Caption: Area damaged by fire and sand lizard on affected area at Upton Heath © Simon Cripps
Caption: An amphibious excavator dredging the lake
Work has begun to improve the two lakes and lagoon in Poole Park.
In January 2015 the Borough of Poole and the Friends of Poole Park learned they had been successful in gaining £2.7 million of Heritage Lottery funding to enhance the Victorian park. A further bid two years later brought the project value to £3.5 million
The improvements follow extensive scientific research and monitoring, funded by the National Lottery, and involving students and specialists from Bournemouth University, to help understand the importance of the lagoon and the potential benefits of the work being undertaken.
The contractor, Ebsford Environmental, is using specialist amphibious excavators to dredge areas of sediment lying at the bottom of the lakes and lagoon to increase water depth. The sediment will then be used to create new island habitats and improve existing features.
Further work will then take place to significantly improve the quality of the surrounding environment, including:
- Covering the newly formed islands in either gravel to encourage birds such as gulls and terns or planted to encourage other birds that prefer cover
- Creating a new bird screen and viewing platform close to the railway line providing a view over the habitats
- Using gabion baskets and rock boulders that allow crabs to thrive, and other specialist materials, to retain dredged sediment and provide a stable lake edge for the islands and around the freshwater lake
- Creating experimental floating islands; the roots of the floating island vegetation will trail in the water helping to improve water quality as well as providing refuge for fish and other animals
- Creating an improved landscape for park users around the freshwater lakes such as new tree and shrub planting, benches and picnic tables
At the beginning of February, Avon Construction, started improvement works to the bridge over the sluice channel that links the Park’s lagoon to Poole Harbour. This means the path running alongside the railway line is closed to the public until the works finish at the end of March.
The sluice channel was a key part in the Park’s development following construction of the railway embankment in 1872, cutting off Parkstone Bay from the sea and creating a salt-water lake. The channel maintains the link to salt water in the harbour and allows the management of the water as a sluice-controlled saline lagoon.
Martin Whitchurch, Poole Park Life Project manager, Borough of Poole, said: “It’s exciting to have reached the point where contractors are on site after years of public engagement and design work. We’ve received permission from Natural England to carry out this work so that we can make significant improvements that benefit both people and wildlife.”
To become part of the Heath Watch team visit ww.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/heathwatch for more information.
Please share post:
Follow us on