on the northern edges of Hemel Hempstead and is Dacorum's principal park. The park is divided into two main areas, separated by the Leighton Buzzard Road, with a total area of about 32 hectares.
Of this, 20 hectares are to the west of the Leighton Buzzard Road, which includes a listed excavated and re-interred Roman archaeological site, a play area and the Field of Hope daffodil display. This section of the park slopes, with the gradient falling to the Leighton Buzzard Road, which runs along the bottom of the Gade Valley. The area is used for occasional events, such as cross-country competitions and fun runs.
To the east of the Leighton Buzzard Road lies the main section of the park, which is extensively used for
recreation. Two car parks within the site serve both the park and town centre and there are two blocks of public toilets. Usually there are about 10 special events held in the park each year, in addition to visits by the fun fair.
Find out more about our Splash Park, Skate Park, Walled Garden, playground and more on our Gadebridge Park attractions page.
The River Gade is one of the very few chalk streams that exist worldwide. Chalk streams are important habitats for wildlife and support a massive range of plants and animals, including some of our most threatened species.
The Gade rises from a spring in the Chiltern Hills at Dagnall and flows along the river valley towards Hemel Hempstead. In Gadebridge Park, the river follows the course of a shallow millstream, which once served Bury Mill (in use during the 19th century). The river channel is perched above the bottom of the valley, has a low gradient and is overly wide. During periods of heavy rain, water can become trapped in the floodplain, as it can’t flow back into the river, which is at a higher level.
We're working with the Environment Agency and Affinity Water on plans to improve the river for wildlife, to protect water resources, and make it easier for local residents and visitors to get closer to the river and enjoy nature. Find out more on our Biodiversity page.
COVID-19 memorial garden
We've installed a garden of remembrance in Gadebridge Park in memory of residents who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The focal point of the garden is a red-leaf Copper Beech tree, which was planted in October 2021, surrounded by benches, access path and wildflower planting to encourage a biodiverse, peaceful place for the community to reflect and remember loved ones.
An official opening event and tree-blessing ceremony was held on Saturday 16 July 2022.
SANDS memorial garden
In 2004, the SANDS (Hemel Hempstead and St Albans Still Birth and Neonatal Death Society) memorial garden was officially opened in the park. It was designed as a reflective and attractive garden for anyone who has been touched by the death of a baby from conception to shortly after birth. The design includes a statue 'Hugging Couple' sculpted by Mark Humphrey.