Park Expansion & Developments 2019/20
Published Thursday, 19 September 2019

We’ve been busy this winter!

Over the winter months, and more latterly during the Coronavirus lockdown and its easing, there has been plenty of quiet activity across the Park. We have been improving some of the views and vistas, protecting our ancient woodlands and carrying out our final expansion phase. We also opened our fabulous new play area! Here are the details …

Park expansion

The final phase of our 5-year park expansion project is now complete, opened over the weekend of 18th July and adding 25 acres of new meadows along both our shoreline and woodlands.

With breathtaking views of both Holes Bay Nature Reserve and Grove Woods we’ve opened up many new pathways for our visitors to explore, creating a wonderful open space with off-lead areas for dog walkers, and small enclosures for recall and training, along with our popular stepping stones and dog splash area.

This project was led by BCP Council Environment Development Team and is part of the wider town plans for creating open spaces for residents to enjoy that offsets the impact of new housing development on our local, nationally important heathlands and nature sites. All year round there’s something to see and we’re very proud to celebrate this important milestone.

Further information and pictures at

‘Regency Pleasure Ground’ works

When Upton House was built in 1818 it was the jewel in the Estate crown and could be seen from miles around. This winter we’re beginning to introduce some recommendations from a local landscape architect (who has worked on other historic garden projects, such as the Lost Gardens of Heligan) to restore some of the period planting structure. We’ve been classed as a ‘Good example of a Regency Villa within a Pleasure Ground’ so we’ll be reinstating the more natural grasslands that would have originally surrounded the House; the first of those works (spring 2020) is described in Tea Rooms Landscaping below).

The work we do this spring/summer will also pave the way for future Discovery Project improvements thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund award.

Adventure Play Project, now completed

In October 2019 we completed a 5 week installation of the new adventure play facilities at Upton Country Park. The scheme, which builds upon the natural play already available at the Park, is located across the lawn near the Tea Room and into the Shoreline meadow. You’ll find more at our Adventure Play Project page

Tea Rooms Landscaping

For those of you who have visited recently we thank you for your patience whilst we continue to work on this part of the Estate. Over the winter we cleared the dense Laurel and failing retaining wall to restore a more open grass landscape which will protect our heritage buildings.

The cleared Laurel had limited conservation and wildlife value. However, with the support of our Horticultural Volunteers the lavender shrubs have been carefully transplanted into the Walled Garden. The new land drainage and stone gabion wall is now complete and will provide a lasting support to the lower southern bank, whilst the remaining grass covered bank will be enclosed with knee rail and hazel screening.

These works are part of a longer term programme which will gradually reinstate the grounds to their former glory, providing a more open setting akin to the regency style and link in with the Discovery Project improvements being made across the Estate with vital funding from the Heritage National Lottery.

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