POOLE'S latest open space, the Corfe Barrows Nature Park, is now officially open for the public to enjoy.

The nature park is the result of a partnership that has come together to connect eight nature areas creating a special place for local communities and visitors to explore and enjoy the local countryside, its history and its wonderful wildlife.

Access improvements include new public footpaths, boardwalks and bridges, easy access gates and new information boards about the wildlife in the area.

Wildlife areas include woodland, heathland, meadows and pastures, all connected by footpaths and self-guided trails.

The eight areas making up the park are: 

  • Happy Bottom Nature Reserve
  • Ashington Meadow and Cutting
  • Barrow Hill
  • Cogdean Elms
  • Rushcombe Bottom
  • Diprose Dale
  • Corfe Hills West
  • Corfe Hills Middle and South

Visitors can expect to see woodland birds, such as warblers and thrushes, roe deer roaming the area, and stunning wildflowers such as ragged-robin and birds-foot trefoil.

Dorset Wildlife Trust’s director of operations, Brian Bleese, said, “The partnership between landowners has allowed the creation of this fantastic nature park. The future looks bright for the area as partners will work together for the benefit of the wildlife that lives there.

"We want our local communities to enjoy their local wild spaces, and this nature park will help them to value and enjoy the wildlife on their doorstep.”

MP Michael Tomlinson officially opened the nature park on Friday, June 17.

"I am honoured and delighted to open the Corfe Barrows Nature Park. It’s a hugely important site, special for wildlife but also special because it links together many areas of East Dorset," he said.

"We are so lucky to live here, and the opening of this Nature Park will hopefully encourage the local community to get out and understand more about wildlife around them and also enjoy the health benefits of being outside.”

The local community have already got involved with this project by volunteering to get the site ready for people to enjoy.

Volunteers have carried out a variety of valuable tasks and DWT’s corporate partners, Barclays, also sent volunteers to install 45 metres of boardwalk made from recycled plastic guaranteed to last for 30 years on the site.

The establishment of Corfe Barrows Nature Park was made possible thanks to funding from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), SITA Trust, The Fine Foundation, contributions from DWT members and a major donation in memory of Nimita Kakad.

Partners for the initiative include Dorset Wildlife Trust, Christchurch and East Dorset councils, Borough of Poole, The Erica Trust and the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC).