Iford Playing Fields

A series of works are proposed to further improve the public open space at Iford.

A series of works are proposed to further improve the public open space at Iford, following on from the construction of the new shared path through the playing fields and meadows during 2017. 

The aim is to develop this site as a destination where residents and visitors can walk, cycle, play and exercise, to promote health and wellbeing. We are also proposing to install visitor counters at key entrance points. These improvements will help the future aspiration for a green flag award for this site.

The Urban Heaths Partnership undertook a number of visitor surveys during September and October 2019. This information is being collated and will be fed back to BCP Council. 

Works include:

  • upgrading the existing circular path route to the south east of the car park
  • improvements to the car park
  • installation of new site furniture and signage
  • creation of a large meadow area on the unused lower pitch adjacent to Iford Lane and additional scrub/grassland management to Iford Meadows
  • new tree planting

Path improvement works should start during spring 2020, with the car park works following on once the football/rugby season has finished.

Buzzing with wildlife

As the lower area adjacent to Iford Lane is no longer used as a playing pitch (because of poor drainage), we are letting it revert to a more natural meadow. To begin with, the grass will be allowed to grow long, so we can see what plant species are already present. We can then develop appropriate management techniques to create a flourishing meadow buzzing with wildlife.

This project will help to address the Council’s obligations under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations to mitigate the impacts of new developments on protected heathlands and is identified in the Dorset Heathlands Supplementary Planning Document (2015) as a Heathland Infrastructure Project (HIP).

This also forms part of the adopted Stour Valley Masterplan (Dorset Local Nature Partnership work), part of the Stour Valley Project identified in the Bournemouth Core Strategy  (CS36) and meets wider ambitions across the BCP Council area within the Stour Valley Park vision.