Portswood Rec is a 1.9 hectare, multiple-use park accessed via Upper Grosvenor Road, Brickfield Road or Kitchener Road.
- Two all-weather tennis courts
- Separate dog exercise area
- Football goal with small area of AstroTurf
- Children's play area
- Central open area for sport and events, also used by local schools for sports
- Community garden with picnic benches
- Areas managed for wildlife
‘The Rec’ was originally part of the Highfield Estate and is tucked away in a densely populated area of the city close to the University of Southampton.
In the early 1900s the site was home to the brickworks that manufactured the bricks used to build the houses that surround the park. The disused brickworks site was compulsorily purchased by the council in 1931 and under pressure from residents plans to landscape the area and create a park were drawn up in 1935.
Since 2012, the Rec has been protected in perpetuity by Fields In Trust as part of their Queen Elizabeth II programme marking the Diamond Jubilee of HM The Queen. The play area was revamped in 2015 following the Friends group’s successful grant application to Veolia Environmental Trust and the tennis courts were resurfaced in 2018 funded in part by a grant the group obtained from Southern Water.
In recent years the landscaped community garden has been reinstated and planted with native shrubs and plants to attract moths, butterflies, and bees. Two small meadow areas have been created and other wildlife features installed. An active Friends group organises regular gardening activities and occasional litter picks and events.
The Rec was awarded a Green Flag in 2021 and the Council, in conjunction with the Friends group, was awarded the DEFRA and Keep Britain Tidy Bees Needs Community Champion Award in recognition of projects to encourage bees and other insects at the park.