The Tees Heritage Park covers the beautiful stretch of countryside along the banks of the River Tees between Stockton and Yarm. The area is served by a fantastic network of paths, including the Teesdale Way, Thornaby Trail and some great cycleways running between Preston Park, Ingleby Barwick and Thornaby. Or take to the river using the boat services operated by the Teesside Princess and Rivershack.
Not all the land in the Heritage Park is open to the public, but there are a number of nature reserves and other sites which you can explore, including:
Bassleton Wood and The Holmes: a delightful area of woodland on the edge of Thornaby, with a finger of grassland enclosed within the massive ‘horseshoe bend’ of the River Tees.
Black Bobbies’ Field: another site on the eastern bank of the river, accessed by a footpath from Thornaby Green or along the riverside from near the A66 bridge. The name dates back to a time when a local police football team played on these fields!
Bowesfield and Preston Farm: this natures reserve lies immediately adjacent to Preston Park, and includes pools, reedbeds and other wetland habitats. These attract vast numbers of ducks and wading birds including teal, curlew, gadwall, shoveler, ruff and golden plover.
Preston Park Museum and Grounds: the most well-known destination within the Heritage Park, but there are some lesser visited parts of the park that are well worth exploring, including Quarry Wood and the lovely riverside walks.
All the above four sites feature stone artworks created by artists Keith Barrett and Linda Watson, inspired by the wonderful landscapes of the Heritage Park.
The Heritage Park is best explored on foot using the Teesdale Way from Yarm, Preston Park, Bowesfield or Stockton, or by following the Thornaby Trail between the A66 and Jubilee Bridge (on Queen Elizabeth Way where it leads into Ingleby Barwick)
Tees Heritage Park