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About Wodson Park

How it began

In 1982, local farmer Norman Wodson bequeathed 25 acres of land to East Herts District Council. He had always been very keen on sport and it was his wish that the land should be used for recreation for the whole community. The Lea Recreation Society, a group of volunteers, set about the task of creating a facility that would fulfil Norman’s dream.  

Negotiations began with East Herts District Council and in 1988 The Wodson Park Sports and Recreation Association was formally registered as a charity and started the enormous task of raising the money to build the sports centre. A small army of local people willingly volunteered their time and professional expertise to make the project work.  

The executive committee of the charity was formed with four members of the district council and four members of the Lea Recreation Society, many of whom are still actively involved in overseeing the management of the centre today.   

Grant applications were made to The Sports Council (now Sport England), local councils, the Foundation for Sport and the Arts (now closed) and local businesses. The committee also worked with community groups including Rotary, Round Table and Inner Wheel to raise funds. 

Norman’s widow, Zena, opened the facility on September 15th, 1989.  

Entrance to Wodson Park

How it has grown

Since 1989, development of the site has continued and the park now boasts: 

  • Two large multi-purpose sports halls 
  • An aerobics studio and fitness centre 
  • The Wadesmill Suite with four units, a dance floor and three additional areas that can be opened to make one large space 
  • A superb eight-lane athletics track 
  • Two grass football pitches 
  • Tennis and netball courts 
  • A 3G floodlit artificial turf football pitch  

The trust continues to achieve its objectives while self-funding. Funds are generated from the leisure and gym facilities, while the bar and catering facilities are provided by the wholly owned subsidiary Wadesmill Suite Limited. 

Our mission

Our mission, vision and four core values shape the culture and define the character of Wodson Park. They guide how we behave and make decisions. 

  • Service: The people who use the facilities at Wodson Park are the lifeblood of our business. We pride ourselves on going to extraordinary lengths to ensure we understand and meet our customers’ requirements. We know that by doing this we will turn customers into advocates for our centre.
  • Integrity: We treat our stakeholders with respect, fairness, honesty and integrity at all times. We are accountable for our actions and have the courage to do the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time.
  • Quality: We set high standards and are committed to continuous improvement. We actively seek feedback to help us review and improve our performance.
  • Commitment: We strive to ensure the entire estate is well managed and operates safely. We are innovative and nimble in our business activity and aim to be good stewards of the environment.

Our role in the community

Wodson Park Trust is committed to improving health and reducing inequalities across East Herts. We strive to make a significant contribution and impact positively upon the lives of residents, through involvement in sport, leisure and culture by:

  • Improving the enjoyment, health and wellbeing of local people
  • Increasing the number of people taking part in sport and physical activity
  • Contributing to tackling crime and disorder through the provision of diversionary activities
  • Raising educational standards in our schools through sports participation
  • Encouraging a lifelong learning approach through our employee development
  • Safeguarding the environment by taking energy efficiency measures to reduce carbon emissions

Wodson Park is more than a sports centre; it’s an integral part of the community infrastructure. We are one of a network of emergency reception centres across East Herts that can be called upon in the event of a crisis, such as flooding. 

Our sports halls are co-opted as the vote counting centre for national and local elections, while the car park is used to house the NHS Mobile Breast Screening Unit every two years.

The sports halls and meetings rooms are available for hire with a special discounted rate on Friday evenings to enable local community groups and charities to hold fundraising events.

The Trust is committed to advancing equality and diversity and has forged good relationships with schools, colleges and the third sector to provide opportunities for job shadowing, work placements and volunteer work.

Wodson Park is an active member of the East Herts Community Safety Partnership and provides the facilities for diversion activities for young people, particularly on Friday nights and during school holiday periods to help prevent crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour. 


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