Tai Chi in the Park

Tarmac grant helps give Thurrock park a new lease of life
May 10, 2021

Tarmac has helped give Grays Town Park in Grays, Thurrock a new lease of life with a grant from the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund.

The park 130-year-old park had become neglected during recent times, but thanks to the hard work of local group, The Friends of Grays Town Park, it is gradually being returned to its Victorian finest, in the hope that many visitors will come to enjoy its gardens and a proposed new community café.

Grants from Thurrock Council, Riverside Community Big Local and a £10,000 award from Tarmac’s Landfill Communities Fund have enabled the gardens to be overhauled and major landscaping work to be carried out on the east side of the park. This will include removing dead trees, adding new plants, to help create biodiversity to encourage local wildlife, and a clean-up of the large decorative rocks.

The Friends of Grays Town Park also have plans to revamp the shelter, turning it into a community café, along with upgrading the steps at the Bridge Road entrance, to allow for better access for people with disabilities and families visiting the park. It is hoped the landscaping work will be completed and the café up and running by the end of May 2021. The new entrance will be ready be the end of July.

Tina Holland from the Friends of Grays Town Park said: “This is a really exciting year for our park. With the aid of these grants, we can start to return the park to its former glory, whilst catering for our visitors’ 21st century wishes.”

John Cox, Tarmac’s South East Terminals operations manager who is based at the nearby West Thurrock Depot, added: “We are proud to have been able to support this project to help rescue and improve this important local green space so that the local community and visitors to the area are able to enjoy it again.”

The Park was formerly a brick quarry in the 1800’s. It was the first public space in the area to be given to the people in 1887. In 1930 a shelter was built in the park, by a local family in remembrance of their husband and father Jonathan Seabrooke, a prominent local businessman and owner of Seabrooke brewery in Grays. It remains a fine example of a Victorian park.