WORK to maintain sea defences at Poole’s Whitecliff Recreation Ground will be carried out following damage to the sea wall exacerbated by the recent storms.

Large machinery will be operating at the popular green space from today.

Borough of Poole is carrying out general maintenance to the retaining rock wall, from Whitecliff to the sluice gate channel to Poole Park Lake.

Council officials say access along the pathway will be restricted at times, and have asked dog owners to keep their pets away from the work area.

It is expected work on the retaining wall, which was first constructed in the early 1970s when the park was built from reclaimed land, will take one week to complete.

Cllr Xena Dion, cabinet portfolio holder for a prosperous and sustainable Poole, said: “It is vital we preserve the coastline as well as ensuring the stability of our existing sea defences to safeguard the borough.

“The recent storms we have experienced over the past two months show just how important our flood defences are to the town.

“It is imperative that we manage these defences appropriately and continue to invest in them in the future.”

The rock wall, originally constructed to preserve the shoreline as a defence against erosion, was last maintained in the 1980s.

A Borough of Poole spokesman explained: “The rocks have started to spread towards the sea and this situation has been made worse by the recent storms.

“The maintenance will see this being built back up using the existing rocks with some infilling of new rocks where necessary.”

The work will be carried out by local contractor Jenkins Marine.