This Green Flag award winning park is Nottingham's oldest public park and the closest park to the city centre. A historic, beautifully maintained park that is home to an important collection of over 800 trees, some of which are from the original collection planted in the 19th century.
The Arboretum was opened on the 11th May 1852 by the Mayor, Mr W Felkin and the Sheriff of the Borough, Mr Ball, in front of 30,000 people, the Arboretum continues to attract a year round audience. Easily accessible from the city centre and the wider community via the tram network that runs alongside, this park plays a vital role for the local community and is the site for many organised events.
- Park Opening Times
- Site Facilities
- Park History
- Green Flag
- Friends of The Arboretum
- Education and Activities
- Site Management
- Downloadable Map
Weekdays - 8.00 am
Weekends and Bank Holidays - 9.00 am
- Disability Access
- Dogs Welcome (On Leads)
- Events Programme
- Light Refreshments
- Disabled on Site Parking (available by prior arrangement)
- On Street Parking
- Accessible by public transport
- Toilets (Event Days Only)
- Tree Trail
- Heritage Trail
- Health Walks
- Ice Cream Concession
- Wildlife Areas
Following the Nottingham Inclosure Act of 1845 - a visionary project to create a green network around the growing city, to provide green spaces for relaxation, contemplation, learning, exercise and clean air - the Arboretum was the first public park opened in Nottingham.
The layout and design was carried out under the supervision of Samuel Curtis, a botanist and horticultural publicist in 1850 who had previously been involved with the layout of Victoria Park in the East End of London in 1842.
The main aim of the design for Arboretum Park was to take advantage of the landscape setting whilst providing an interlinking network of walkways and socialising areas. As a result over 1010 specimen trees and shrubs were planted along with winding paths and sweeping lawns. The plantings were laid out in what is known as 'The Natural Order' to provide an educational link to nature through botanical interpretation. Today, some of the mature trees and shrubs growing here are living relics of the original collection such as the Lime Trees which were planted as nursery trees. There are currently over 800 trees of 65 species.
The layout of the park is relatively unchanged and as a result the Arboretum is Grade II listed on the Register of Historic Parks & Gardens maintained by English Heritage and contains 9 Grade II Listed structures within its layout, providing a key asset to Nottingham's Victorian Heritage.
Key features within the park include the Waverly Street Lodge and entrance, the lake, the Chinese Bell Tower, the Victorian Circular Aviary, the newly renovated Victorian Flower Garden, Dahlia & Formal garden, the North Sherwood Street entrance, the statue of Feargus O'Connor, the bust of Samuel Morley and the Bandstand, an important local feature, which was moved from the castle site in 1881.
The Arboretum continues to boast one of the premier tree collections within the County and is one of the few large green spaces within the city centre. There has been over £1 million investment since 2002, following a successful Heritage lottery bid. .
The Arboretum has successfully been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award in 2011/12 for the sixth consecutive year.
The arboretum hosts a busy and varied programme of entertainment throughout the year including the Green Festival and a summer season of Brass Band concerts. For more detailed information about events, please click here to visit our What's On in Nottingham Guide.
The Park Ranger team also organise events and activities throughout the year. They are also available to lead education sessions at the Arboretum. Click here to visit our Events in Parks and Open Spaces for more information.
The Arboretum space is supported by an active friends group who are involved in various activities on the park including bulb planting, fundraising events and heritage / tree walks. For more information contact Parks and Open Spaces on 0115 915 2733.
With its great historical significance, the Arboretum is of great interest to historians.
The most significant feature is the tree collection which has had a number of recent additions and is fascinating to old and young alike. Download the Arboretum Tree Trail by clicking here [1Mb]
A Walk in the Park leaflet has been designed to offer you the opportunity to improve both physical and mental wellbeing in a safe and relaxed atmosphere. The walks also enable people to discover more about Nottingham's parks, local history and wildlife. Arboretum - Walk in the Park leaflet [2Mb]
A new Orienteering course has also recently been established for the Arboretum which can be downloaded by clicking here.
A Heritage Trail leaflet has been produced to enable Arboretum visitors to learn more about the heritage aspects of the site. Heritage Trail Leaflet [7Mb]
The Arboretum has a detailed Management Plan that is implemented by the Parks and Open Spaces Service and Maintenance Team. Future plans include restoration works to the remaining structures along with the continued restoration of horticultural features and increased community involvement in the Arboretum.
If you would like to comment on how well you feel your park or open space is being managed and maintained then please click here to visit the GreenSTAT website and record your opinion.
Click here to download a map of the Arboretum [2Mb]
Public access to the Arboretum is via a network of pedestrian walkways. The park has four entrance points (Waverley Road, Arboretum Street, North Sherwood Street and Addison Street.) Vehicle access for maintenance vehicles is from the Arboretum Street and Waverley entrances.
All the entrances are gated when the park is closed from dusk to dawn. Parking is available along Arboretum Street for one hour but vehicular access for cars and motorcycles is not permitted within the park. Parking can be arranged for disabled drivers by arrangement with the Parks and Open Spaces service on 0115 915 2733.