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POOLE    DORSET

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Upton Country Park’s ‘Discovery’ project is launched!

Celebrating 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 £1.5 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

VOLUNTEERING YOUR TIME

If you have time to spare there are many ways that you could volunteer …

Join our gardening or conservation team details here

Join our ‘Discovery’ team Can you spare some time to help with tasks such as completing surveys with the public, preparing for events and promoting the bid?

For either of the above, please contact us at uptoncountrypark@poole.gov.uk for more information.

Join the Friends of Upton Country Park Take part in their plans and activities throughout the year. You can find details on how to join at www.uptoncountrypark.org.

If you would like to become involved with the ‘Discovery’ Project, you can do so by:

APRIL

8th April: ‘Our Landscapes’

Enjoy a walk around the grounds and learn about how the Discovery Project will enhance our grounds, including re-creating views and vistas, Cooper’s Yard repair, the introduction of pathways and new Welcome Centre. Tours at 10am, midday and 2pm.

23rd April: ‘Our People’

Find us in the marquee at the Dorset Wildlife Trust ‘Wild About The Great Heath’ event. Meet the team and find out what the Project will offer the local community.

14th May: ‘Our Heritage’

Join us for a tour of Upton House and discover the heritage that our Project will uncover, with opportunities to become more involved! With an opportunity to see the basement of Upton House, not usually available to the public, tours will take place at 10am. midday, 2pm. To book your place on a tour, call 01202 262753..

JULY

1st July: ‘Bioblitz Day’

Become a wildlife explorer for the day; find and identify as many different species of birds, bugs and minibeasts as we can. A fun family event with our partners from DWT, RSPB and many more!

MAY

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People

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. Focused on our natural heritage, we will be working in partnership with local organisations on conservation and wildlife projects, providing more people with increased access to education and work experience.

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, 68 hectares of 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