Chesterfields Garden on Chester Street East


A friend of mine discovered this lovely community park last week and mentioned I may like to check it out for the blog. The park is located on Chester Street East in the city (not far from Barbadoes Street). It’s a lovely spot and I can see it’s a much loved and cared-for reserve.



I did a quick internet search and discovered the park is owned by the Christchurch City Council and was redeveloped in consultation with the local community.

I am really impressed with the the mix of attractions and resources they have here – from fresh vegetables, strawberry plants, lots of bench seating, a swing, a tiny child-sized bench seat and lots more (including at the time of writing various Christmas decorations).





I really like the basket planters and I may have to borrow this idea for my own garden! The vegetables all look like they are well cared for (a hose in evidence attests to that) and they are ready to eat (so are the strawberries).


And lastly, a garden wouldn’t be complete without some pretty flowers.


I have since learnt the following information about the park from one of the organisers.

The land was purchased by CCC pre- earthquake (2010) to provide more greenspace in a part of central city that is lacking. The park is 30 m x 50 m and made up of three adjoining properties that were purchased overtime by a chap called Neil who lived there with Daphne surrounded by the grass fields and trees for 40 years before selling to a private developer who was going to build a big townhouse with underground car parking. Then came the GFC and the CCC bought it and it became a reserve.

The park is located in central city Christchurch in leafy Chester St East in the mid-block between Barbadoes and Fitzgerald. It is named after the dog that lived on the property with Neil and Daphne, a German Alsatian with three legs (due to cancer) as it was indeed, “Chester’s fields”. Chester is buried under the Kowhai tree at the back of Chesterfields. The sign at the front of park is the sign that was on the property when Neil, Daphne and Chester lived there.

After the land was purchased and grassed over, local residents worked closely with the CCC on-and-off over a period of three years to plan the space in a way that reflected the needs of the community until funding was found from the urban renewal fund. In July 2014 we had a community planting day and over twenty members of the community mucked in to plant the shrubs, flowers and fruit trees.

The park is a much loved community space and is cared for by the community and the Council. The council mow the lawns and we have community working bees followed by bbqs to relax and enjoy our neighbours company. Children’s birthday parties, soccer, Frisbee, badminton, relaxing, doggie walks, reading, neighbours chatting, growing and tending to the vegetable garden, watering are some of the things that go on here.

I personally love this space and it makes a huge difference to our family’s quality of life – thank you to Christchurch City Council for having the insight and providing the resources to purchase the land and working with us on an on-going basis to develop and care for the space and thank you to the wonderful members of our wee community that help care for it on a day-to-day basis”. Simone Pearson, a local resident

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