Jesmond Dene named the fourth most loved park in the UK outside of London

By Mike Kelly

It's long been considered the jewel in the crown of Newcastle's parks and green spaces.

And its standing has now been recognised in a survey which named it the fourth most loved park in the whole of the UK outside of London.

The study by PoundToy chose the biggest 50 parks nationwide according to Ordnance Survey, the Government mapping agency.

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They then looked at the amount of Tripadvisor reviews by visitors and their scores as well as the annual Google searches totalled up for each location, ending with a mark out of 10.

Jesmond Dene received a score of 6.31. Ahead of it, Christ Church Meadow in Oxfordshire came first outside London with a score of 6.62 followed by Seven Sisters Country Park in East Sussex with 6.5 and Jephson Gardens in Warwickshire with 6.41.

Jesmond Dene has long been a haven at the heart of Newcastle (ncjMedia)

When including London with the likes of Richmond Park, Regents Park, Hampstead Heath and Hyde Park, Jesmond Dene came 13th overall.

Northumberlandia in Northumberland came 46th overall with a score of 4.29.

The result will come as no surprise as Jesmond Dene is a unique haven of peace and tranquillity for the people of Newcastle.

It is a narrow wooded valley that follows the river Ouseburn between South Gosforth and Jesmond Vale which provides an important wildlife corridor right into the centre of Newcastle.

Northumberlandia was placed 46th in the survey (ncjMedia)

There is a spectacular mix of native and exotic trees, and the Dene is home to a lot of wildlife, notably the Kingfisher, the Red Squirrel and many woodland birds. The Dene stretches for over three kilometres and has many areas of tranquillity, as well as honey pots of activity.

Jesmond Dene provides strong historical links with 19th Century industrial development - the river Ouseburn was used to power the mills of the industrial revolution.

By 1862 William Armstrong had purchased most of the Dene and had built his house (Jesmond Dene House) and transformed the dene into his private garden, creating waterfalls, a grotto and planting many exotic trees and shrubs.

In 1883 Armstrong gifted his garden back to the people of Newcastle and it was officially opened to the public in 1884.

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