PICTURE GALLERY: Norwich parks are a great place to enjoy the sun

Norwich's array of parks and leafy green spaces are the perfect places to enjoy sunny summer days in our fine city.

Dotted throughout Norwich, they offer great locations for people, young and old to enjoy the outdoors, whether you are looking for a nice spot for your lunch break, a place to take the children to play, some pretty surroundings for a stroll, or a place to play sports with friends.

With more than 20 parks in the city, there is a huge range for people to choose from – and added to that there are also 95 open spaces and 59 natural areas in Norwich.

And, judging from the views of people enjoying the warm weather in Chapelfield Gardens yesterday, everyone loves a bit of park life.

'I love Norwich's parks. I think we are really lucky that we have got so many really nice outdoor spaces to enjoy,' said florist Ali Calver, 25, who lives in Peacock Street, in the north of the city, and was out enjoying the sunshine with Stacey Hughes, 23, from Silver Street, and her son Isaac, 13 months.

'There are always lots of really nice events going on in the parks too, like the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and the Lord Mayor's Celebrations. I think the parks are used really well.

'My favourite area of Norwich is the riverside walk by Cow Tower, but I also love Eaton Park with its really nice gardens. Waterloo Park is great too.'

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Miss Hughes added: 'We do not have a very big garden, so it is great to be able to go out to the parks. We go to Eaton Park every Sunday and Wensum Park about every other week. Eaton Park is my favourite because there is so much to do there.'

BBC journalist Dave Webster, 33, who lives off Hall Road, was enjoying reading in the park on his lunch break.

'I love Norwich's parks. There is no better place to go when the sun is shining.

'I have just sat down to read, you have got a guy playing the guitar over there, and there are lots of people on the grass just chatting. It is a really nice place to while away a few moments on your lunch break,' he said, adding that his favourite park was a small and beautiful gated park close to Prince of Wales Road.

Store manager Adam Holdsworth, 25, from the Golden Triangle area, was eating his lunch in Chapelfield Gardens.

He said: 'There is always a park close by in Norwich, which is great. Wensum Park is my favourite park.'

Lewis Thomas, a 20-year-old barman from Yaxley, near Diss, was with his friend Oli Kozlik, a 21-year-old student who lives near Wessex Street, in Norwich. Mr Thomas said: 'I think that the parks are really nice.

'I just love how peaceful they are. I always go via the parks when I am walking through the city.'

Many of the city parks and open spaces, which are managed by the city council, are also benefiting from work to improve the facilities they offer.

At Waterloo Park, a new interactive water play facility is soon to be unveiled, while in Chapelfield Gardens, work will start this autumn on making the existing children's play area bigger and installing new play equipment.

Pointers Field, in the north of Norwich, has had new pieces of play equipment and football goals put in, and in the autumn people living nearby will be consulted about further improvements.

The Jenny Lind Park, off Vauxhall Street, has also undergone a �300,000 revamp, and Norwich's first eco-park, St Clements, has also recently been unveiled. The park includes equipment made from natural and recycled materials and has been designed to show how the natural environment changes during the season.

Are you organising a special event in a Norwich park? Call Evening News reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

Details of some of the parks in Norwich:

Earlham Park, off Earlham Road, is the most natural of the Norwich parks with wide open spaces, woods and walks beside the River Yare. The park offers horticultural and wildlife interest and has a cafe.

Eaton Park, off South Park Avenue, is one of the city's historic parks and offers a huge range of facilities including a model yacht pond, bowls, tennis, a model railway, football pitches, a pitch and putt course, cricket, a cycle speedway track, skate park, and cafe.

Chapelfield Gardens, close to the city centre in Chapelfield North, has a band stand, junior and toddler play area, Petanque, a giant chess game, and a cafe. It has both historical and horticultural interest.

Wensum Park, off Drayton Road, is a historic riverside park of horticultural and wildlife interest. It has a junior and toddler play area and children's paddling pool.

Waterloo Park, in Angel Road, is a historic park. It will soon feature a new children's water play facility, and has bowls, tennis and football facilities as well as a junior and toddler play area.

Sloughbottom Park, off Drayton Road, has football facilities, a junior and toddler play area, a floodlit multi-use games area and a BMX track.

Heigham Park, off The Avenues, is a historic park of horticultural and wildlife interest and has a junior and toddler play area, a games field and facilities for tennis and bowls.

St Clements Park, in Woodcock Road, is the city's first eco-park. It has a children's play area with equipment made from natural and recycled materials and it has been designed to show how the environment changes during the seasons.

Other parks include: Jenny Lind, Vauxhall Street; Alderman Walker, Frere Road; Bowthorpe Park, Clover Hill Road; Britannia Barracks, Brittania Road; Castle Gardens, Castle Meadow; Castle Green, Farmers Avenue; Woodrow Pilling Park, Harvey Lane/Pilling Park Road; Harford Park, Ipswich Road; Heartsease Towers, Sale Road; James Stuart Gardens, Recorder Road; Jubilee Park, Long John Hill; Lakenham Recreation Ground, City Road; Lea Bridges Park, Coleburn Road; Mile Cross Gardens, Suckling Avenue; Sewell Park, St Clements Hill.