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Read our reviews at TripAdvisor Upton Country Park is a Green Flag Award winner
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Borough of Poole
Welcome Upcoming Events Things to Do News HLF PROJECT Weddings Venue Hire

Can you spare a little time to complete our

10 minute visitor survey?

We would love to hear your views on Upton Country Park as part of our ‘Discovery’ project.

Read about the project / take the survey …

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Round One success for the Discovery Project!

We have successfully bid for National Lottery funding to develop proposals to restore and enhance Upton Country Park. The award of £185,000 will take us into the development phase of our Discovery Project, which will result in a Round Two application for around £1.9 million in Autumn 2019. If successful this will enable us to celebrate the rich and varied heritage that the Country Park has to offer.

Through the Discovery Project we will restore our historical features, re-instate landscapes that have been lost over time and enhance our grounds. Visitors will enjoy improved access to the fascinating history of the Estate through interactive displays around the site and a new welcome centre will create the perfect opportunity for them to learn more about what is available to see and do at the Country Park.

A project to support the local community, we will offer increased opportunities for more people to develop new skills and knowledge, with better access to training and education, focusing on the natural environment. The Discovery Project will support a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in the region of £1.9 million, with the aim of creating an accessible and sustainable heritage attraction for the local community to relax, enjoy and learn in.

People    Heritage    Landscapes


If you are keen to learn more about our Discovery Project and can perhaps offer a little time to help, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Historical Research Work with our appointed interpretation consultants and Poole Museum History Centre to gather valuable information about the history of the Country Park.

Project Support Volunteer to assist with the Round Two development phase by working with the project team based at Upton House.

Surveys Public support is vital to the project; would you be happy to talk to the public to gather opinions about the Country Park and the planned events & activities?

Events We will be planning plenty of community engagement activities over the coming months to support our plans and raise vital funds for our partnership funding. Is this something you can help with?

Please contact us at for further details about any of the volunteering opportunities above.

Of course our regular Gardening Volunteers and the Friends of Upton Country Park continue to play a huge role in supporting us. Discover how you can join in...


We are excited to announce that our Round One award has been granted. The £185,000 of National Lottery funding, awarded jointly by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund, will allow us to develop a second round bid for up to £1.9 million to deliver the Discovery Project. The next 18 months will involve pilot studies within the local community, public engagement activities, consultation, planning and design work, in addition to fundraising for the £30,000 of partnership funding needed prior to the Round Two submission. We will keep you updated on news, events and activities as the project develops.

Partnership funding has already been committed with a generous donation of £125,000 from the Friends of Upton Country Park and a further £170,000 secured through the Borough of Poole. The remaining £30,000 required will be raised through public events, sponsorship and corporate donations within the development stage.

Volunteers will play a key role in the development of the Discovery project and there are a number of ways in which the local community can get involved; please see the ‘Join In’ information above for details and keep up to date via this website and our Facebook page.


As part of the project, it is our plan to convert the existing car park toilet block into a new welcome centre, to provide a central point for visitors to access information about our services, events and facilities. There will also the opportunity to introduce the natural and built heritage of the site with interactive interpretation displays.

Our volunteer support continues to grow but our existing facilities are not able to provide the space during breaks needed for everyone. We are incredibly fortunate to have the support of many wonderful volunteers and we would like to offer them comfortable facilities to enjoy during breaks with improved volunteer facilities.

We will create new training and learning opportunities for our volunteers and the local community. Working in partnership with local organisations, we will provide increased access to skills development and work experience throughout the Country Park, introducing our heritage to more people and strengthening our ties with young people.

Upton Country Park is rich in both its natural and built heritage, both of which will be celebrated through the ‘Discovery’ project.

The Country Park includes a 200 year old Georgian-style Grade II* house, formal gardens, parkland, woodland, tenanted farm land, shoreline and Pergins Island.

The Estate has an interesting history and is rich in archaeological remains, especially from the Romano-British period. The house was built from 1816-1818 by Christopher Spurrier, a Poole merchant. Poole’s wealth at the time was built on the Newfoundland trade and Upton House is a fine example of the houses built by the Poole merchants. Following the financial ruin of the Spurrier family the house was bought by Sir Edward Doughty in 1828. The disappearance of Edward’s heir, and subsequent appearance in 1866 of a man claiming to be him, instigated one of the longest trials in English legal history, that of the ‘Tichborne Claimant’.

In 1901 the house was occupied by William Llewellin and his family. William’s sons had distinguished careers and his daughter Margaret Mary became Poole’s first female Mayor. William gifted the house and part of the estate to the Council in 1957, it was initially rented to a Romanian Prince and in 1975 the park was opened to the public.

In addition to the fascinating history that the Estate has to offer, there is also a huge significance for wildlife and the natural surroundings, with Upton Country Park being strongly influenced by its unique harbour-side setting.  The Country Park is situated on rising land at the north of Holes Bay Nature Park, a site of international and national importance, with RAMSAR, SPA and SSSI recognition, and is also within The Great Heath Project boundaries, a HLF-funded project managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust. We have identified through our research that most people visit the park to enjoy the outdoor space and through the ‘Discovery’ project, there will be increased opportunities for more people to enjoy and engage with our natural environment.

The HLF bid is part of a two-stage application process