LOOKING round the council-owned public access habitats in the borough of Poole, all dwarf edge habitats, especially mown grass, are under threat from large growth weed species, and once walkable areas are slowly vanishing into dense overgrowth.

This is all very well known but worth repeating. All dwarf habitats in the absence of management tend to vanish into bramble, bracken, pine, birch and Salix, just as all the smaller parts of once walkable areas in the borough diminish annually when the only mainstay trimmer available, a mower, is unable to cope with the rate of encroachment from other faster, denser habitats.

If you want to keep a tidy garden, money as well as the correct physical effort has to be put into management and, in this case, the physical groundwork available seems not to be working, which then allows the current level of visual encroachment to appear.

Typical example: a once grassy stream bank with a grassy path along the edge in the middle of a recreational area now has a 45m long by 15m wide by 4m high strip of bramble along the west edge and a 4m wide by 3m high strip along the east edge, with the once picturesque stream now reduced to a vanished memory, lost behind walls of impenetrable bramble between South Park Road Pond and Alder Road.

Poole borough needs to take another look at their habitats and how they are managed if they are to be still available for recreational use in later years. You can take the time and trouble to look at the areas lost over the last 40 years and then extrapolate that rate of loss into the future to see how much will then remain with available access and it’s not much.

It doesn’t have to be this way since once the stream enters the borough of Bournemouth they take greater care over visual stream management until the stream enters the sea.


Fraser Road, Poole