A summer of imagination

Explore five of your favourite Nottingham parks this summer and find magical story dens full of books, crafts, trails and more.

In partnership with the good folks at The Nottingham Building Society, Nottingham City Libraries and Parks staff along with local artists and performers will be running a packed programme of storytelling, nature, music and movement sessions too…
all for FREE!

Collect 5 stamps on your StoryParks passport card by attending 5 of the sessions with the Libraries, Rangers, Artists or Instructors and you can claim a FREE book from any one of the following 5 City Libraries!

Nottingham Central Library
Basford Library
Hyson Green Library
Sherwood Library
Wollaton Library

Where are our StoryParks?

There are five StoryParks across the City, so you’re bound to find one near you. With a special sculpture at each one, why not see whether you can visit them all?

Forest
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Forest Recreation Ground

While Goosey’s away, our giant hedgehog can play! Seek him out in the Community Garden.

Gregory Blvd, Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, NG7 6LB

Get Directions

Highfields

Highfields Park

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea… In a beautiful pea-green boat… which you’ll find behind the boatshed on our beautiful Highfields Lake

University Blvd, Nottingham NG7 2RD

Get Directions

Vernon Park

Take a seat on our larger-than-life story chair, inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, then dig into a good book!

Vernon Rd, Nottingham NG6 0AF

Get Directions

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Wolloton

Wollaton Hall & Deer Park

Join a wise, old owl for a story or two… roosting under the trees near the Playground.

Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2AE

Get Directions

Group-34

Woodthorpe Grange Park

Stacks and stacks of brilliant books… it’s what StoryParks is all about! Find them in the Park’s Green Theatre.

Woodthorpe Dr, Woodthorpe, Nottingham NG5 4HA

Get Directions

Group-50

Read the incredible story of Sammy Fox!

Sammy_Fox

The Tales of Sammy Fox

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Sammy Fox always did the right thing.

Sammy Fox was a Victorian Grocer who lived in Nottingham. His shop was always busy because Sammy was a Quaker and this meant he could be trusted and his prices would be fair.

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Sammy loved books and even sold them in his shop, but many grown ups in those days couldn’t read or write.

So in 1798, aged just 17 years, Sammy helped Mr William Singleton set up the first ever School for Adults.

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When there was a problem Sammy helped.

During the famine in the 1840’s people were starving, so Sammy bought huge quantities of American maize flour and sold it from his shop for less than he’d paid for it. This ensured that even the poorest people in Nottingham could afford to eat.

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Sammy treated everybody equally.

The queues for the maize flour were very long and one day a rich lady pushed to the front, because she thought she was more important than everyone else, but Sammy told her…

“Thee get back and take thy place at the end, else thou wilt get no flour.”

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If someone was having bad luck, Sammy helped.

When a market trader’s barrow collapsed in front of Sammy’s shop, and everything fell out into the mud, Sammy went outside and bought all the ruined produce from him so he would still earn his money.

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Where there was a problem, Sammy found a solution.

In 1832, a disease called ‘Cholera’ infected over 800 people in the city, over 300 died and there wasn’t enough room to bury everyone.

The situation was desperate, so Sammy donated land so that a new cemetery could be built.

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Some people in the city were living in appalling conditions. So in 1849, Sammy set up the Nottingham Building Society to help people buy better places to live.

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The Nottingham School for the Blind was cramped and overcrowded, so Sammy bought them some land so that they could build a bigger and better school.

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In 1868 Sammy died, at the age of 86. Huge crowds of people went to his funeral, and the local newspapers said that, “no man was better known in Nottingham” or “more generally respected” and that he had left an, “impression on many hearts.”

Sammy Fox always did the right thing.

With thanks to Nottingham Local Studies Library

Write your own story!

Now you know a bit more about Sammy Fox and how he helped people in Nottingham, why not have a go at telling your own tale?

Thanks to our partners at The Nottingham Building Society, have a go at writing your own short story about Sammy Fox and be in with a chance of winning a prize…

Your tale can be as wacky, funny, dramatic or moving as you like – let your imagination run free! There’s also a fantastic, foxy illustration to download and colour in too.

What's happening this week?

Take part in a programme of FREE sessions led by Nottingham Libraries and Parks staff, local artists and performers, and volunteers from The Nottingham Building Society.

The sessions in each of the five weeks will have a different theme: mini-beasts, dinosaurs, Alice in Wonderland, wild animals and The Gruffalo.

Check out the timetable below and use the filters to explore the different types of sessions happening in your favourite StoryParks. Keep checking back, as we’ll be adding more sessions over the coming weeks… right up until the end of August!

Don’t forget: you can drop by the story dens at any time during the parks’ opening hours to access self-led activities!

When? What? Where?
Mon 26 Aug 10:30 - 12:30 Art Session with Sarah Manton Forest Recreation Ground
Mon 26 Aug 13:30 - 15:30 Art Session with Sarah Manton Woodthorpe Grange Park
Mon 26 Aug 11:00 - 13:00 Storytelling with Nicky Rafferty Vernon Park
Mon 26 Aug 11:00 - 12:00 Park Ranger Session Wollaton Hall & Deer Park
Mon 26 Aug 14:00 - 15:00 Kids' Yoga with Louise Chambers Highfields Park
Tue 27 Aug 10:30 - 11:00 Tots Time Vernon Park
Tue 27 Aug 10:30 - 12:30 Art Session with Sarah Manton Highfields Park
Tue 27 Aug 11:00 - 12:30 Libraries Outside Vernon Park
Tue 27 Aug 11:00 - 12:00 Drumming Session with Beatfeet Wollaton Hall & Deer Park
Tue 27 Aug 13:00 - 14:00 Robin Hood - special appearance! Wollaton Hall & Deer Park
Tue 27 Aug 11:00 - 13:00 Storytelling with Nicky Rafferty Woodthorpe Grange Park
Tue 27 Aug 14:00 - 15:00 Park Ranger Session Vernon Park
Tue 27 Aug 14:00 - 15:00 Kids' Yoga with Louise Chambers Forest Recreation Ground
Wed 28 Aug 11:00 - 12:00 Kids' Yoga with Louise Chambers Vernon Park
Wed 28 Aug 11:00 - 12:00 Park Ranger Session Forest Recreation Ground
Wed 28 Aug 11:00 - 13:00 Storytelling with Nicky Rafferty Wollaton Hall & Deer Park
Wed 28 Aug 11:00 - 13:00 Libraries Outside Highfields Park
Wed 28 Aug 14:00 - 15:00 Park Ranger Session Wollaton Hall & Deer Park
Wed 28 Aug 11:00 - 13:00 Mask Making with Stephen Jon Woodthorpe Grange Park
Thu 29 Aug 11:00 - 13:00 Storytelling with Nicky Rafferty Forest Recreation Ground
Thu 29 Aug 11:00 - 12:00 Park Ranger Session Highfields Park
Thu 29 Aug 10:30 - 12:30 Bulwell Toy Library Session Vernon Park
Thu 29 Aug 11:00 - 13:00 Libraries Outside Wollaton Hall & Deer Park
Thu 29 Aug 14:00 - 15:00 Kids' Yoga with Louise Chambers Woodthorpe Grange Park
Fri 30 Aug 11:00 - 13:00 Storytelling with Nicky Rafferty Highfields Park
Fri 30 Aug 10:00 - 12:00 Libraries Outside Forest Recreation Ground
Fri 30 Aug 10:30 - 12:30 Bulwell Toy Library Session Vernon Park
Fri 30 Aug 11:00 - 12:00 Self-Led Park Ranger Session Wollaton Hall & Deer Park
Fri 30 Aug 12:00 - 13:00 Kids' Yoga with Louise Chambers Wollaton Hall & Deer Park
Fri 30 Aug 11:30 - 12:30 English Conversation in the Park Woodthorpe Grange Park
Fri 30 Aug 13:00 - 15:00 Libraries Outside Woodthorpe Grange Park

This Week’s Artists

Beatfeet – Drumming workshops to encourage fun and meaningful encounters within the fields of music and well-being.

Bulwell Toy Library – Passionate about play and learning in the community for 40 years!

Louise Chambers, Kids’ Yoga – When children learn yoga at a young age, the benefits ripple out into their everyday life activities.

Circus Hub – Juggling, hula-hooping and balancing from Nottingham’s experts in Circus skills!

Stephen Jon – Mask-maker and puppeteer extraordinaire – workshops for children to make their own masks and stick puppets to take home.

Jessica Kemp – Colourful, playful and theatrical textile and paper crafts! Let your imagination run free!

Sarah Manton – Creating joy from paper and textiles!  Let’s make something lovely together!

Sue Pearson – Textile artist, using fabrics, scraps, ribbons and buttons to create upcycled creatures and artworks.

Rainbow Stripes – Musical duo in Nottingham delivering delightful interactive workshops for the under 5’s!

Clare Taylor – Clare’s enthusiasm for creativity is truly infectious! What will you make today?