A weekly post to update you on what has happened in Poole Park over the last week, and what to expect this week.

What a difference some dry weather and a blast of sunshine makes! Things are progressing well with the improvements and starting to think about finishing touches, snagging and completion.

The work in the lagoon on the existing islands and features with the big excavators and machinery is now complete, with sediment used in behind the new edges and everything tidied up around the margins. These will be planted in April with specialist plants that we know can tolerate the conditions, such as Sea Rush (Juncus maritimus), Common reed (Phragmites australis) and the wonderfully named Corky Fruited water dropwort (Oenanthe pimpinelloides).

The new islands in the north east corner are being finished with a mixture of gravel and planting to follow, this should provide cover for wildfowl using the lagoon, as well as bare ground that may be favoured by species such as Black headed gulls and terns (if we’re lucky!)

On the opposite side of the lagoon the two new promontories are formed and the boardwalk and screens are taking shape, these will provide a view of the last feature to be built, a new island just off-shore. One of the islands has two steps on to the platform, providing a raised view over the water and wildlife. And nearby the bridge over the sluice channel is also nearly complete, we are just waiting for delivery of new stone pieces for the brick piers to be re-built. This work is being carefully supervised by the local wildlife!

The contract with Ebsford Environmental will run in to April, but the majority of the work is nearing completion. The lagoon should be re-filled around the 5th April and a series of raising and lowering of water levels will hopefully help to move any loose sediment, allow us to monitor the condition of the improvements and check everything over. Once this is complete the welfare and storage compounds should start to reduce and the path along the railway line will re-open as soon as possible.

Around the freshwater lakes the landscaping is developing nicely, new picnic benches are installed near to the play area, more boulders are in place forming the edges of the paths and the coping stones are being pointed.


What is happening next?

Lakes and Lagoon Celebration Event: We will be celebrating these works at an event on the 10th April, 10am – 3pm. We will be joined at the event by local wildlife organisations, including Dorset Wildlife Trust, and will be providing information on the works, the wildlife that should benefit, various activities such as helping to plant some of the new features, making bird feeders etc. We will be based near to Middle Gate car park, over-looking the new islands, please come along and ask any questions you may have on the works and get involved! See here for more information and event updates.

  • The landscaping around the freshwater lakes should move on a lot this week, with decorative path gravel laid to the lake edge, gravel and bark mulch going down next to the play area and more benches being installed.
  • Work at the sluice bridge pauses while we wait for the stone work to be delivered.
  • Work in the lagoon continues with finishing touches to the various features and work switching to the last island fairly soon.

Read more on the background to the sluice bridge here, and the lakes and lagoon works here.

And finally, captured by one of the contractors working near to the railway line, the Flying Scotsman making it’s way past the park, footage also available here. 

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