Upton Country Park SANG Final Phase

Updated 24th July 2020

The Project

Upton Country Park has grown … again!

Poole’s 160 acre Country Park is even bigger as work is completed on the final phase of a 5-year project to create additional open space for visitors to enjoy, adding 25 acres of new meadows alongside the Park’s shoreline and woodlands. The works (see ‘Upton Fields’ illustration below) delivered Phase 3 & 4 together, extending the current footpath network and including new tree planting, picnic benches and an additional 1,000 sq.m. dog recall & training area. The project was delivered by BCP Council Environmental Development Team.

Why is this new open space needed?

Poole is growing and has to accommodate 10,000 new homes between 2006 and 2026; as part of the planning process it was identified that a major new ‘Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace’ (SANG) should be created to ensure new homes don’t have an adverse impact on existing internationally important nature sites.

The main purpose of the new public open space is to provide areas for recreation and walking. Specifically, it is aimed to provide a place where dog walkers are able to let their dogs off the lead as an alternative to using Upton Heath and other important protected heathland sites. Increased use of these sites can have a negative impact on the fragile habitat and species that live on the heathland. 

Opened July

The new open space was opened up to the public over the weekend of 25th July. With breathtaking views of both Holes Bay Nature Reserve and Grove Woods there are many new pathways for visitors to explore, creating a wonderful open space with off-lead areas for dog walkers, and small ‘play pen’ enclosures for recall and training, along with the popular stepping stones and dog splash area at the stream.

Whilst the space is now open, there are still a few finishing touches to add over the next few months – including new bins by the picnic area and dog play pen, noticeboards, gates and signage.

This project was led by BCP Council Environment Development Team and is part of the wider town plans for creating open spaces for residents to enjoy that offsets the impact of new housing development on our local, nationally important heathlands and nature sites. All year round there’s something to see and we’re very proud to celebrate this important milestone.

Latest pictures

Tree and shrub planting

Earlier in the year 35 trees and some 6,500 whips were hand planted across the new meadows and wildlife corridors. Species include Lime, Field Maple, Hornbeam and Rowan.

Planting continues in November when 13 Oak trees will be added to the landscape, along with a Giant Redwood at the southern end, and Blue Atlas Cedar at the northern end of the new space.

Final phase of 30ha expansion

In a phased project between 2014-2020 a total of some 30 hectares (75 acres) of farmland to the south and south-east of Upton Country Park has been converted into new public open space. 

This final phase opened up 25 acres of new parkland suitable for dogs to be exercised off the lead.

  • Phase 1 completed spring 2015 [more…]
  • Phase 2 completed spring 2017 [more…]


Download the Final Phase 'Upton Fields' map (pdf)
Visit uptoncountrypark.com

Upton Country Park


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The Parks Foundation

An independent charity devoted to enhancing the BCP area's parks and green spaces for everyone to enjoy