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Trees surrounding the park

Hackney Downs

Hackney Downs opened as a public park in 1884 and is one of Hackney's major green spaces. The park is in the geographical heart of the borough and has a wide range of newly refurbished facilities. The park pavilion contains two team changing rooms and a community room which are available for hire.

The park holds a Green Flag award. The awards are given to the best green spaces in the country and are awarded each year to make sure the quality of the green space remains high.


  • Children's play area
  • Dog-free area
  • Basketball courts
  • Floodlit multi use games area
  • Community room 
  • Football pitch
  • Team changing rooms
  • Tennis courts (two flood lit)
  • Athletics track (seasonal)


Booking the facilities

For more information about booking the above facilities, please call 020 8986 7955 or see our sports pitches and courts page.

To view the layout of the park download Hackney Downs site map (PDF, 515KB).


The Tree Musketeers have produced a map of trees in Hackney Downs (JPG, 1MB). Each tree is categorised, with information about species and their benefit for wildlife also provided.


Hackney Downs is licensed for plays, showing films, live music, recorded music and dance performances. Find out about holding events in parks.

Free group excercise classes

Our Parks is a brand new initiative bringing free group exercise classes, led by experienced, fully qualified and insured instructors, to Hackney parks.


Mosaic launch with Russell BrandThe Hackney Mosaic Project, a team of dedicated volunteers from the local community and from Lifeline, a charity which helps people recovering from addiction, has covered the walls of an old shelter in the children's playground with dramatic mosaics of animals and trees. The sections were gradually fixed in place this summer before being unveiled by comedian Russell Brand on Thursday, 6 November.

Various other groups, such as ESOL students and mental health groups were also involved. Many of the group also made their own artwork which was exhibited in the Hackney Downs Pavilion on the day of the unveiling.


The mosaic depicts an animal pursuit, beginning with a mouse startling an elephant which sets off a chain reaction involving lots of different creatures. The animals have their names written by them to help children recognise the animals and learn their names.

This is the third mosaic project to be funded by the Council. Previous work can be seen at Shepherdess Walk, and at the corner of Old Street and Pitfield Street - recently announced as winner of the Mosaic of the Year Award for 2014 by the British Association of Modern Mosaic.

Hackney Downs user group


If you're interested in standing or nominating someone to stand for election or would like more information, please email or phone HUG on 07973 759 424. More information on setting up a user group.

Get walking, keep walking

A pleasant walk links Hackney Downs to a number of other green spaces. The walk, which takes under an hour, goes through Shacklewell, once a small village, to the Hackney Downs and highlights how much architecture has changed in three centuries. For more information see Get Walking, Keep Walking.

WildflowersHackney Downs meadow

Hackney Downs has a number of meadow areas. The pictorial meadows which have been sown in the park will once again provide a swath of colour through the park. By mid summer the wild flowers will be in full bloom and provide a a rich habitat for insects including butterflies and bees.

The meadow also contributes to Hackney's draft biodiversity action plan, which seeks to create one hectare (10,000m2) of new meadow over the next five years - that's about the size of one and a half football pitches.


Dogs are excluded from the play area and sports facilities. Council Officers have the power to request that dogs are put on leads if they are behaving aggressively, causing damage, or if their owner does not have appropriate control over them. More information on dogs in parks

Hackney parks newsletter

If you are interested in being informed of what's happening in Hackney's parks, sign up to our monthly newsletter by emailing 

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Page updated: 10 Nov 2014 

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Contact details

Hackney Downs Park
Downs Park Road
E5 8NP
Opening Times
Mon to Fri: 9am - 5pm for enquiries. No restricted access.
Tel:020 8356 3000