Cow Plantation Nature Reserve

Cow Plantation Local Nature Reserve 

Cow Plantation is an area of 19th century woodland planted on former ridge and furrow farmland. An 1897 Map noted the name of the land to be Cow Plantation, though little evidence suggests where the name came from. It is understood that sections of the plantation were used as refuse tips before World War 2.

Mature woodland, which blankets the majority of the reserve, remains the most important habitat on site – it contains a variety of trees including oak, ash, beech, elm, sycamore and birch.

The dense woodland understory is filled with thickets of black-thorn, elder, holly, hawthorn, dog rose and bramble, and is an important habitat for the huge variety of birds that inhabit the site.

Several grassland meadows intersect the woodland habitat, providing interesting stretches of grassland with prolific wildflower habitation. Various species you might come across include; betony, bird’s-foot-trefoil, common dog violet, common spotted orchid, creeping buttercup, cuckoo flower, daisy, devils-bit scabious, dog rose, greater stitchwort and honeysuckle to name a few.

Various butterfly species have also been recorded to utilise the grasslands in the spring and summer.


General Information

 Reserve Map & Access

Cow Plantation Local Nature Reserve Map

The red arrows mark the main access points. The red lines mark the main routes through the site. Please note not all of these are surfaced.


The site has both surfaced and un-surfaced footpaths and desire lines running through it. Please exercise due caution when traversing the site, and remember to wear appropriate footwear. 

Access and Parking

The main access points can be navigated to off Durham Road, Spennymoor. The reserves postcode is DL16 6RE.

Both main entrances have a disabled access kissing gate which can be operated using a RADAR key.

Public Transport

The nearest bus stop is on Durham Road, about 400m walk from the reserve.


Welcome, but on leads at all times.

 What to look out for:


Keep an eye out for house sparrow, robin, wren, blackbird, blue, great, coal and long-tailed tits, great and lesser spotted woodpecker, treecreeper, jay and nuthatch.


Peacock, meadow brown, ringlet, large and small whites, green-veined white, red admiral, comma, speckled-wood and small skipper butterflies.

Please help to protect wildlife by remembering:


  • Take your litter home
  • Don’t pick flowers or damage trees
  • No shooting
  • Keep to the paths
  • No fires
  • No Motorcycles
  • No horses
  • Clean up after your dog


Childrens Play Areas

In addition to the two adventure playgrounds at Jubilee Park there are childrens play areas located at Byers Green, Kirk Merrington, Tudhoe, Tudhoe Moor and Wood Street, Middleston Moor. All these play areas, which are owned by the Town Council, comply with current British Standards both in terms of the equipment and safety surfacing, and are regularly inspected.


Tennis Courts

Tennis courts are available to hire at Jubilee Park.

Book a Tennis Court


    Jubilee Park

    Jubilee Park, located off Carr Lane and within easy walking distance of the town centre, is an outstanding facility comprising 4.64 acres of recreation ground.

    The park facilities include;

    2 bowling greens
    bowls pavilion
    MUGA including tennis court and basketball
    all weather football pitch
    public toilets
    picnic areas
    play areas
    play equipment, including swings and roundabouts
    protected by CCTV
    flower beds
    open spaces
    sensory garden
    The Park is open to the community all year round. Please note that no dogs, except guide dogs, are allowed in Jubilee Park.

    During the summer, band concerts take place in the impressive bandstand which forms the park’s focal point.

    Sensory Garden

    The Sensory Garden was officially opened on Friday 22nd July, 2011 in Jubilee park by the Town Mayor, Councillor W.Waters.
    Designed and built by the Town Council’s workforce, the garden aims to awaken the senses and imagination with aromatic and colourful plants. Pupils from the horticulture group at the Oaks Secondary School helped the Project Manager, Michael Foxton to plant the bedding plants .
    Artwork created by Spennymoor School via a competition has been incorporated into the Gardens information sign which is also in braille.
    Councillor W.Waters, Mayor of Spennymoor, said: The Sensory Garden is not limited to children, but also provides opportunities for older people and individuals with disabilities to enjoy the therapeutic benefits that nature provides. The fact that an array of organisations and young people have come together to make this Sensory Garden happen for the people of Spennymoor is wonderful. On behalf of the town, I would like to thank everybody who has been involved for their efforts and donations ‘.

    Victoria Golf

    June 2009 saw the creation of a new 9 hole landscaped mini crazy golf course within Jubilee Park. The course is not just for relaxation; its for education as well. Each of the holes is themed with information on significant elements in the reign of Queen Victoria, whose Jubilee was celebrated in the Parks name. Planting has an exotic flavour.

    The project took top place in the 2009 Northumbria in Bloom Awards, winning the City of Sunderland Trophy for innovations in Parks and Open Spaces. The 2010 County Durham Environment Awards successfully awarded the crazy golf a ‘Commendation’ in recognition of the contribution the scheme has made to improve the quality of the Councils Environment.
    The scheme was funded by Spennymoor Town Council, CDENT and Awards for All.
    Award for Jubilee Park