Green and open assets

This genesis of this list is content produced during the development of the Durham City Neighbourhood Plan (dated September 2019, and in the case of green and dark corridors August 2020). This list is in the process of being updated. Please add a comment to this webpage (form at bottom of page) if you have information to change or delete items in the tables, or if you have new information to add. These amendments will then be added to the tables on the webpage.

Green Belt

Notes / comments
Aykley Heads, Sidegate, Franklands Lane
Maiden Castle
Land south of the A177
Land west of the A167

Common Land

Notes / comments
The Sands
Aykley Heads (part)Replacement land for loss of part of the Sands Common land
Flass Vale (part) (Local Green Space
Gilesgate Green (land surrounding the public well of St Giles)To check precise location (OS E 428600, W 542600)

Local Green Space (LGS)

Notes / comments
The River Wear corridor in the areas of the Peninsular Woodlands, the Racecourse and the Sands
Observatory Hill (including 2 fields on the other side of Potters Bank)
Bow Cemetery
Clay Lane
Flass Vale and North End allotments
St Margaret’s Cemetery and allotments
Durham Light Infantry (DLI) grounds
Maiden Castle Wood, Great High Wood, Hollinside Wood, and Blaid’s Wood
Neville’s Cross Battlefield

Agricultural Land

Notes / comments
Arbour House Farm
Baxter Wood Farm
Elvet Moor Farm
Farewellhall Farms
Frankland Farm (part in Our Neighbourhood)
Houghall Farm at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus
Fields: Merryoaks, Mountjoy, Potters Bank, Whinney Hill
Observatory Hill (part of the Local Green Space)Ploughed and sown with wild flower seeds Spring 2022

Allotments and Community Gardens

Notes / comments
Crossgate Community Garden, Laburnum Avenue
Green Lane allotments
May Street allotmentsTo check
North End allotments
St Margaret’s allotments, Margery Lane (part of Local Green Space)
Wharton Park Community Garden

Parks, Gardens and Woods

Notes / comments
Botanic Gardens, Durham University, South Road
The Houghall Arboretum and Pinetum, East Durham College, Houghall CampusNo longer supported, no public access
Crook Hall GardensNow National Trust
Linear Park, Mount Oswald
Low Burnhall, Woodland Trust wood
Peninsular Woodlands
Riverbanks Gardens
Heritage Walks in the peninsular area: Castle walks (Motte and moat walk, North Terrace walk, Bishops walk), Prebends Walk, Hatfield Walk, Principals Walk, The 18thC landscaping of the Prebends Bridge approaches and quarry walks on the outer banksSubmitted to DCC’s Heritage Assets Listing project
Wharton Park

Open Green Spaces

Notes / comments
Aykley Heads
Bowling Green (now unused), Elvet Waterside
Gilesgate Green (part is Common Land)
Hollow Drift (field adjacent to Durham City Rugby Club ground)
Observatory Hill (part of Local Green Space)
Peskies ParkImprovement plans
Banks Playing Field, Sheraton ParkImprovement plans
Ustinov College, Sheraton Park
The College
The riverbanks (the parts of the riverbanks that are not just pavements)
Roundabouts, e.g. Gilesgate Roundabout
The Sands

Urban Open Spaces

Notes / comments
Fowler’s Yard
High Street
Market Place
Millennium Place
Palace Green (with some characteristics of an open green space)Submitted to DCC’s Heritage Asset Listing Project
The riverbanks in the City centre (the parts of the riverbanks that are just pavements)


Notes / comments
Bow Cemetery, Potters Bank (Local Green Space)
Durham Cemetery and Crematorium, South Road
Quaker Burial Ground, Bellevue Court, Claypath (disused)
Redhills Roman Catholic Cemetery, Redhills Lane
St Cuthbert’s Anglican Church Cemetery, Framwellgate Peth
St Giles Cemetery, Gilesgate
St Margaret’s Cemetery, Margery Lane
St Nicholas’ Cemetery, Providence Row
St Oswald’s Cemetery, Church Street
Stockton Road Cemetery

Green Corridors

Notes / comments
Railway line
River Wear
Dryburn Road
Dryburn Hill
Southfield Way
Framwellgate Peth (from County Hall roundabout to Sidegate)
Frankland Lane
North Road
Station Approach
A167 (Sniperley Roundabout; Club Lane to Durham Johnson School; Enterprise Care Hile to Clay Lane; Potters Bank traffic lights to River Browney)
Footpath from St Johns Church to Clay Lane (PROW FP11)
Clay Lane (PROW FP15)
Margery Lane
Blind Lane, from Margery Lane to Crossgate Peth (PROW FP16)
Grove Street
South Street (except for the bottom section connecting to Crossgate)
Mill Hill Lane and Footpath (PROW FP17) (from Elvet Hill Road to A167)
Footpath A167 to South Road (A177+ (PROW FP18)
Potters Bank
Durham University Superhighway (section from Physics Department to Botanic Gardens)Created 2020/21
Elvet Hill Road
Quarry Heads Lane
A177 (Cock of the North Roundabout, South Road, Stockton Road to Shincliffe Bridge) Footpath (PROW FP51) from Stockton Road cemetery to the playground next to St Oswald’s Institute, Church Street
Leazes Road (A690)

Note1: Footpaths and roads that pass through larger areas of green spaces are not included
Note2: Housing developments and the grounds of large organisations can have green areas that can function as green corridors, e.g. University Hospital of North Durham, Land Registry, The Downs, schools, University colleges, University Mountjoy site, churches and cemeteries

Dark Corridors

Notes / comments
Franklands Lane and PROW FP118
Footpath around the racecourse playing fields
Part of PROW FP78 running along river banks in Pelaw Woods area
End of Green Lane running along Hollow Drift
Footpaths along the S / SW bank of the River Wear from Baths Bridge around Maiden Castle Wood to the entrance to Houghall Wood (incl PROW FP48, FP41) and around the Graham Sports Centre to Shincliffe Bridge (PROW FP54)
Part of Houghall Lane near Houghall Equine Centre
Railway embankments
Clay Lane Local Green Space (PROW FP15)
Blind Lane, from Margery Lane to Crossgate Peth (PROW FP16)
Footpath from A167 to South Road (PROW FP18)
Unlit large green open spaces:
Hoppers Wood
Aykley Heads (incl the Durham Light Infantry grounds Local Green space)
Wharton Park
Frankland Lane area (incl tracks and footpaths)
The Sands (part of the River Wear corridor Local Green Space)
Pelaw Wood
Racecourse (part of the River Wear corridor Local Green Space)
Whinney Hill
Mount Joy
Houghall Equine Centre and Farm
Maiden Castle Wood, Great High Wood, Hollinside Wood, and Blaid’s Wood
Little High Wood
Botanical Gardens
South Road Cemetery
Burnhall Wood
Woods and fields to West of A167 (incl PROW FP19, tracks around Morehouse Wood, tracks behind Merryoaks estate, Quarry House Lane and PROW FP9, PROW FP10, and track, Club Lane and PROW FP11)
Neville Cross Battlefield Local Green Space
Choristers School sports fields
Observatory Hill Local Green Space
Durham School sports fields
Bow Cemetery Local Green Space
St Margaret’s Cemetery and allotments Local Green Space
Peninsular Riverbanks (unlit except for a short strip of lighting either end of Prebends Bridge and stretching along bank to Fulling Mill (PROW FP61) and from Windy Gap to Framwellgate Bridge (PROW FP62)) (part of the River Wear corridor Local Green Space) Flass Vale and North End allotments Local Green Space

European protected sites (Habitats Regulations)


Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)


Local Nature Reserves (LNR)

Notes / comments
Aykley Wood
Flass ValePart of Vale

Local Wildlife Sites (LWS)

Notes / comments
Baxter Wood
Blaid’s Wood
Flass Vale
Hopper’s Wood
Houghall, Maiden Castle and Little High Woods
Moorhouse Wood
North Wood
Pelaw Wood
Saltwell Gill Wood

Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW)

Notes / comments
Blaid’s Wood
Borehole Wood
Farewell Hall Wood
Great High Wood
Hollinside Wood
Hoppers Wood
Maiden Castle Wood
Moorhouse Wood
North Wood
Pelaw Wood
Saltwell Gill Wood


Notes / comments
Trees with preservation orders

Protected habitats

Notes / comments
Ancient and/or species-rich hedgerows
Ancient semi-natural woodland
Veteran trees
Rivers and streams
Road verges of conservation importance

Protected species

Notes / comments
Amphibians (frogs, toads and newts), particularly the Great crested newt
Barn owls
Bats (all species)
House sparrows
OttersSited in the River Wear in the City centre
Sea trout
Wild birds, their nests and eggs

County Geological Site

Notes / comments
River Wear Gorge at Durham City


Notes / comments
Public Rights of Way (PROW)
Other footpaths

One response to “Green and open assets”

  1. Lucy Szablewska says:

    I have just come across this very useful list but am a bit surprised to see this comment re Observatory Hill – Ploughed and sown with wild flower seeds Spring 2022.
    That is not very accurate. It should say ‘and sown with a wild bird seed mix – brassicas, linseed and quinoa.’
    Here is the full picture, In 2022 one of the 4 fields on Observatory Hill was ploughed, harrowed and sown with a wild bird seed mix called AB9 Winter Bird Food as part of the farmer’s Countryside Stewardship Agreement with Natural England. Patches of brassicas, linseed and quinoa emerged. Also a very thin scattering of red poppies, blue cornflowers, purple fiddleneck, pink fumitory and yellow shepherd’s purse. Also, extensive patches of thistles and pink rosebay willowherb.
    The aim was to grow plants which birds feed on over the winter.
    If you look at this DCC link here you will see what proper wildflower planting looks like and that it has very different aims. As DCC states on this link: Not only are the wild flowers eye-catching, they provide a beautiful splash of colour and are a haven for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

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