A NEW cafe has opened at the bowling pavilion in Poole's Alexandra Park.

Earlier this year Borough of Poole (BOP) carried out a public consultation, ahead of plans to carry out a £82,000 refurbishment at the park.

This came after some residents living nearby, and park visitors, had complained of antisocial behaviour.

Clare Wise, who has set up the cafe, told the Echo: "I have sublet the space and have set up a little cafe.

"It is a private venture, but will have a huge emphasis on the community and the environment. It is pretty basic at the moment but I am hoping to build on it over time."

Clare, a 35-year-old local mum-of two, opened the cafe a little over a week ago.

She said: "People have been really positive about it, they are happy something is going on here.

"I didn't massively advertise, but it is a work in progress - people have been coming through the door, there has been a steady flow of people coming in."

During the summer's consultation, the majority of respondents reported satisfaction with the quality of trees, footpaths and general landscape at Alexandra Park.

However, many were unhappy about security at the park, a lack of lighting, benches, bins and outdoor sports equipment.

These concerns could be addressed when refurbishment gets underway next year.

Clare said: "I think me being here on a daily basis is good for the area.

"I've already dealt with one group of people who appeared to be using drugs or alcohol, and it was all very amicable.

"They agreed to move on, even apologising for any trouble caused.

"So me being there every day is a deterrent for that sort of behaviour.

"Things are definitely improving here, but there is still work to be done."

Clare also wants to offer community activities from her cafe.

"I am hoping to get some tables and chairs outside, and to host some exercise groups, or a football club, here on the green.

"It is such a lovely spot and it was just being wasted."