PARK lovers have launched a campaign to ‘Save the Poole Park Playing Field’ after fears that a much loved area will become a bog garden.

“Quite a few people are upset about it,” said resident Steve Baron and a Facebook page has the support of more than 360 people.

The field running along the side of Copse Close carries an underground pipe for water run-off from roads covering a vast area of Poole, stretching up to Constitution Hill viewpoint, almost to Ashley Cross and over to Poole Hospital.

This drains into the lake adding to the pollution and one proposal is to turn it into an open stream that would filter the water. This is included in a master plan submitted as part of the £2.5million Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

However residents fear they will lose a much-loved playing field enjoyed by families over many years which is also popular with dog walkers.

“We need these open spaces for kids to play in,” said Steve. “I take my kids down there.”

He added: “We are not against the bid. But people feel this was under the radar.”

John Austin-Williams of Copse Close said: “It’s just so well used. People like to bring picnics here, they bring gazebos and stay the whole day, have barbecues, keep fit groups meet here.”

Lisa O’Sullivan of Parkstone Avenue said: “We don’t want this made into a dangerous place where it won’t be safe to bring small children who run off.”

John Harding of Copse Close said: “We don’t get Canada geese here defecating on the grass because there is no water. If there is water here they are likely to come across.”

The trustees decision on the bid is due to be announced on January 6. If successful there will be a two-year development phase with a round two bid submitted in 2017.

Council's view:

MARTIN Whitchurch, Borough of Poole project leader for environmental and consumer protection services said a significant amount of pollutants run through the pipe into the lake.

“By opening up the pipe and having ponds, a stream and possibly some reed beds, then the pollution could be diffused before it enters the lake,” he said.

He said it was not a bog garden and if it went ahead the stream would meander through a small proportion of the field. He acknowledged there were queries over maintenance and midges.

“All of these questions need answering and they will be once the research project is complete in 2016. If the evidence tells us it is not worth doing we won’t do it. If it tells us it would make a difference to the lake, then we will engage with residents on whether to proceed or not.”