Branksome Recreation Ground
Updated 17th April 2018
The Borough of Poole, in partnership with Poole Communities Trust at the Branksome Centre, the Friends of Branksome Rec and Branksome West Residents Association, and with support from Ward Councillors, Heatherlands Primary School and local residents, were working throughout 2017 on fundraising bids to improve Branksome Recreation Ground.
- We have allocated a little over £40,000 of Planning Obligations (Developers Contributions) to supplement and partially match fund this project
- The Friends of Branksome Rec successfully applied for £95,000 from the Borough of Poole’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Neighbourhood Portion to fund long awaited improvements to paths, fencing, trees and other infrastructure.
Regrettably a £75,000 funding application to Veolia Environmental Trust was unsuccessful; this money would have funded substantial improvements to the play area, including new equipment, gates, benches and fencing. Nevertheless, we have since managed to secure a smaller amount of money in-house which will help with the purchase of some play equipment & fencing.
Further details will be published here once the full extent of the revised plans have been decided.
The site & the issues
Branksome Rec (at c.90,000 sq.m.) provides the only significant public open space for the residents of East Poole. Located in Branksome West, the smallest and most densely populated ward in the Borough of Poole, it also serves the surrounding wards of Alderney, Branksome East and Newtown. In reaching these locations, the project will benefit approximately 38,000 local residents of all ages, interests and abilities, allowing all to enjoy the outdoor space and become more physically active. The project will also create opportunities for volunteering.
Flooding of the Rec causes major problems throughout Autumn, Winter & Spring
Paths become impassable; large sections are flooded for weeks at a time. The surrounding ground becomes saturated so there is no way of passing without getting feet wet. The paths are also too narrow for people to pass each other easily if they are walking with buggies or bikes.
Benches are in need of relocation, replacement & upgrading
There are very few benches for the relative size of the open space and those that there are have outlasted their predicted life span. Poor location, lack of proximity to paths and pooling water make the current ones unusable by most and inaccessible to all.
The perimeter fence is in need of replacement
The mesh of the perimeter fence is failing and regularly needs repairing with cable ties. Holes such as those in the picture above cannot be repaired; they have become a safety concern, being above high falls in places, whilst in other sections dogs and children are able to run onto the busy local roads without obstruction. The wooden posts and crosspieces are beginning to decay and break away.
At the Play Area
The current play facilities at Branksome Rec are neither laid out to the best advantage nor fit for purpose. The playground is too small with old and unsuitable equipment that fails to cater for the full age range and ability of users.
The area around and between the playground and community centre is unwelcoming, with unnecessary fencing and poor quality surfacing. There is no direct route into the community centre from the playground which means children must go out on to the road to access the toilets and café located there. The centre currently feels very separate to the park.
In addressing these failings we would create a larger, more open, attractive and user friendly area incorporating all the available facilities, thus drawing the community centre into the heart of the park. The ultimate aim is to provide a well functioning community hub which, with additional volunteering opportunities, will encourage local residents to become involved and develop a sense of ownership of the whole space.
Recreation Road, Branksome, Poole BH12 2AL