|HCC Site ID.||1626||Parish:||Fareham|
|Designations:||CP, SCI||Area:||9 ha|
|Access:||Public Access||Ownership:||Fareham Borough Council|
Location and site
The Park Lane Recreation Park is situated in the centre of Fareham approximately 500m north west of the library, community centre and Fareham Shopping Centre (OS 2000). It is bordered to the north by Miller Drive, to the east by Park Lane, to the south by New Road and Colenso Road and to the west by Arundel Drive and Leigh Road. It is situated within a residential area with mixed period housing around all boundaries.
The park contains a children’s play area, skate ramp, multiple sports facilities and open spaces consisting of a combination of short grass, shrubs and mature trees. Many hard (Tarmac) paths crisscross the site.
The Park Lane Recreation Park occupies land that was previously part of the Uplands Estate owned in the 1850’s by Captain John Beardmore and later Mr Sidney Waterlow. By 1908, the house was empty (Sense of Place South East 2016; A History of the County of Hampshire 1908) and it is likely at the beginning of the twentieth century that land was sold off. Uplands House, a Grade II listed Georgian Manor House (British Listed Buildings) is situated to the north of the park at the top of North Hill. It has been an old people’s home but is now a private hospital. Many of the mature trees in the park have been retained and are thought to be from the original plantings of the estate.
The 1856 6″ OS map shows the Uplands estate the eastern boundary of which is Puxol Lane (now Park Lane). There are virtually no changes in the 1898 and 1910 6″ OS maps but in the 1933 6″ OS map a recreation ground is shown to the south with allotment gardens bordering the site to the west. This is the first time the lane is called Park Lane. However, the 1941 6″ OS map reverts to Puxol Lane and the map published in 1947 again refers to Park Lane. (NLS Maps 2016).
Fareham Bowling Club is situated within the recreation ground and is enclosed by hedges. The Green was laid in 1974, it has very good drainage due to the thick layer of chalk from Portsdown Hill used in the construction of the green. (Fareham Bowling Club 2016)
In 1996 a children’s play area was installed and in 2006 a skate park was installed within the recreation ground but in 2014, Fareham Borough Council announced that a large injection of money (£600,000) was to be available to update the facilities within the recreation ground. The Borough Council produced a five year plan, ‘Improving Park Lane’, following public consultation. Phase I of the plan was completed by 2015 and a new children’s play area, previously sited below trees was reinstated in a more central, visible position. A new concrete skate park was built and outdoor gym equipment was installed. (Fareham Borough Council 2015, Barber 2014). Further improvements proposed are to provide multi-sports areas where the tennis courts are currently situated. Cycling through the park is to be encouraged and bike racks are to be provided. Major improvements to the site are environmental/ecological enhancements. Trees and plants from around the globe are be used to supplement those already in place, a woodland walk is to be formed by extra plantings and the mature trees in the north and west of the site are to be added to by new trees and shrubs to form an arboretum. Wild flower meadows and buffer zones are to be introduced between different areas and facilities, some of these plantings are to be in the style of Piet Oudolf. Community involvement in the horticultural plans within the park and involvement with ‘Fareham in Bloom’ is an important aim within the five year plan. (Fareham Borough Council 2015 )
The recreation ground is a well managed and maintained site, it surrounds on two sides the Leisure Centre which is in the north east corner. Large areas of the recreation ground are mown grass but around all the boundaries and throughout the site there are large numbers of trees and shrubs which give the site an enclosed and rural feel despite being in the centre of a large town. There is evidence of recent plantings of trees and shrubs within the site including avenues of trees (Acer campestre, Sorbus aria, Carpinus betulus) as detailed within the five year plan. There is a wide range of tree and shrub types within the site.
All areas of the site can be accessed by walkers or cyclists by well lit interconnecting Tarmac paths throughout the site and around all boundaries. The site is fairly flat with no steps and there are several benches available.
In the centre of the site is the Bowling Club surrounded by tall hedges and distinct sports facility areas are situated throughout plus a children’s play area.
Summary and significance
This is a very well used community facility within a large town, a facility that can enhance the health and well being of all those who use it. Ecologically, this site is an important oasis for wildlife and contains many mature trees, a fragment from a previous important estate. The ‘Vision for Park Lane’ will enhance the sites’ ecology and diversity credentials.
HGT Research: September 2016
A History of the County of Hampshire 1908 Vol 3 pp209 – 216 pub Victoria County History, London. ed. William Page at British History Online http://british-history.ac.uk – accessed September 2016
Barber 2014 ‘Fareham park set for £600,000 facelift’ in The News: 11th June at
http://portsmouth.co.uk accessed September 2016
British Listed Buildings, Listed buildings in Fareham, Hampshire http://britishlistedbuildings.co.uk – accessed September 2016
Fareham Borough Council 2015 ‘Improving Park Lane’ at http://fareham.gov.uk – accessed September 2016
Fareham Bowling Club 2016 at http://farehambowls.myfreeola.uk – accessed September 2016
Ordnance Survey (2000) Street Atlas South Hampshire (3.5 inches to 1mile/5.52cm to 1km) pp 131
NLS (National Library of Scotland) http://maps.nls.uk – accessed September 2016
Sense of Place, South East http://sopse.org.uk – accessed September 2016