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Borough of Poole
Welcome Upcoming Events Things to Do News HLF PROJECT Weddings Venue Hire

Can you spare a little time to complete our

10 minute visitor survey?

We would love to hear your views on Upton Country Park as part of our ‘Discovery’ project.

Read about the project / take the survey …

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Upton Country Park’s ‘Discovery’ project is launched!

Celebrating the rich and varied heritage that the Country Park has to offer, through the Discovery Project we will restore our historical features, re-instate landscapes that have been lost over time and enhance our grounds. Visitors will enjoy improved access to the fascinating history of the Estate through interactive displays around the site and a new welcome centre will create the perfect opportunity for them to learn more about what is available to see and do at the Country Park.

A project to support the local community, we will offer increased opportunities for more people to develop new skills and knowledge, with better access to training and education, focusing on the natural environment. The Discovery Project will support a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in the region of £1.9 million, with the aim of creating an accessible and sustainable heritage attraction for the local community to relax, enjoy and learn in.

People    Heritage    Landscapes


If you can offer us a little time, there are many ways in which you can volunteer as part of the Discovery Project or throughout Upton Country Park …

Join our ‘Discovery’ team Can you help us to complete visitor surveys, support us in the office or at events, or perhaps become one of our heritage research volunteers? As our project develops there will be plenty of opportunities to join us. Please contact us at for more information.

Join our gardening or conservation team details here

Join the Friends of Upton Country Park Take part in their plans and activities throughout the year. You can find details on how to join at


We are delighted to announce that our Stage 1 application was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in August 2017, with an outcome expected by December 2017. If successful, this will take us into an 18-month development stage, for further planning and public engagement activities. We will keep you updated on our progress.

Partnership funding has already been committed with a generous donation of £125,000 from the Friends of Upton Country Park and a further £170,000 secured through the Borough of Poole. As a result, there will be a need to fundraise towards a further target of £30,000, through public events, sponsorship and corporate donations within the development stage.

Volunteers will play a key role in the success of the Discovery project and there will be a number of ways in which the local community can get involved, such as joining our gardening volunteers, office support work or becoming part of our heritage research teams. As the project develops we will provide more information on volunteering opportunities via the website and Facebook.


As part of the project, it is our plan to convert the existing car park toilet block into a new welcome centre, to provide a central point for visitors to access information about our services, events and facilities. There will also the opportunity to introduce the natural and built heritage of the site with interactive interpretation displays.

Our volunteer support continues to grow but our existing facilities are not able to provide the space during breaks needed for everyone. We are incredibly fortunate to have the support of many wonderful volunteers and we would like to offer them comfortable facilities to enjoy during breaks with improved volunteer facilities.

We will create new training and learning opportunities for our volunteers and the local community. Working in partnership with local organisations, we will provide increased access to skills development and work experience throughout the Country Park, introducing our heritage to more people and strengthening our ties with young people.

Upton Country Park is rich in both its natural and built heritage, both of which will be celebrated through the ‘Discovery’ project.

The Country Park includes a 200 year old Georgian-style Grade II* house, formal gardens, parkland, woodland, tenanted farm land, shoreline and Pergins Island.

The Estate has an interesting history and is rich in archaeological remains, especially from the Romano-British period. The house was built from 1816-1818 by Christopher Spurrier, a Poole merchant. Poole’s wealth at the time was built on the Newfoundland trade and Upton House is a fine example of the houses built by the Poole merchants. Following the financial ruin of the Spurrier family the house was bought by Sir Edward Doughty in 1828. The disappearance of Edward’s heir, and subsequent appearance in 1866 of a man claiming to be him, instigated one of the longest trials in English legal history, that of the ‘Tichborne Claimant’.

In 1901 the house was occupied by William Llewellin and his family. William’s sons had distinguished careers and his daughter Margaret Mary became Poole’s first female Mayor. William gifted the house and part of the estate to the Council in 1957, it was initially rented to a Romanian Prince and in 1975 the park was opened to the public.

In addition to the fascinating history that the Estate has to offer, there is also a huge significance for wildlife and the natural surroundings, with Upton Country Park being strongly influenced by its unique harbour-side setting.  The Country Park is situated on rising land at the north of Holes Bay Nature Park, a site of international and national importance, with RAMSAR, SPA and SSSI recognition, and is also within The Great Heath Project boundaries, a HLF-funded project managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust. We have identified through our research that most people visit the park to enjoy the outdoor space and through the ‘Discovery’ project, there will be increased opportunities for more people to enjoy and engage with our natural environment.

The HLF bid is part of a two-stage application process