Hamworthy Park Priorities – 2020

We hope you’ve had a great start to 2020! It’s a new year and that means plenty to get done in Hamworthy Park.

Below, you can read about the priorities for this year. There will be plenty of opportunities for volunteering from fence painting to prepping the extended wildflower bed.

See you in the park!

Paddling pool and surrounding area

Paddling pool remedial work: Remedial work is due to start in late January, putting right some of the issues you noticed over the summer. When we have more info, we’ll let you know.

Pressure washing and painting the fence: hundreds of you joined us last year to help paint the fence around the paddling pool and play area. This year, we are finishing the job. Parts of the fence need digging out where sand has piled up — then we can pressure wash and finally paint.

Paddling pool wall repair: Some sections of the wall around the paddling pool are loose or coming loose. It’s dangerous. The wall will need to be repointed/repaired.

Promenade entrance to the play area: the area by the south gate to the play area needs sorting out. It’s pitted and the grass is eroded away – we think it needs paving as grass just seems to get eroded away.

Elsewhere in the park

Provision of shade: we are looking into types of shelters that might be suitable for the park. There used to be a shelter in the park, much loved by dog walkers on a wet day, but it became part of the outdoor education centre.

Supplying picnic tables: FOHP are in talks with the council to provide a number of picnic tables for the park.

Seating by Tennis Court: this includes some benches by the tennis court as requested by people who play there.

Promenade sweeping and repair: during the winter, the prom needs regular sweeping – we are talking with the council to see if they will do this. In the long term, the prom will need upgrading.

Outdoor Education Compound: the compound by the outdoor education centre is very overgrown and needs tidying up.

FOHP tool store: we have to take all our tool down to the park every volunteer session – it’d be easier if we could store them in the park ready for use.

Erosion at the Eastern End: the erosion continues apace with the autumn and winter storms. The Council are waiting on a permit – once that comes in, it’s a case of chasing up the work that needs doing.

Extending the wildflower area: after the success of the wildflower area behind the floodbank, we are extending it to at least twice the size. We’ll run a volunteer day in March to get the ground dug, ready to lay the special wild flower turf.

Refurb of flower bed by Ashmore Avenue entrance: the flower bed at the entrance to the park needs some serious work. It needs a plan of action and then a good old refurbishment.

Toilet refurb: last year, the new council announced funds to refurbish the toilets in the park. We haven’t heard anything else about this, but the toilets are in dire need of a full refurbishment.

Out and about in Hamworthy

Blandford road planters: we are continuing to look after and plant up the planters along Blandford Road – this year we plan to add some water retaining gel to the planters to reduce the amount of watering our volunteers have to do in the summer.

Litter picking in Hamworthy: we are continuing our winter litter picks out and about in Hamworthy. We are supporting groups and individuals with practical help and contacts, helping to grow the number of people who are out and about keeping Hamworthy tidy.


A massive thank you to all our volunteers and supporters – here’s to another great year in Hamworthy Park!

Festive news from Hamworthy Park

With the last two Wednesdays falling on the most important days of the festive season, it has been understandable that volunteer numbers have been a bit lower than usual.

Nevertheless, litter picking in the park has continued over the holiday as has clearing up poo after irresponsible dog owners. We even managed a bit of gardening.

Muddy Boots

Thanks to Muddy Boots Nursery, the Wednesday Volunteers have been enjoying the container of chocolates given to us before Christmas. But we are only allowed one for every bucket of litter we pick up! Thank you Muddy Boots – we do love to see you in the park.

Wednesday volunteers hamworthy park

Dog toys

We do get some lovely dogs enjoying themselves in the park. Some obviously got too many presents for Christmas as they keep leaving them for us to find! Any lost toys can be reclaimed from the Paddling Pool Van on Wednesday mornings — by the park cafe. At the last count there were eleven balls in the van! In the spirit of the holiday, we can always find a less well off dog who would appreciate one of the unclaimed balls.

Dog toys hamworthy park

New Year’s day on the beach

On New Year’s Day we met a family enjoying themselves for the first time in their newly acquired beach hut – note the festive decoration over the entrance. The air was a little damp, but what a great way to spend New Years day…in Hamworthy Park!

Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2020.

Beach hut hamworthy park

FOHP Christmas Fundraising


In late November, we had a publicity event in the Hamworthy Coop foyer. This turned out to be a quiet day due to the weather. But the main reason for being there was to be presented with a cheque for £3614.13 by the manager.

This amount was raised through the Coop Local Community Fund by the local Coop customers who have nominated the Friends as their favourite local cause. We then get 1% of what they spend on Coop brand products when they use their Coop cards.

FOHP have been accepted on to this scheme for a further year so if you are a Coop member, please register us as your favourite local cause.

We raised a total of £52.14 on the day for our funds so thank you to our volunteers who looked after our stall at various times throughout the day

St Edwards

Saturday 23 November saw FOHP attend the St Edwards Christmas Fayre where we had been offered a free table. We took our usual FOHP publicity material, Christmas cards, coasters, key rings and fridge magnets, etc and also some jams and chutneys. Either side of this on our table we had two tombolas – one for children the other adults.

Pictured is Pat at our stall when she had a visit from the Poole Town Crier and some stormtroopers! We raised a modest £47.30 – not bad for an event so far afield.

St Michael’s Church

The next fund raising event was the Christmas Fayre at St Michael’s Church, Hamworthy. There was a great atmosphere as children played games and met Santa for a photo and a present. This being home turf, we raised over £300.

Total raised

So, from all the events we raised over £400 – many thanks to all who helped and all who came to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.

From all of us here at FOHP, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

News from the park – Wednesday volunteers

Flower beds

On Wednesday,  the volunteers carried out the usual litter and dog poo picking. We also cleared the flower bed in front of the cafe of the ornamental grasses. This was because they were starting to smother the rose bushes. With this done, we could prune the roses that could not be reached last week.

The bed looks a bit of a mess now but we will tidy it up this coming Wednesday and meanwhile consider what new plants we might put in. Hopefully, over the winter months, a number of the existing primulas will provide a bit of colour.

Sand on the promenade

Having cleared the western end of the promenade of sand and debris last week, we found that the eastern end was not so bad. What had been deposited there was returned to the beach.

Fallen tree

The previous Wednesday, we were busy at the western end of the park. So we are not sure when it occurred – but we see that a tree near the redundant outdoor education centre had blown over in the recent strong winds. We’ve reported this to the Council who will hopefully deal with it soon. The Council doesn’t allow our volunteers to use power tools in the park – something that we are working hard to change!

Marine life

A spectacular looking star fish was seen today – the largest one I have seen in one our beach. A man was trying to return it to the water without much success as the next wave beached it again. Not being an expert on marine life, I’m not sure if it is too late once it has been deposited on the beach – perhaps there is an expert out there who can let us know.

Last week we noted that something in the water near a groyne had taken the interest of a lady – she informed us it was a cuttlefish she had seen swimming, but when I got there hoping for a photo it had disappeared. We know they are about as it is not unusual to find the odd cuttlefish bone on the beach.

Get involved

If you would like to get some fresh air, meet people and make a difference, then come and join one of our volunteering groups.

Wednesday Volunteers – meet every Wednesday in Hamworthy Park, 9.30 am outside the park cafe. Just turn up!

Saturday Volunteers – we run a programme of Saturday volunteer events roughly once a month.

See our website or Facebook for further details. Or get in contact.

Sand on the Promenade

It’s been a week of high tides and winds! And as such, a great deal of sand and debris had been deposited on the promenade.

If it is left on the promenade, it builds up and can make life difficult for wheelchairs, pushchairs and young children on their scooters.

So, on Wednesday, two volunteers spent a couple of hours shovelling and sweeping it all back onto the beach. Unfortunately, we were unable to clear the whole of the prom as the amount of sand gradually took its toll on the elderly volunteers.

Fortunately, the Wednesday morning weather was very good and as we progressed, first coats were removed then cardigans! We concentrated our efforts on the worst areas and did manage to clear the stretch from the western end to the central footpath as can be seen in the before and after photos.

No doubt the volunteers will be back before winter is done!


Hedgehogs & Hibernation

Hamworthy Hedgehog rescue are back to give you some autumn advice on all things “hedgehog”.

Hibernating or just sleeping? 

Hedgehogs are one of the few mammals that are true hibernators. Hibernation is a complicated and often perilous energy conservation strategy. It is not just ‘going to sleep’. In sleep, all bodily functions remain nearly normal. But in hibernation, the metabolism is almost at a standstill.

During hibernation, hedgehogs drop their body temperature to match their surroundings and enter a state of torpor. This allows them to save a lot of energy but slows down all other bodily functions making normal activity impossible.

Building up fat reserves

Those hedgehogs visiting your garden over the next month will be trying to get as much body fat built up as possible. This is so that they can be ready to hibernate – so please do keep providing food and water for your visiting hedgehogs.

Please note that hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and ordinarily will not be out and about during daylight hours. If you do see one, there is every likelihood that it is in some kind of difficulty. It may require professional assistance. As with every rule, there are always exceptions; if the hog that you’ve spotted looks very active and busy please try to observe before intervening. Don’t forget that we are dealing with live, wild creatures and each case will be different.

How do I know if a hedgehog needs help? 

It is generally considered that hedgehogs who are less than 600 – 650 grams by the end of October are too small to hibernate, and are unlikely to survive the winter. However, here in the South, if it remains mild this can be stretched on into November. Once we have a frost, any hogs under 600g will be in trouble.

Any small hedgehog that you see out after October is in serious trouble, and will be desperately looking for food to increase its weight in order to hibernate. This will be difficult because its natural food is declining.

How to help a hedgehog in trouble

These hedgehogs must be rescued and over-wintered by a suitably equipped hedgehog rescue/carer. If you should find such a hedgehog pick it up and place it into a high sided, escape-proof box. Fill a hot water bottle or a pop bottle with hot water and wrap it in a towel. Place the towel-wrapped hot water bottle or pop bottle in the bottom of the box and pop the hedgehog in next to it. Place another towel over the hedgehog and close the box – be aware, hedgehogs can climb out of boxes!

Then phone us (Hamworthy Hedgehog Rescue) on 07587 925476, or alternatively call the BHPS on 01584 890 801 for details of your local hedgehog rescue.

If you are ever worried about the health or welfare of a hedgehog, please call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801. They will be able to give you advice, and put you in touch with a local rescue centre if necessary.

Saturday volunteers – Keeping Hamworthy Tidy

After the success of the 2018 autumn/winter Saturday volunteer programme, FOHP is running it again.

Caring for Hamworthy Park is our primary goal. But our constitution also states that we should seek to look after and improve other Hamworthy green space.

Working with community groups

With this in mind, we have organised litter picks in the wider Hamworthy area together with as many other community groups as possible.

Our hope is that this will lead to new friends groups for other Hamworthy greenspace that we can share our skills with. The more green space that is cared for by volunteers, the better. This is because it gives local people a say in how these spaces are managed and maintained – preserving them for future generations.

Areas we have litter picked

– St Michaels Churchyard and Cobbs lane – together with St Michael’s Church
– The flower beds outside McColl’s, the area around the Adam Practice, Dentist, and along Blandford Road.
– Rigler Road
– Hamworthy Recreation Ground
– Tuckers’ field, the area outside the library and along Blandford Road
– Ham Common – together with Poole Heathlands
– Bluebell Woods – together with 1st Hamworthy Cubs

Sucess in Bluebell Woods

The biggest success has been the creation of the “Bluebell Woods and Community Garden” group led by St Michaels Church. A chance conversation between the Vicar and one of our Trustees led to us supporting this fledgling group. We helped the project with contacts at the Council and Dorset Wildlife Trust, funding knowledge, and project planning.

The project has now been accepted on the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s “Urban Green” project. It aims to bring the 2 acres of woodland behind St Michael’s back into community use.

This is a great example of how we can work together with other groups to care for and preserve Hamworthy’s green spaces.

Success – Hamworthy in Bloom

Another success has been the replanting and repainting of the planters along Blandford Road. Ultimately, the wooden ones will need replacing. But in the meantime, we’ve given them a lick of paint and planted them up to look stunning! The flower bed outside McColls is a work in progress.

This year’s programme

We have spoken with Council officers and Councillors about potential improvements to Tuckers field – watch this space!

And we’ve got dates for these litter picks up to Christmas:

  • Saturday, 5th October – Bluebell woods, St Michael’s Church
  • Saturday, 16th November – Turlin Moor
  • Saturday, 14th December – Hoyal Road zigzag and Carisbrooke play area

We are happy to take suggestions on places to pick in the new year.

Less litter

The really good news is that at many of the sites there is now much less litter to pick up. This is because we have removed the historic litter and organised regular picks. It is heartening to see that local volunteers can make such a big difference and that regularly clearing an area means less litter gets dropped overall.

Our autumn and winter programme is the perfect way to get involved in caring for your local green spaces – and you can just turn up!

How can I join in?

If you’d like to join in one of our litter picks, we advertise the time and dates on both our website and Facebook page – just come along and lend a hand!

If you are part of a community group and would like to work together on one of these picks, just get in touch and we’ll take it from there.

You can make a difference, so what’s stopping you?

Poster: FOHP Autumn and Winter Litter Picks 2019

Donate to the Friends of Hamworthy Park with Amazon Smile

If you shop with Amazon –  and who doesn’t – Amazon smile is a great way to donate to Friends of Hamworthy Park.  Amazon gives 0.5% of the net purchasing price to your selected charity.

On the website

Simply go to smile.amazon.co.uk, sign in and select Friends of Hamworthy Park as your Charity.

On the App

If you are an AmazonSmile customer, you can now support The Friends Of Hamworthy Park in the Amazon shopping app on your Android device! Simply follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating donations.

  1. If you have the latest version of the Amazon Shopping App, open the App on your Android device.
  2. View Settings and select AmazonSmile.
  3. Follow the in App instructions to complete the process.

It’s incredibly simple and easy to do. So why wait!

Report a problem in Hamworthy Park

It is often hard to know where to report issues in the park. While we at FOHP try to forward on any issues we are aware of, it is really useful and important to have park users report these issues themselves.

It helps the Council or Police to build an accurate picture of the issues facing park users.

Below, you can find information about who and where to report common park issues.

Reporting to the Council

Report a general problem with the park to the Council:

Or give them a call on: 01202 265265

Council “Out of Hours” team: 0800 506050
Use this to report maintenance issues that need immediate attention or are dangerous, outside of normal office hours.

Reporting to the police

Police non-emergency number: 101
Please do report vandalism, threatening or intimidating behaviour (after the fact) – even if the police cannot help, it gives them a picture of the issues facing park users and that is useful.

Use 101 to…

  • to give the police information about crime in your area
  • to speak to the police about a police related enquiry
  • if your car has been stolen
  • if your property has been damaged
  • if you suspect drug use or dealing in your local area
  • to report a minor traffic accident

Police emergency: 999
If a crime is in progress or life is in danger, then call the emergency number.