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

Litter in the Park – June 2019 Update

litter in hamworthy park

You may remember that last year, litter was a big problem in the park over the summer months. And you’ll have seen it for yourself when using the park.

What’s the problem?

Last year, there was an increase in park use due to the warm weather, along with the Council’s policy of removing some bins while replacing others.

Fenced-in area

Of particular concern, all the bins were removed from the fenced-in paddling pool and play area. This area has a number of picnic benches and is heavily used by families visiting the paddling pool, eating picnics and playing on the play equipment.

It’s the one place in the park that really needs litter bins! Why? Because it is where the most litter is generated. Also, with all the bins being outside the fenced area, parents/carers feel uneasy about leaving children in this area unattended while they take litter outside to the bins. Equally, they are unhappy about letting children out to put litter in the bins themselves as they pass out of view.

The removal of these bins was supposed to reduce the amount of litter being dropped in the fenced-in area. However, it has resulted in an increase in litter, smashed glass and dirty nappies.

Car park bins

Also, the removal of a number of bins from around the car park has resulted in a noticeable increase in littering there. Again, this area has picnic benches and is heavily used – one of the places you that really needs bins.

These increases meant that FOHP litter picking volunteers were in the park 2 to 3 times more than normal last year – an unsustainable amount.

You can read about the issues from last year, here, and a follow up at the end of the season, here.

What’s been done?

This year FOHP have tried to get ahead of the curve with mixed results.

Discussion with the Council

In March, we sat down with the Council to discuss possible ways of reducing litter for the 2019 season.

Ideally, we want bins reinstated in the fenced of paddling pool and play area, and by the car park. We have been told previously that this will not happen.

In addition to this, our suggestions included:

  • Support from the Council litter team on bank holidays.
  • Temporary bins in strategic places in agreement with our volunteers, including by the western entrance to the paddling pool.
  • Signs in the paddling pool area to show where bins are positioned outside the gates.
  • High profile visits from the dog wardens

Of these suggestions, the Council agreed to place two temporary bins in the park – but like last year, they will not put both of them where our volunteers suggest.


FOHP have been running litter picks with various nurseries and youth groups. This helps teach children the value of looking after our green spaces and hopefully, they’ll grow up to respect our open spaces. It also means more litter getting picked in the park.

Local community groups

In addition, we’ve had a number of local groups asking to pick litter in the park. Of course, we said yes! And thank you!

Next steps

We will be making our local Councillors aware of the issues as well as organising additional litter picks in the park over the summer months.

The issue of bins in the fenced off paddling pool and play area is a safety issue as much as a littering issue and needs to be addressed – ideally with the reinstatement of these bins.

Saturday volunteers – Hamworthy Recreation Ground

Getting started

On Saturday, 9th March, FOHP volunteers met up at Hamworthy Reaction ground for a litter pick. At first, it looked like being an easy job – but there ended up being a lot more litter than anyone had thought!

Areas covered

The size of team changed as people came and went, but we had around 13 volunteers who made short work of the litter in the main recreation field.


Large amounts of rubbish were found near the BMX track and particularly in the woods behind. This is where the work really started! As well as the usual bottles, cans and plastic wrappers, we also found road work barriers, metal posts, old towels and a number of old tarps. The children we had on the pick dubbed this area “litter land”!


How much rubbish?

The Council refuse guys who came to collect the litter said, and I quote, “This is the biggest amount of rubbish I’ve ever seen from a community litter pick!” We had 21 bags of litter plus a large old sign, some road work barriers and old assorted bits of tin roofing. Not bad for an hour and a half!


As an added bonus, one of our volunteers saw a common lizard sunning itself on the fringes of the rec ground. It managed to scuttle off before we could get a picture, but we are happy to have tidied up it’s home a little bit.

Thank you

A big thank you to all the volunteers who came along to pick the litter, and to the refuse guys for taking it all away.

Get involved!
Do you fancy making a difference in your community, meeting some new people and getting some fresh air? We have a selection of volunteering events:

Wednesday Volunteers – meet every Wednesday in Hamworthy Park, 10.00am outside the park cafe.

Saturday Volunteers – we run a programme of Saturday volunteer events roughly once a month. The next event is the Tucker’s Field spring clean on Saturday, April 6th.

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

Saturday Volunteers – Litter Picking the Blandford Road


On Saturday 9th February, 15 FOHP volunteers of all ages were out and about for a spot of litter picking and gardening.

Areas covered

The Saturday Volunteers made short work of the litter along Blandford Road. We started from the parade of shops with McColl’s, Boots and around Adam’s Practice, then south down to St Michael’s Church and Cobb’s Lane, and north up the road as far as Hamworthy Dental practice.

FOHP volunteers with Councillor Julie Bagwell who joined us for the pick


The planters outside McColl’s and Boots were in a much worse state than we had anticipated. There are two small concrete planters and one large brick planter with trees and shrubs.

We litter picked the larger planter and hoed the soil over.  There is a large and thorny bush that needs trimming right back – we will need to return with better gloves and clippers! Ouch!

We emptied a mixture of water and mud from one of the smaller planters – roots from a nearby tree had blocked the drainage hole. This planter will need to be moved and, after the roots are cleared, refilled and planted up.

FOHP will return later in the spring to finish the job and get the planters full of colour.

Plan for improving the parade of shops

While we were litter picking, we were approached by a local resident. He showed us this plan for improvements to the space outside the McCool’s/Boots parade of shops. The proposed improvements include a salt bin so the steps, ramps and steep pavement can be treated in icy weather, the replacement of uneven paving, the installation of a cycle rack and a line of bollards to prevent illegal parking. Looks good to us!

Next litter pick

Hamworthy Recreation Ground is next on the list for some litter picking and TLC. Saturday 9th March, 10.00-12.00. All welcome for 5 minutes or 2 hours of community action. More details to follow on Facebook and the website.

Planters around Hamworthy

As we reported earlier in the year, FOHP volunteers have been looking after the large planters in various spots all over Hamworthy. Here they are adding a welcome splash of colour to the mix of plants and shrubs.

On February 9th, 10.00am, we will be doing a spot of gardening in the beds outside McCalls and Boots – getting them up and running ready for the spring!

If you fancy putting your green fingers to good use, come and join us. You can find more details here.

Saturday Volunteers – St Michael’s Church litter pick

Getting started
On Saturday, 3rd Nov, around 30 volunteers met up at St Michael’s Church to litter pick the Churchyard, woods and Cobb’s lane. The main aim was to get the Churchyard ready for the remembrance service. Can you guess how much litter we picked? Find out at the end of this post!

The first volunteers started arriving early from 9.40am – there was obviously a huge appetite to get stuck in. People kept filtering in as volunteers came and went – everyone was welcome whether they had 5 minutes or were staying for the whole pick.

Areas covered
The Churchyard itself only took 2 or 3 sweeps to be cleared, as did the area surrounding the church. In the woods and down Cobb’s lane it was a very different story, as you can see here.

Volunteers who went into the woods found them to be very overgrown, with new piles of rubbish being found in various corners and “dens”. The whole area was cleared out leaving the woods broadly litter free for the first time in a number of years.

Down on Cobb’s lane, sad to say, there were a number of fly-tipped items as well as a great deal of litter – fly-tipped items have been cataloged and the Council will be made aware shortly. Now that there is a team of people looking after this area, hopefully, fly-tipping incidents will reduce. Remember, if you see fly-tipped rubbish in this area or on any public land, please report it to the Council: here.

“From 9 May 2016, local authorities in England can issue fixed penalty notices between £150 to £400 for small-scale fly-tipping offences pursuant to the Unauthorised Deposit of Waste (Fixed Penalties) Regulations 2016.”

How much rubbish?
And the amount we picked? 1 metric tonne! That’s right, 1000kg (just a little short of an imperial tonne, for those who haven’t made the shift to metric yet). It was an impressive sight and a testament to the power of local people getting together to make a difference in their community.

This was a team effort – the Friends of Hamworthy Park together with volunteers from St Michael’s church – with the support of Poole Council.

A great big thank you to everyone who gave up their Saturday morning – the litter pickers, the volunteers who sorted out tea and cakes, the wonderful refuse guys from the council who picked up the rubbish (and weighed it for us), the churchwardens and Friends who worked out the dreaded insurance, the Friends for providing some of the litter pickers and Poole Council for providing the rest.

Get involved!
Do you fancy making a difference in your community, meeting some new people and getting some fresh air? We have a selection of volunteering events:

Wednesday Volunteers – meet every Wednesday in Hamworthy Park, 10.00am outside the park cafe.

Saturday Volunteers – we run a programme of Saturday volunteer events – upcoming events include bulb planting in the park, November 10th, 10.30 am, and the Rigler Road litter pick, December 1st.

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