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

The work around the freshwater lakes has slowed a little as the crazy paving is removed and stacked, this will be re-used in the gabion baskets to provide a consistent materials palette across the park and avoid costs of disposal and importing new stone.

In the lagoon the 5 existing islands are nearly enclosed with new edge protection and work has continued to prepare other areas of the lagoon for the next phases of work. near the sluice channel pumps have been set up to make sure the water level can be kept as low as possible. On high tides and with strong winds (like today!) the water from the harbour pushes up through the sluice channel and water over-tops the sluice gate.

The most significant work this week has been by Avon Construction on the bridge over the sluice channel – the old temporary structure and concrete deck, installed in the 1970’s, have now been removed. The brick abutments have been exposed and the two brick piers are being carefully dismantled to allow restoration. The brick piers are in very poor condition, with large voids, previous poor interventions and general wear from being in place since the 1880’s.  Photos: left, the deck removed with scaffold crash deck in the channel. Middle, the remains of the old concrete deck made out of pre-cast concrete beams with wire strands, rather than full reinforcing bar. Right, the salvaged bricks and cap stones from one of the pillars.

Next week: 

***On Monday 11th February the park will be closed to through traffic***

The road closure is essential because the freshwater lake needs to be pumped out to allow the base layer of gabion mattresses to be installed. These are wire frames filled with stone and will create a solid base for gabion baskets to sit on top. This will provide a solid edge to the lake, make an attractive feature and allow for high quality landscaping behind.

The lake needs to be pumped out because of tidal water coming back in from the sluice channel, through the surface water pipes and surcharging under Whitecliff road. This in turn makes it very difficult to permanently lower the lake level. On Monday we hope to install stoppers in the pipes to prevent this and allow the effective pumping of water in to the lagoon. Unfortunately the pipes are very large and as a result the road needs to be closed.

Dredging in the lagoon starts, the amphibious excavator is back along with a large tracked dumper to move sediment around the lagoon. New islands will start to be formed and the existing islands topped up with sediment. The largest existing island, ‘Brownsea’ near to where Rockley watersports operate, will be left with a low section in the middle to support wading birds.

Don’t forget, there is a Guided walk Saturday at 11am, meet in The Ark car park. We will take a leisurely stroll around the park, all on hard surfaces and accessible for all, with snippets of history, detail on the work taking place and plenty more.

On Thursday 14th February, 2-5pm we have a litter pick of the lagoon edges and reed beds, what better way to spend valentines day?!! See more on our Facebook event page, or on the calendar.

  • Read more about the sluice bridge here, and the lakes and lagoon works here.

And finally – thank you to the local volunteer who has kindly provided the stunning featured image at the top of the page – much appreciated!

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