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Enhancements to freshwater lagoon and landscape improves habitats for rare species Poole Park Restoration

£648,000
14 Weeks
Poole
Lagoon & Lake Restoration

The ‘Improvements to Poole Park’ project was part of a Heritage Lottery Funded £3.5m Poole Park Life scheme brought to life by the Borough of Poole Council.  Eagerly anticipated and welcomed by the park users, this project was the result of over 5 years careful planning and research, and designed to make a variety of improvements to the area’s most popular public open space whilst protecting the legacy of the site.

Ebsford were appointed for their flexible and realistic approach and in a hugely successful partnership carried out numerous works across the park including sensitively desilting the 21-hectare lagoon to create areas of deeper water, plus the desilting of the adjacent smaller freshwater lakes.

In what were challenging conditions, particularly due to the differing nature in areas of the lagoon bed, Ebsford adapted their methodology throughout the scheme alongside working with the tide to drain the lagoon where necessary and carry out the desilting in this problematic environment.

Dredging of sediments at the bottom of the lake and lagoon have enhanced the habitat for the rare species of invertebrates that live in the muds and saltwater, namely the Starlet Sea Anemone which is a nationally rare species. Maintaining the levels of saltwater by exchanging water with Poole Harbour every month is vital for their survival and the removal of the build-up of silt in the lagoon has enabled this to be carried out much more effectively. The works will ultimately help to attract more birds that feed on these species, with the dredged material from both lakes reused to create new islands and enhance existing features. The creation of new habitat in and around the lake will further support the rare species of birds that have appeared over recent years which are a key attraction for park users.

Further amenity improvements around the lakes substantially lifted the overall appearance of the park. The construction of new boardwalks, pathways and viewing platforms out into the lagoon has made the visitor experience much more interactive, allowing for the public to get closer to nature and view these new habitats with no disturbance to the new and existing species of birds.

Visitors to the park were able to witness the transformation as it remained open throughout the duration and were also invited to contribute. Working alongside the Council’s community team, Ebsford allowed for public engagement, providing opportunities for landscaping and extensive planting around the freshwater lake. In addition to watching the unusual machinery out in the lagoon operate, the public showed a keen interest in the progress and many locals joined the team for a guided tour of the works.

With the support of Ebsford and Poole Park Life, the project hopes to infinitely increase the park’s biodiversity over the coming years and has already, no doubt improved the visitor experience.

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