The Access Theme Improvements in Poole Park are now nearly complete and the works undertaken by the contractor, Aggregate Industries, have significantly changed and improved Poole Park for all users.

Aggregate Industries will be back in 2021 to complete a few elements, more details below, and have achieved a huge range of work this year:

  • resurfaced the majority of the carriage drive, removing uneven surfaces and extensive areas of poor drainage (more on that below)
  • installed the new designs featuring new lighting, furniture and trees
  • constructed new car park entrances and layouts, a whole new arrangement around the water fountain and Norton’s gate (by the Bowls club) and at Middle gate (where the roundabout used to be)
  • created a swale around the cricket pitch (more on that below too)
  • new pedestrian entrances to the two Lodges
  • and disposed of a lot of old furniture and clutter along the drive, including metal knee rails at the gardens (see photo below)

The area of the works compound near the Westfield toilets will remain closed off with security fencing, along with some other areas as it is now impossible to try and reinstate and get grass growing at this time of year.

There is still some work outstanding:

  • Most notably the swale and drainage issues around the cricket pitch on the cycle track. An area of tarmac surfacing has been laid from the Copse Close side and this will be extended round to near the Ark car park. This will provide a much better and safer surface for pedestrians but also raise the height of the path, helping to move water in to the swale.
  • Discussions are on-going about how best to define and manage the swale and the currently high levels of water.
  • A new path at the ‘West garden’, between Seldown Lodge and Westfield toilets will be constructed, including locations for new benches.
  • A new path linking the Westfield toilets to the play area has been started and will be surfaced in the New Year.
  • Areas of grass verge will continue to be attended to by the parks team to establish the right profile and grass coverage along the drive.

There are a few places along the drive, in particular in the road at the War Memorial and either side of Middle Gate junction and car park, where there is flooding on the paths. Some of this is historic and some has been created by changes in levels on the roads. At this time there is very little that can be done to alleviate this as the surrounding areas are also flooded and so there is nowhere to move the water to. Where possible, channels have been cut in verges to try and drain the worst areas on to the road.

At the War Memorial the water does slowly drain through the road gullies and we were hopeful that they would be adequate and not need replacement. With the extensive period of heavy rain this has not proven to be the case so options will be considered for this in the New Year.

We have received some compliments for the new lamp columns along the drive and the are certainly a massive improvement on the old columns. We have fortunately been able to add more columns and extend the network around all of the cricket pitch and cycle track, rather than just between the pavilion and Copse Close. These haven’t been connected to the supply yet and that might take a couple of months to resolve, but in time will provide lighting so that people can carry on dog-walking, jogging, scooting and cycling even in the dark!

Aggregate Industries have repeatedly stated how much they have enjoyed undertaking these works in a wonderful environment, with really friendly and talkative park users. We would like to thank you for your patience during these works, hope that you enjoy the improvements and agree that the quality of Poole Park has been greatly improved. 

Photos: Middle Gate junction with Whitecliff road, without a roundabout!; the park team laying turf along the edge of the gardens where the old knee rail and gutter have been removed; and the finished article; and the path to the entrance to East Gate Lodge laid to Purbeck stone paving (handrails near the building to be added).

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