A heartfelt letter from a local Resident

15 December, 2021 | Contributions

I am very fortunate to be the fourth generation of a family to live within the lovely area of Poole and Bournemouth. Like my grandmother & great-g’mother before me, I have returned to enjoy retirement in a wonderful environment: The beaches are brilliant, especially since they have been replenished, and Poole has built magnificent rock groynes. These do a great job in mitigating against longshore drift and are evidently more environmentally friendly to sea-life. The promenade too is a marvellous feature in enhancing the seaside experience in a variety of weather + for ambling. Long may the sea, beach and prom be safe places for young families, wheelchair users, dog walkers and oldies like me. However, I do worry about the speed of a minority of cyclists on the prom and now a perceived menace of e-scooters:  My concerns are not just for myself but those who use these without wearing helmets, and the often-silent approach.  * I know of a good friend who lives locally, that since they were hit are too frightened to go on the prom… This can’t be acceptable!

Poole Harbour is magnificent for so many good reasons – from boating, through to its shores and stunning viewpoints. Yet as a local resident, I was dismayed when all the parking bays were removed from Evening Hill – despite objections. This place is highly significant for the harbour view, for its picnic area and for our local history – Lord Baden-Powell etc. I understand that the temporary cycle lane up the hill has now been ratified irrespective of the multitude of objections. A concession made, is that there will be some parking bays designated for people with disabilities – blue badge holders – in Alington Rd. with a crossing to Evening Hill to reach the viewpoint – still with an incline for the mobility impaired! With a steep hill & a slow climb – would a shared-use pedestrian/cycle-path, have been a better and a cheaper option?

Martins Bank at Salterns Court, Lilliput

Branksome Chine path leading to the sea

There is a run of 8 Chines from Flaghead to Durley Dene with various sub-chines reaching well-inland or now truncated. The BCP Council (as with the BoP before), recognises in its statements the national significance of these unique features. These coastal ravines (once with visible water courses) cut through the ‘local geology’ and provide ‘sheltered habitats’. (There are a few Chines on the Isle of Wight & in W. Dorset – and a similar Hampshire coastal cleft known as a Bunny). BCP advertises the valuable input of its Conservation Officer and now a BCP Officer in charge of Biodiversity initiatives… I understand that this is in accordance with the UK Govt’s Docs ‘Nature Positive 2030 – Evidence and Summary Reports’. 

See: Nature positive 2030 evidence report | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (daera-ni.gov.uk)

Despite mobility probs., I love ambling in The Chines, as these are prized for aspects of their biodiversity & geodiversity: Within an urban setting, adjacent to the coastal cliffs, prom + beaches these are havens of nature, beauty & tranquillity.

They’ve survived over the years to retain much of their character – although Edwardian postcards depict less vegetation/ Our Chines are being included in BCP Council’s Seafront Strategy Plan – which states that any plans adopted will protect ‘our natural environment‘ and celebrate ‘the distinctive identities of our coastline’…  Therefore, our Chines must never be sacrificed to inward investment developments and new attractions…  which should not be the subject of incursions:

e.g. a monkey-walk & zip wire in Branksome Dene Chine !  I cannot think of anything more hurtful to a beautiful Chine! With national initiatives to support Biodiversity, how can anyone conceive such a dreadful intrusion into a green haven? 

* I wish a Happy Christmas to our DLRA Chair and Reps… and also say a big ‘Thank You’ for all your efforts for our Area.

Name & address supplied