“Back the bid” is the call from the Friends of Poole Park, just weeks ahead of their crucial submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The volunteer group, along with Borough of Poole, is in the process of bidding for a £2.5m grant to preserve and enhance the Victorian park.

Now, just weeks away from their stage one submission, they are again urging residents to show their support with donations – which could be matched up to 10 times by the lottery fund – and by sporting ‘back the bid’ badges.

The friends have already collected £1,000, but Moira Muir, campaign promoter and member of the friends added: “What we’d love is for another significant figure to add to that, to pledge to the bid.

“It’s crucial to the success of the bid that it’s seen that the public are involved, and so that we can bolster the amount of funding we receive back. “We really have a golden opportunity here to see lots of improvements to our treasured park that simply won’t be possible without the funding.”

If successful the bid, put together following public consultation earlier this year, could see the park’s lakes and water features improved, new play equipment, and the road made safer for park users.

Money could also fund programmes to manage the park’s geese and wildfowl.

Moira added: “There’s never been a better time to show that we, the people of Poole, really care about the ‘People’s Park.’ “So when you see another person wearing a Back the Bid badge, give them the thumbs up and let’s all work together on this!”

The friends will be collecting donations and handing out badges at the ‘Join-In Day’ in the park on Sunday.

There will also be a fundraising goal-scoring challenge for youngsters, with a past professional goal-keeper on hand to offer tips and encouragement.

Donations can be made in the park and throughout town including the Welcome Centre on the Quay and Sandbanks Crazy Golf . See friendsofpoolepark.org.uk