Building on the successes of 2021, including the recently completed restoration of the Stable Yard, we are delighted to announce the next phase of Discovery Project works, all made possible by our £1.9 million National Lottery Heritage Fund award.
Reinstating historic views and vistas
In January work will be undertaken to restore the historic views and vistas from the south front of the house and gardens towards Holes Bay.
We will remove invasive trees (such as Poplar) and scrub, whilst also protecting and enhancing the environment for our older Oaks and wildlife through a combination of halo thinning and crown lifting techniques – read more about these works.
This project is supported by Historic England, Natural England, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Birds of Poole Harbour and the National Trust.
The new Welcome Centre
Works will also commence in January on the new Welcome Centre, to be located in the main car park in place of the existing toilet block. This modern facility will create a gateway to the Country Park and a real sense of arrival; a place for people to meet, plan their visit, and uncover the fascinating history of the former Upton estate.
Work is due to be completed and the new Welcome Centre opened to the public late autumn 2022. Facilities (including the dog wash) will be temporarily re-sited during construction. Full details to follow.
A new Bird Hide
In 2022 we will also be introducing a new bird hide to our shoreline, offering views of Holes Bay and opportunities to spot the internationally significant bird species of Poole Harbour.
Shoreline vegetation clearance will take place in January, ahead of the nesting season, in preparation for the installation of the bird hide in April.
Other Discovery Project News
- We have been trialling our new learning programme with schools, ready to launch our new Key stage 1 and 2 sessions in January.
- Our Puddle Jumpers Forest School and Roots & Shoots Grandparents and Tots club, run with the wonderful facilitators from the Urban Heaths Partnership, have been delivering regular, well-attended activity sessions since June 2021.
- Following the popularity of our online lockdown activity packs in 2020, the Fox & Cubs Club for Dads and kids is now successfully running as regular in-person sessions.
- LivingWell: our free 5-week ‘Foundations to Wellbeing’ course with BCP Skills and Learning had a very successful initial run in 2021, with a second course running throughout November. LivingWell returns in 2022 with courses in March and June; for details and booking information please see our Events & Activities page
- Working with the Dorset Youth Justice Service and Virtual Schools, we have started a Discover You conservation and employability course, providing experience in conservation and building employability skills for youth offenders and those at risk.
- Our Research Volunteers have undergone interpretation training from the experts at Imagemakers to assist them in the creation of our new Welcome Centre content.