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Upton Country Park is growing again! (Phase 2)

14th July 2016

Upton Country Park is set to become even bigger and better as work began in the summer to add new walks, harbour views and recreation space to expand the estate.

What is happening?

In total, approx 30 hectares (75 acres) of farmland next to Upton Country Park is being converted into new public open space for everyone to enjoy. Fields to the south and south-east of the Park estate are being converted in 4 phases over the next few years. Phase 1 opened to the public in Spring 2015 [more…]

Summer 2016 - Spring 2017

Phase 2 of the expansion to Upton Country Park has been designed to improve this area for people and wildlife. Poole Harbour and the wetland of Holes Bay are internationally important sites which provide habitat and food for wading birds protected under European law. Therefore, as a local authority, Borough of Poole is legally required to plan for the protection of these areas and moving use away from the shoreline forms part of this requirement.

Sea levels are rising and therefore coast realignment has also been taken into consideration in the design of this new area, taking account of the current flood risk and future predicted risk for this area. As this area has been identified as ‘managed retreat’ there will come a time when existing footpaths are regularly submerged under the sea and therefore without these new footpaths there would be no access along the Holes Bay shoreline.

The opportunity to enjoy the beautiful tidal flats of Holes Bay will remain and the access and views of Poole’s famous waters will be accessible from the new footpaths which are located on higher ground and away from the existing tree and shrubs growth which screens off views along much of the existing footpath.

The expansion will include new views of Holes Bay, a network of paths, wildlife watching areas and a place where families can access and enjoy the water. Catering for all users new tracks will connect up with the Hole Bay cycle route providing better cycling links to Poole and Hamworthy.

Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace

Poole is growing and has to accommodate 10,000 new homes between 2006 and 2026. About 3,000 of these have already been built.

As part of the planning process it was identified that a major new Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) could be created to ensure the new homes don’t have an adverse impact on existing internationally important sites i.e. the heaths.

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

What will happen to the rest of the farm?

We are working closely with the farmer to help retain Upton Park Farm as a working farm, with the tenants living on-site. The Council has supported the farmer in looking for farming practices as an alternative to dairy farming. Some of the options include the retention of livestock and other animals.

Is the Borough of Poole going to build on the land?

No, the land is designated as natural green space.

Who will pay for the work to be done?

As it creates new open space for the whole community to enjoy, the project is entirely funded by Developer Contributions from other building projects in the area.

Who will oversee the work?

The Upton Country Park Team will oversee the project, supported by our Borough of Poole colleagues to ensure the additional open space fits seamlessly into the Park estate.

Download the 2015 Park Map (pdf, 2Mb)

2015 Map of Upton Country Park showing the new areas, access and footpaths (pdf, 2Mb)

UCP-SANG2-Landscape plan - Public Information-Final 160628 (5).pdf

‘Upton Fields’ extension plans 2016-2017 (pdf, 500kb)

Phase 1 – completed Spring 2015

Opened up an additional 12 hectares (30 acres) of grassland, woodland and water meadow – ideal for wildlife, dog walkers and park visitors alike with a network of paths, bridges and stepping stones across the stream.

A new 24-space car park was created off Poole Road to offer direct access onto the new parkland.