Wakefield Council welcomes heritage protections for landscape and boundary wall at Waterton Park

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wakefield Council has welcomed a decision to award Grade II listed status to the parkland and a boundary wall that enclosed the world’s first nature reserve.

Historic England has made the listings to give greater recognition and protection to the parkland at Waterton Park, near Walton in Wakefield that was created by 19th century naturalist Charles Waterton.

The three-mile wall at Waterton Park, near Walton in Wakefield, was built around the parkland to protect wildlife from predators and poachers.

Charles Waterton banned shooting and fishing in the park and created new habitats for native birds and protected wildlife.

"This recognition is hugely welcomed as it increases the protection that can be given to the landscape and Waterton’s wall around it.

"It safeguards the things that make them special, and this is likely to be of interest not only to people in the district but potentially across the country and world as well.”

Mark Lynam

Corporate Director for Regeneration, Environment and Economic Growth at Wakefield Council,

Mark Lynam

In 1821 Waterton built a high boundary wall - newly listed at Grade II - to keep out foxes and poachers. The completed stone wall was over three miles long and took five years to compete. 

Waterton banned shooting and fishing in the park, creating new habitats for native birds.

He helped wildlife by creating new habitats, planting trees and undergrowth cover, and allowing the far end of the lake to become swampy for the benefit of herons and waterfowl. 

In 1995 Waterton Park Golf Club opened with a course set around the lake within the enclosed park.

Find out more about how the local community is working to preserve a section of the boundary wall at Friends Of Waterton's Wall (friendsofwatertonswall.com)


The Missing Pieces Project 

Historic England is asking people to add their story about Waterton Park. They can do that by becoming part of the Missing Pieces Project.
It could be a new photo, memories of visiting, or something they know about the historic parkland. People can add photos, drawings, audio, film, or text.
This helps to celebrate and protect what makes this place special.

Historic England

We are Historic England the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all. Follow us on social media @HistoricEngland


The National Heritage List for England is held and managed by Historic England on behalf of the Government and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. It identifies the buildings, sites and landscapes which receive special protection, so they can be enjoyed by current and future generations. There are over 400,000 items on the List, covering England's most valued historic places.
There are three grades of listing – Grade II, Grade II*[star] and Grade I.
For further information, see What is Listing?


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