Friends of Locke Park (FOLP) consists of volunteers interested in the heritage of Locke Park and in improving the Park and its facilities for everyone.

Members of the Friends group get involved with fund raising, organising activities in Locke Park, and undertaking voluntary work here.

Our events have included a Classic Car event, Summer Gala and activities for the community at Christmas and Easter. There’s more information on our events page as we start up again after the pandemic. One change is that Yorkshire Thoroughbred Car Club have taken up the responsibility for their Classic Car event and for the Summer Gala.

The Friends in normal times meet in the evening from 6pm at the Locke Park Café. If you are interested please join us. At the moment we are trying to meet each month on the second Tuesday.

Volunteering in the Locke Park gardens is taking place now winter is over(?), on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Want to join in, have a word when we are there.

Friends of Locke Park was formed as a community association in 2002. We have worked since then to improve Locke Park, registering as a charity in 2016. Bids for funds have been made; experts have given their advice and drawn up ambitious plans; everyone has been asked for their views; some bids have been successful and, with money from gifts, donations and fund raising activities, improvements have been brought about …

What has FoLP done for Locke Park?

Play Area in Locke Park
With grants from WREN and National Lottery, children are able to have fun at Locke Park’s £250,000 railway themed play area, opened by FoLP in 2008.

“The play area for kids is great and the café is a fantastic bonus as you can sit and chill on the benches whilst the kids play.” Comment on TripAdvisor.

Opening of Tower, last open in 1980s
Funds raised by FoLP with development money from Barnsley council, enabled FoLP to open Locke Park Tower in 2013, following repairs to make it safe.

FoLP have opened Locke Park Tower to visit on the first Sunday afternoon of each month from October 2013.

Locke Park parkrun and junior parkrun
Money raised by FOLP helped set up the weekly parkrun for adults in 2011. It has attracted a great number of participants both existing runners and those wanting to run for the first time.

Supported by Public Health, FoLP helped set up the junior parkrun in 2014. It has been a very popular Sunday activity since then.

We asked lots of people what they wanted and a multi-use games area and play and fitness equipment for older children and young people came top of the list.

These are now being well used in Locke Park. The former was funded from section 106 money and the latter from ward alliance funding.

Mayor enjoying opening the games area in 2017

Our volunteers are active three days a week in the park, gardening and cleaning and tidying.

They have created wildflower areas as well as planting daffodils, bluebells and other bulbs.

We raised money for cleaning the statue of Joseph Locke in 2018 …

... and in 2019 brought the Lions back to the park.

We now need further help and funding for:
# more seating and picnic benches;
# more planting
# tidying and sprucing up parts of the park
# further restoration of the Tower, bandstand and other heritage features
# other things for people to do and enjoy.
Please get in touch if you can help.

Further plans
Although FOLP has been opening Locke Park Tower to the public each month, we are continuing to raise funds to carry out the full restoration of the Tower together with improvements to the park for future generations to experience and to enjoy.

Friends of Locke Park worked with Barnsley Council Parks Team on a bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for improvements to Locke Park. This was intended to be the first part of a longer term plan to preserve Locke Park’s heritage, improve its environment and facilities, and make it an even better place to visit. However the bid was not successful. But onwards and upwards!

If you would like to join Friends of Locke Park email us at or talk to volunteers in the park.

In 2019 we put together an overview of Locke Park. This has been updated in 2020. Follow the link to read the leaflet produced.
2020 Locke Park overview leaflet