The Friends celebrate 20 years of service

On 29th September 2023, at the Ramada Hotel,  the Friends of Telford Town Park (FOTTP) committee, volunteers, and councillors from across the town were joined by the High Sheriff of Shropshire Mandy Thorn MBE, as they gathered to look back at the team’s successes over the last two decades.The High Sheriff praised the "amazing work" and said she was honoured to be invited to the celebration.

Addressing those present she said: “Celebrating 20 years is special.The work that volunteers have been doing to keep the green lungs of this fabulous town going is wonderful.You got the Queens Award for Service, to get that is testament to the amazing work that you all do. Absolutely incredible.We now understand the importance of green space for our physical and mental well being and what you do epitomises the real strength of the people of our borough.

"Chair of FOTTP Chris Pettman welcomed the guests and thanked all those who had supported the friends along the way, in particular the Southwater Event Group without which, he said, the evening could not have taken place.He said: "We are here to celebrate 20 years of Friends of Telford Town Park. It is quite a momentous occasion and I cannot believe 20 years have gone by since we started all of this."

The Friends meet every Wednesday morning at Telford Town Park and mainly work on the Chelsea and Maxell Gardens. If you are interested in Joining the group, you will find an application form HERE

Henshalls confirm support for the coming year

For the past 4 years, The Friends of Telford Town Park (FOTTP) have enjoyed the generous support of Henshalls, one of Shropshire's largest insurance brokers. That support  is now set to continue for a further year following confirmation from Henshalls that they will again be covering the cost of the Friend's annual public liability insurance.

Henshalls managing director, Mark Freeman, said they were always keen to help local organisations and support worthy causes.“We are delighted to be working with the volunteers from Friends of Telford Town Park as they make such a vital difference to this valuable green area.“It’s very important that they get all the help they can to allow them to continue operating safely and legally, and so we decided to cover the costs of their cover to make life a little bit easier.”

FOTTP chairman Chris Pettman said support from local companies is the key to ensuring their programme of maintenance could be carried out regularly and efficiently.“We’re very grateful to Henshalls for their ongoing support as it means we don’t have to worry about whether our insurance is up-to-date or whether we will have to find extra finances to pay for the policy which is a great relief".

Picture shows Lucy Sutton of Henshalls (far right) with members of the Friends




Opening of the new Coronation Garden

A great day in the Chelsea gardens on 24th May for the formal opening of the new Coronation Garden. We were delighted to be able to welcome the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire Mrs Anna Turner, who performed the formal opening,

The garden was created by the Friends, with funding support from Telford & Wrekin Council’s King’s Coronation Celebration Fund, to celebrate the coronation of the new King



Mining memorial in the Town Park

Mining in the Telford area dates back to the Roman era and the Industrial revolution was built on coal and other minerals mined in  Coalbrookdale. It is now more than 40 years since the the last pit, the Granville, closed but it is important to remember the miners who worked and, in too many cases, died in the mines.

A memorial installed recently in the Town Park aims to do exactly that. Its dedication reads "to the men, women and children who worked in the Coalbrookdale coalfield. They gave so much so future generations would benefit"


Wednesday Gardening Sessions resume

After the usual Winter break, our regular weekly gardening sessions are set  to return on 1st February. From then on, on Wednesday mornings,  the Friends will be found working  in the Chelsea gardens from 9.15am to 1pm. If you are interested in joining in, we'd love to hear from you.

Led entirely by volunteers, the Friends of Telford Town Park enable individuals of all abilities to make a significant contribution to the maintenance and promotion of our amazing Town park and to enjoy the benefits of working with a friendly group of volunteers in the open air. You can find more about us HERE

At last - a Celebration

We were very proud recipients of  the  Queens award for Voluntary Service in 2020 but the Covid pandemic made it impossible to hold a proper celebration. So it was a real pleasure, on  Friday 30th September 2022, to be able to gather with family, friends and guests at the Holiday Inn Telford for a formal presentation of the award by Anna Turner, the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire. Jenny Wynn, the Vice Lord Lieutenant, read the Citation and Raj Meta, the Mayor of Telford also attended as a guest.


Another top ten result for our Town Park

The votes have been counted and we are pleased to report that  Telford Town Park had made it into the top ten local parks again.

Our congratulations  to  the overall UK winner,Penrhos Coastal Park in Holyhead, Wales, and to  Stanley Park Blackpool, the England winner for the 3rd time. Many thanks to all who voted.


New Town Park guide on sale


We are delighted to announce the launch of a new memory plaque scheme!Family and friends can now purchase an acrylic heart-shaped plaque to be hung on a memory wall in the Chelsea Gardens at Telford Town Park.It can be engraved with a message dedicated to the memory of a treasured friend, a family member or even a much loved pet.”

This is a continuation of our similar memory tree in the stunning sensory garden which ran out of space for fresh dedications over a year ago.

Each heart costs £20 and can be purchased from our Vice Chairman Colin by emailing cthompson@bcs.org.uk.
Once purchased they can be collected from the Visitor Centre at Telford Town Park and engraved at a local Timpson store for a reduced price of £20.


A warm welcome to the Telford Exotic Zoo

A warm welcome to the Telford Exotic Zoo which opened to the public in 2021 following a move from its previous location in Priorslee. The Zoo occupies a 5-acre site on the edge of the Town Park, close to Wonderland and accessed from the Dark Lane car park. It has an extraordinary collection of animals all of which can be seen very close up and our recent visit was enhanced by the presence of a large body of extremely helpful - and very knowledgeable - staff and volunteers.

Telford Town park attracts visitors from all over the midlands and the zoo will make a wonderful addition to a family day out.

See https://exoticzoo.co.uk for more information

Royal Visit to the Town Park

The Friends were delighted to welcome HRH Princess Anne to the Town Park Gardens on 28th September 2020

The Princess and Anna Turner, The Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, were escorted around the Chelsea and Maxell Gardens by FOTTP Chairman, Chris Pettman,

Chris said: “I gave the Princess a guided tour of the gardens for around half an hour and she was charming the whole time. She thanked the group for their continuous work on conserving and improving the gardens”

“She had an insight into the history of the area and was very interested in what we do and the people who help as well, it was a huge boost for all our hard work”

The visit of the Princess Royal, following hard on the heels of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in June, is a real tribute to our wonderful Town Park and to the hard work of the Friends in maintaining and improving the gardens.

During her visit Her Royal Highness also planted a commemorative tree in the Gardens, which last month played host to VJ Day celebrations, marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.


Why spending time outdoors can improve your health

According to a recent article, published on the website PatientAccess.com and reviewed by Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE, "being outdoors has been shown to lower stress, blood pressure and heart rate, while increasing mood and improving mental health. And whether you're walking, running or digging up garden weeds, being outside is increasingly being prescribed by health professionals to improve people's well-being".

The article, which cites academic research to back up the claims for the benefits of outdoor activity,  suggests that gardening is particularly beneficial.

If you fancy putting these claims to the test, why not consider joining us for one of our regular weekly gardening sessions in the Chelsea Gardens. We meet from  9.15 am till 1 pm each Wednesday and you don't need to be an experienced gardener. It's a very friendly group and new members are always very welcome. If you're interested or if you need further information, just click the "Contact" tab above and send us a message.

For information on the public opening arrangements for the gardens, and other facilities within the Park, please check the Telford & Wrekin Council's Town Park web site www.telfordtownpark.co.uk


Friends secure new PR sponsor

The Friends of Telford Town Park are delighted to  have secured the support of the Wellington-based PR agency, J&PR Ltd, under a  sponsorship arrangement  designed to boost the profile of the  group.

Chris Pettman, Chairman of FOTTP, said he is looking forward to working with J&PR who will make more people aware of the gardens and the work of the group. He said: “It is great to be part of this new partnership which we hope will mutually benefit us both."    Read  more


A look back at the Sakura Festival


It was one of our most ambitious projects and one of our most successful. it clearly made an impression on those who attended as we've been asked a number of times when we plan to hold another. We've no plans at present to repeat the event but we can offer the next best thing - a look back at the excellent video that was produced for us by videographer Laura Garwood. You can see it HERE


Friends receive their Prestigious Award

Members of the friends attended a presentation event at the  Cavalier Centre near Much Wenlock on 27th July to receive the Queens Award for Voluntary Service from Anna Turner the Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire

The Friends of the Town Park were delighted and honoured to have been included in the list of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the Queen's Award this year. The award, which aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities, was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queens Golden Jubilee and recipients are announced each year on 2 June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Commenting on the award, Chris Pettman, the Chairman of the Friends, said "we are thrilled that our group has been recognised with this prestigious award which reflects not only the dedication and teamwork of our volunteers but also  the support received from a number of a number of other local organisations including Parish Councils and private companies that appreciate the value of Telford Town Park to the community of Telford and beyond.

The Park from the air

Three excellent recent videos featuring the Town Park available on YouTube - click an image to view.

Memory Leaves raise over £800 for charities

treeThe Friends memory leaf scheme, launched last year as part of the Telford 50 celebrations has raised over £800 for a wide range of good causes.The leaves were sold on the basis that £17 of the £25 purchase price would be donated to a charity of the purchaser's choice. 

Space on our tree in the Sensory Garden is limited to 50 leaves and as we have  now reached that limit we are unable to take further orders at the present time.  We are however hoping to install a second memory tree in the New Year and to offer a further batch of leaves. 

If you would like to be informed when further leaves are available, just click the Contact tab above and send us a brief message,

Telford and Wrekin launch new "Live Well Telford" directory

logoA new online community directory, Live Well Telford, has been launched, offering a single point of information and advice to help children, young people and adults live well in the borough. Live Well Telford is an all-age directory, supported by Telford and Wrekin council, and brings together in one place wide-ranging information about services, activities and support available in the area. For further information see https://livewell.telford.gov.uk

Meetings of the Friends

Quarterly meetings of The Friends are held in the Visitor Centre of the Park on the 2nd Wednesday of September, December, March, and June.  if you are interested in joining the Friends either as a Full or Supporter member, just complete the online application form HERE



Join the Friends

Telford Town park, now officially recognised as the UK’s best park, is an amazing asset for our community. The Friends play a vital part in protecting and improving that asset and we welcome applications for membership from those who wish to support the aims  and activities of the group,.....Read More»

Wednesday gardening sessions

The Friends of Telford Town Park have been running Wednesday gardening sessions in the Town Park Chelsea Gardens for several years and were instrumental in the design and construction of the new sensory garden. And now,..... Read More »