Current Projects
What we are working
on at the moment

WWe love the park, and we are dedicated to nurturing it so it remains the special place that it was intended by Winifred Jacob Smith MBE. We are all volunteers and it is a pleasure to work hard together for the benefit of such an important community gem.

Part of this work includes delivering ongoing maintenance work in partnership with Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) and long-term and one-off projects, which support the park’s wildlife, whilst enhancing everyone’s enjoyment of a magical, ancient green space.

Donate to help fund our work…

As a Friends Group, we are incredibly lucky to be supported by a very proactive HBC Countryside Ranger. However, due to the current financial climate leading to park and recreation budget cuts across local councils - sourcing grants and appealing to people like you for kind donations are often our only hope to raise the money we need to deliver projects like the ones described in this section. As a constituted community group, we also incur a number of annual running costs for example: covering public liability insurance for organising volunteer events, and website hosting and general administration fees. If you would like to make a donation then you can do so at the bottom of this page. Thank you so much.

Volunteer and make a difference…

Giving your time to volunteer with us, no matter how much or how often you can spare it, is very precious and really does make a huge difference to the park. To enquire about our volunteer opportunities, please get in touch here. Look forward to hearing from you.

JSP strapline only text

In October this year following a successful public consultation, the largest natural pond in the park which has been unable to provide a home for freshwater species due to our four-legged friends swimming in it, was fenced off and a field gate added. This was achieved using funds kindly donated by Knaresborough Lions Centennial Community Fund, and Harrogate Borough Council Commuted Sums.

The fenced off pond in Jacob Smith Park now has the potential to be a perfect habitat to support a variety of UK freshwater species which are in dramatic decline (, and by doing so the Knaresborough community will be contributing to conserving British ecological heritage, whilst providing educational opportunities for all ages in the future, particularly children and young people.

A leading North Yorkshire Ecologist, Martin Hammond, has carried out a baseline survey of the pond with recommendations which will help to ensure the pond thrives. This includes the removal of silt build up before spring 2018, and management of silt in future years. The silt is to be removed and disposed of appropriately. The Friends of Jacob Smith Park are currently exploring a number of avenues to secure help from companies who will donate the time of a member of staff and a mechanical digger – or provide funding assistance.

Stage Two

Once the biodiversity of the pond begins to build (and the wider park wildlife does as a result) we aim to action funding for Stage Two of the project within the next 18 months or so. The aim is to create a small pond dipping platform and provide pond dipping equipment and downloadable resources to run educational sessions.

The dipping platform will provide a ‘safe’ area for local children and young people to stand on and take samples from the pond (under the appropriate supervision) and explore them, so they can learn about wildlife habitats (as part of science investigations) in ‘a hands-on’ way.

frog in pond

Community Pond Working Parties

We would be so grateful for volunteer help to give the pond and its wildlife the best chances to flourish. We are dedicated to letting nature take its course, but there will be some jobs that we need to take on to give nature a helping hand – such as tackling the non-native invasive species, Himalayan Balsam, around the pond. Please look out for all volunteer appeal notices and if you require further information, please give Jo a shout here. Thank you!

Staying in touch

The Friends of Jacob Smith Park are committed to consulting with members of the public about their park. This means bringing them the latest news on all park enhancement projects like the pond. News will be posted here on the website and through social media, the park noticeboard and email group (please contact us if you would like to join the confidential email list), and local media where possible. We also have three public meetings a year and everyone is welcome to attend these and share their views and ideas.

Please read our Polite Pond Notice.

 sunset water



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Donate to The Friends of JSP

Any donation, large or small, will be put to good use to help keeping our beautiful park an amazing place for all.


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