Kelsey Gardens is an area of disused gravel pits. In the 1850s work started on the Hull to Withernsea railway line at the south end of the site and the gravel was extracted to supply ballast for the line. The work proceeded eastward to Withernsea and westward to Hull. When the line was open steam engines stopped at this point to take on water.
In 1962 the line was closed and is now used as a footpath.
The southern lake was used for several years in the 60s and 70s for water skiing and is still know by locals as the "Ski Pond."
The ponds have been taken over in recent years and are being converted into a leisure area under the management of Ian and his wife, Chris.
Canoes are available for hire at weekends. Tuition is available and life jackets are supplied.
Canoe clubs are welcome by prior arrangement.
Alongside the canoeing the Kelsey Paddlers are now holding open swimming sessions on a Sunday morning and on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6pm to 7.30pm. A safety boat is always in attendance.
Kelsey Gardens is also an ideal spot for bird watching with a variety of habitats on the site. There have been over 100 species recorded on the site including Osprey and more recently Bittern. Kingfishers and Great Crested Grebes nest on the site and Barn Owls can be seen daily. In 2012 a pair of Herons nested for the first time and have now created a heronry which in 2020 had five active nests.
Occasional bird watching taster courses are held here led by local expert Michael Flowers.