Allestree Park: Public course fights rewilding


Campaigners for an historic public golf course are fighting plans to turn a 320-acre park into the UK’s largest urban rewilding project. 

Allestree Park Golf Course, a Harry Colt designed course in Derby, closed in December 2020.

The land, which is owned by Derby City Council, has been earmarked for an ambitious rewilding project, which aims to restore ecosystems and reintroduce species.

According to reports on the BBC News website, the majority of respondents to a public consultation said they were in favor of the rewilding project.

But the Save Allestree Park Golf Course group have written an impassioned open letter countering the proposals and arguing that the golf course can benefit both people and nature – and that local people were not given the option to register an interest in golf continuing on the site.

In its statement, the group said: “The second public consultation specifically excluded any ability to register an interest in saving the golf course as it did not fit the political agenda being pushed.

“To say that more people voted for rewilding the area than wanted a golf course is therefore untrue.”

The group detailed how:

  • In 2020, at the height of the lockdown, a virtual petition was organised to try to save the golf course. Over 27,272 people signed in support from around the world
  • 11,762 were from the UK
  • 4,018 declared a Derbyshire postcode
  • 2,596 lived in the Derby City catchment area
  • The first public consultation attracted 806 responses with 96 supporting rewilding. Over 75% were in support of the golf course being retained

“We have applied for data on the second consultation to be provided to us by the council by way for Freedom of Information Act provisions,” the statement continued.

“They have refused access to that material on the grounds that it was being worked upon. After appeal we expect a full disclosure of that data by 9th August 2022.”

You can view the full open letter here.

Read more on the threat to golf courses here: