The Stray

Harrogate, England
Harrogate, England

Contributed by Project for Public Spaces

Green belt curving around the town center, with over 200 acres of lawns used either for sports, picnics, special events or relaxation.

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Why It Works

Few cities have succeeded so well in incorporating a linear green space into the center of their city in such a way that the space becomes a focus and highlight in itself - as well as knitting together the fabric of the city around it. In Harrogate, England this green space with flower gardens is the centerpiece of the city. This space provides a positive image and identity to the city through its landscaping; it's physically and visually accessible from the areas around it, and is used for a variety of activities.

History & Background

These 200 acres became town property when the ancient Forest of Knaresborough closed in 1770. After 1778, the Stray was dedicated to people in the local area - including free access to Harrogate's mineral springs (it is an historic spa town). An Act of Parliament in 1893 guards the Stray from any encroachment, and a local group called the Stray Defence Association keeps watch over the parkland.

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