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Upton Country Park has grown!

Updated 16th April 2015

IT’S OFFICIAL - the extension to Upton Country Park is now open

The Mayor of Poole, Councillor Peter Adams, cut the ribbon to officially open the new parkland on Saturday, 14th March.

Although it is now open for you to enjoy there are still a few areas of work to be undertaken:

Car Park

On 19th December 2014 we applied to Purbeck District Council for planning permission to build a new 24 space car park opposite Pony Drive. Details can be viewed at the Dorset For You website: Planning Application 6/2014/0700.

Our Planning Application was approved and work started with the clearance of some trees at the site; due to their close proximity to the pylons & electricity power lines SSE undertook this work for us. There are also cables belonging to Virgin Media and Vodafone located in the pavement which needed to be lowered in order for us to be able to create the entrance.

The 24-space car park (with height restrictor) offers access to the new areas of the Country Park from Poole Road, opposite Pony Drive.


Display structures are installed across the park together with finger posts helping users navigate their way around the country park.

Dog Training area

We have created a dog training area which provides a fenced off space for anyone who wants to train dogs and give them extra exercise without worrying they will run off and get lost.

Wildflower Meadow

A large area of land has been sown with a wildflower mix to provide a beautiful and colourful view as well as to improve the area for wildlife such as bees, butterflies and other insects. The wildflower meadow at Upton Country Park will include Ox Eye Daisy and Meadow Cranesbill amongst other flowers and grasses.

Project Background


Poole is growing and has to accommodate 10,000 new homes by 2026; about 3,000 of these have already been built. As part of the planning process it was identified that mitigation would need to be provided to ensure the new homes don’t have an adverse impact on existing internationally important sites, i.e. the heathlands. The most significant project identified was for a major new recreational space or SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace) that fulfils certain semi-natural criteria in order to successfully draw new residents and existing recreational use away from, for instance, Upton Heath, thereby avoiding additional impact.

A  SANG is required to mitigate the impact of developments of over 50 dwellings, and must meet a range of standards and features (such as car parking and signed access points) as agreed by Natural England.

An additional 11 hectares (25 acres) of new grassland, woodland and water meadow has been created at Upton Country Park, ideal for wildlife, dog walkers and park visitors alike. The expansion comes from the conversion of farmland at Upton Park Farm (next to Upton Country Park).

The main purpose of the new SANG is to provide public open space for walking, and particularly for dog walkers to be able to let dogs off leads as an alternative to using Upton Heath SSSI and other important protected heathland sites where increased use can have an impact on the fragile local habitat and species that live there.

New benches make the most of the views

Picnic tables sited close to the stream

One of two new bridges

Stepping stones across the stream

New footpaths