Ipswich Borough Council (formerly the Ipswich Corporation) have managed Christchurch Park on behalf of the people of Ipswich since 1895. The first Park Attendant was Mr Damant. His wages were £1.1s.0d per week and he was given an annual budget of £500 to look after the Park. Today it costs over £200,000 each year to keep the Park looking as good as it does.
Our Park Manager, Alan Gilbert, is based in the Reg Driver Visitor Centre. He is part of the Council's Parks and Open Spaces team with responsibility to the Culture Portfolio Holder (currently Bryony Rudkin). Alan's job title is Area Supervisor, Christchurch Park & Central, and as this implies, his responsibilities go beyond just the Park although he has a dedicated team whose work is primarily here. The Council' s 2010 Vision for its Parks and Open Spaces can be viewed online here: Parks and Open Spaces Vision 2010
In recent years the Friends of Christchurch Park have played an important role in monitoring the Park's management with two members of the committee sitting on the Christchurch Park Management Board alongside Councillors, members of the management team and other stakeholders. In late 2011, as part of the policy “Taking decision making closer to the people”, the Council decided that, despite the acknowledged success of the Board, budget constraints meant that it could not be replicated in other parks in the town and thus the Christchurch Park Board would be abolished. Despite disappointment with this decision, the Friends remain an active part of the annual Council Working Group dedicated to Parks and Open Spaces and the Park Manager attends Friends of Christchurch Park committee meetings.
The Friends continue to be involved in monitoring the ten-year Management and Maintenance Plan which it helped to develop in conjunction with the Council. This very detailed template for the management of the Park can be viewed online or as a PDF here: Christchurch Park Management Plan (2MB PDF)
Park Patrol Services assist the Park Manager with tasks such as unlocking of the gates and waste management, and the Wildlife Rangers, based at the Holywells Park Stable Block, work on all aspects of wildlife management and education. the Mansion is managed separately by the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service.
Contact details for Park Manager, Alan Gilbert, are:
Direct telephone: 01473 252473
Reg Driver Visitor Centre: 01473 252435
Fax: 01473 432988
Post: Parks & Open Spaces, Gipping House, 7 Whittle Road, Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate, Ipswich, IP2 0UH
The Council's Parks and Open Spaces webpage is: