BCP Council has confirmed it will stop maintaining the cricket pitch at a Poole recreation ground.

The council has said it is no longer viable to maintain the pitch at Branksome Recreation Ground.

Residents have expressed frustration with the lack of investment in the rec, saying, 'it is going to become a huge mess, and it is such a vital facility to our community.'

Questions were also raised regarding The Pavilion, which is currently out of use and has been boarded up.

A BCP Council spokesperson said: "Branksome Recreation Ground is of huge value to the community and BCP Council work to ensure it matches the needs of its users.

"We can confirm that the grass at Branksome Rec will be cut a minimum of six times a year, as it was last year. We will always endeavour to cut it more often, depending on the weather and availability of resources.

"We must assess the viability of all sites in terms of the maintenance required and the amount of sport played.

"Currently, the maintenance of the cricket pitch is costing significantly more than the income it produces and therefore isn't viable.

"Last year, it only had six bookings, which brought in around £565. It costs £11,500 a year of taxpayers' money to maintain. The upkeep of the cricket pitch requires wicket preparation, which is very labour-intensive, to ensure the playing surface provides the correct amount of bounce.

"It involves mowing, rolling, marking, and after each game, the wicket needs to be repaired and prepared again. A large amount of water is needed to keep the grass healthy, and staff have to remain on site for long periods whilst watering takes place."

The council said the goalposts on the football pitches will be taken away at the end of the football season to allow for regrowth around the goal mouths.

This is something the council does every season in preparation for the following year.

The BCP Council spokesperson added: "As always, we encourage our local sports clubs to book our public pitches so that they continue to remain viable.

"The council are in early conversations with local community groups about the best use for The Pavilion going forward and is hoping to find a sustainable solution that benefits the community."