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PQBH Marina Guide 2018 flipbook

Brownsea Island Brownsea

Brownsea Island Brownsea is the largest and most well known island within our great harbour and is well worth a visit. Begin your Brownsea adventure with an exciting boat trip across Poole Harbour from Poole Quay or Sandbanks. Whether you love nature or just want to escape the stresses of modern life or have fun with the kids, Brownsea Island is the perfect place to explore, relax and take time out. Take time to explore wonderful woodland, heathland and coastal walks with friends and family and discover Brownsea’s unique wildlife along the way. Brownsea Island has important populations of red squirrels (one of only two places left in Southern England) and nesting seabirds, especially terns. The visitor centre tells the story of the island’s fascinating history which includes use as a coastguard station, Victorian pottery, Edwardian country estate and a decoy in World War II. There are many secluded picnic spots and places to soak up the stunning harbour views. There’s also plenty for children to do. They can get wild about wildlife with a Brownsea Island tracker pack exploring the island’s wildlife or take part in a smugglers trail. There is a range of exciting seasonal events and activities throughout the year, so plenty to keep the little ones busy including a tree climbing trail and new natural play area. Finish your island adventure with a delicious cream tea in the Villano Café overlooking Poole Harbour and then shop for a Brownsea souvenir or local Dorset goodies in the new gift shop. 54 The Poole Harbour and Marina Guide 2018

There’s more! Brownsea is not the only island in the harbour. Poole Harbour is home to a total of eight islands, which have an interesting and diverse range of uses. Furzey Island lies to the south west of Brownsea. Seen from the water, or adjoining land, the island looks like another wild pineclad island. However, hidden in the trees are twenty-two oil wells split into two wellsites for the Wytch Farm Oil Field, which is linked by pipeline to Hamble on Southampton Water. The rarely seen tall oil rig can sometimes be a big landmark of southern Poole Harbour and the main landmark between Brownsea and Furzey. The well sites are manned 24 hours a day. Next door is Green Island, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Protection Area (SPA). Channel 4’s archaeological television programme Time Team found evidence of Iron Age commercial activity on Green Island. The remains of an Iron Age furnace were discovered, along with evidence of the production of shale jewellery. However, due to the lack of shale jewellery found in the surrounding Dorset area, archaeologists theorised that Green Island was a centre of production that exported its goods to continental Europe. This theory lends further evidence to Green Island having once been an important port. Round Island is situated further to the west, with the pier facing towards the RSPB reserve on the Arne Peninsula (where BBC’s Autumn Watch was filmed). The island is approximately 15 acres in size and although like all of Poole’s islands it is privately owned, it is possible to rent a cottage here and get your own taste of island life. Long Island had been privately owned by the Rempstone Estate for over 250 years but in 2007 it was closed to the public and put up for sale with offers invited in excess of £1 million. The sale was initially delayed by a rights of way application made by pleasure boat owners who feared the new landlords would deny public access to the island. However the application was dismissed by Dorset County Council in 2009 and the island was sold in 2010 for an estimated £3 million to a local property developer. He has however been denied planning permission to build a property on the island. The other three harbour islands are: • Gigger’s Island in the west of the harbour near the mouth of the River Piddle. • Drove Island off the south shore in Brands Bay. • Pergin’s Island in Holes Bay, near Upton House. 55

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