Bersted Brooks Park Masterplan

We have engaged Stephenson Halliday to help plan the long-term future of the park. In spring 2023 they collected and analysed information about the open spaces to identify the constraints and opportunities for the masterplan proposals.  A resident survey has provided feedback on site issues, how people currently use the open spaces and how people would like to see them used in the future.

We are now seeking your views on the concept masterplan for Bersted Brooks Park.

The proposals have been prepared to help us plan for maintenance, and the ongoing effects of climate change and flood mitigation, whilst enhancing recreation and existing biodiversity.

The survey can be completed from 7 July until 5pm on 31 July 2023.

Complete the survey

The masterplan will also be available to view at Bersted Park Community Centre, Lakeland Avenue PO21 5FF on Saturday 15 July 10am – 12.30pm.

If you would like a paper copy of the survey, please phone 01903 737951 or email

Consultation display boards in PDF format can be downloaded:

Board 1: Existing conditions [pdf] 6MB

Board 2: Emerging concepts [pdf] 2MB

Board 3: Phases of delivery [pdf] 15MB

Or viewed individually with an accessible text format by opening the following headings: 

Public Consultation Board 1 – Existing conditions

Board 1 - described below





The project title of Bersted Brooks Park…wildspace on your doorstep is accompanied by an image of a wetland scene with tree and shrub planting either side of a river and reed planting and a kingfisher in the foreground.

The consultation board has a title of existing conditions and shows a plan of the existing site, a project timeline, quotes from the resident survey and photographs of different parts of the site.

The design and consultation process

The potential to improve Bersted Brooks and Bersted Park and distinguish their contribution as valuable open spaces is being explored and developed. This board shows a site analysis which guides the development of the ideas on the emerging concept boards.

Project timeline

A timeline for the project is broken down into 4 sections:

1. Site and baseline analysis. Bersted Brooks and Park are identified for improvement.

2. Stakeholder consultation and correspondence. One to one meetings were offered to stakeholders who couldn’t attend the initial event.

3. Public consultation has included the resident survey and the consultation event. We are currently at this stage.

4. Outline masterplan development.  This will involve the production of an outline masterplan which will identify phases of delivery and next steps.

Speech bubbles have been included to summarise what has been said so far

“I love my walks with my children to teach them about wildlife and the environment.”

“I live here. I don’t want more visitors parking outside my house and compromising my privacy.”

“Let nature do its thing. Just make sure the park is accessible.”

“What happens to the maintenance we pay for living at Bersted Park now?”

“We’d like to see more opportunities for youth support and engagement.”

“The flooding makes large parts of the park inaccessible for significant parts of the year.”

Key challenge photo – Flooding and future adaptability; doing nothing is not an option. Photo by Keir Greenway (17 Nov 2022)

Aerial photo of the roundabout on the North Bersted bypass (A259) Rowan Way and the flooded fields of Bersted Brooks local nature reserve and the surrounding agricultural land to the north.

Main map

A satellite image of Bersted Brooks local nature reserve and Bersted Park shows areas of formal and semi-natural open space, the Aldingbourne Rife and streams crossing the site. Bersted Park lake is shown on the western edge, and the car park at Bersted Brooks is shown on the eastern edge. Saltbox industrial estate is shown to the north of the project area. The North Bersted bypass (A259) Rowan Way runs through the centre of the project area, with Bersted Park to the south and Bersted Brooks to the north.

Description of photographs on Board 1

A – Car park – Community Centre

Side view of Bersted Community Centre building and a row of parked cars in the spaces next to the building.

B – Car Park – Bersted Brooks

The car park at Bersted Brooks local nature reserve showing many water-filled potholes. 

C – Play Area – Community Centre

Landscape view across the grass to Bersted Park skate park, showing the fenced games area and Bersted Community Centre in the background.

D – Play Area – Liberty Gardens

Play equipment set in a bark pit including timber swings and timber log climbing unit.

1 – Bersted Park Lake - view from western end looking east

A muddy pathway with bare trees and hedgerows to one side and the wetland grasses and reeds of the lake to the other side.

2 – Bersted Park Lake - view from eastern end looking west

An area of overgrown reeds and vegetation, with fencing in the foreground and the watercourse and surrounding trees in the distance.

3 – Berry Lane Meadow, semi-natural open space

Mown grass pathways crossing patches of uncut grassland and the housing of Bersted Park in the background.

4 – Village Green - Trim trail equipment and formal paths

Timber trim trail equipment on the grass in the background with a tarmac pathway that splits in two in the foreground.

5 – Village Green - southern end / Berry Lane

Two timber benches next to a tarmac pathway amongst trees and mown grass at Bersted Park.

6 – Village Green - Southern End / Berry Lane

The grass field south of the Community Centre with a gravel pathway that crosses the grass and trees in the distance.

7 – Western Field Meadows

Landscape view across open fields with hedgerows and trees running across areas of semi-natural grassland.

8 – WW2 Pillbox

A red brick pill box amongst overgrown vegetation with a mud track running in front.

9 – Northerly view from Senior Sports Pitches

Landscape view of a flat grass sports pitch with trees and hedgerows in the distance.

10 – Northerly view across A259 crossing to Shripney Lane

Pedestrian refuge island on the A259 with plastic bollards on either side.

11 – Eastern Fields, between Rowan Way and Shripney Lane

A timber bridge amongst overgrown reeds and grass, with housing in the distance.

12 – Land West of Shripney Lane

A metal bridge barrier amongst overgrown wetland grasses and reeds.

13 – Bersted Brooks - Western End

Landscape view across a semi-natural open grass field with hedgerows and trees on the left-hand side.

14 – Aldingbourne Rife

The watercourse with overgrown wetland grasses and reeds in the background and semi-natural grassland in the foreground.

15 – Bersted Brooks - Eastern End

A mud pathway running across open grassland with bare trees and overgrown vegetation to the right-hand side.

Public Consultation Board 2 – Emerging Concepts

Board 2 - described below





The project title of Bersted Brooks Park…wildspace on your doorstep is accompanied by an image of a wetland scene with tree and shrub planting either side of a river and reed planting and a kingfisher in the foreground.

The consultation board has a title of emerging concepts and shows an indicative masterplan which will be subject to further technical assessments.

Main map - description

A satellite image of Bersted Brooks local nature reserve and Bersted Park. The image retains the existing areas of formal and semi-natural open space.

New ditches and crossing points are shown next to the Aldingbourne Rife and streams crossing the site. Flood management interventions are shown next to the Aldingbourne Rife.

Potential raised pathway routes are shown through the fields of the Brooks, alongside the Aldingbourne Rife and connecting the western fields and sports pitches at Bersted Park.

Natural play features are shown along the new raised pathway routes throughout the Brooks and Park.

Way markers are shown at entrances to the site from Rowan Way, Lethaby Road, Berry Lane, North Bersted Street, Shripney Lane.

Interpretation boards for historical features are shown at the Willow Pond and the pill box. Roadside features are shown in locations along the North Bersted bypass (A259) on either side of the road near the roundabout and near the pedestrian crossing point.

A linear edible landscape route is shown from Rowan Way through the fields towards Bersted Park. 

Proposals to enhance the site include:

Waymarking and signage

Provide and improve waymarking and signage at key locations throughout park.

Raised pathways

Construct raised pathways to allow year-round access and views across the site. Paths would encourage people to follow a particular route and enable the creation of quieter areas for wildlife. Paths could be delivered in phases subject to funding and hydrological, engineering and environmental surveys.

Improve pathways where necessary

Roadside feature

Install features along bypass to create awareness of pedestrian activity and parkland setting.

WW2 pillboxes

Restore and protect WW2 heritage.

Include interpretation boards.

Adaptable parking

Add parking at edges of site, managed during periods of flooding. Locations subject to detailed transport, hydrological, environmental and engineering surveys.

Improve road crossing across the North Bersted Bypass between Bersted Brooks and Bersted Park.

Natural flood management interventions

Introduce flood storage areas or wetlands including ponds, scrapes, and water meadows, subject to hydrological, engineering and environmental surveys. This could result in drier areas enabling better access.

Nature only zones within local nature reserve to discourage use of certain areas for recreation.

New ditches /crossings within local nature reserve.

Natural play and ‘learning through landscape’ Incorporate natural features along route of pathway to interpret local nature reserve and floodplain.

Widen pathway in Bersted Brooks Field 1, with maintenance access gate provided from car park.

Enhance Saltbox entrance.

Adaptation of play provision

Replace some trim trail items with natural play features to add play value. Removed pieces to be reused where possible.

Explore opportunities to increase capacity of ditches and watercourses.

Historic interpretation

Include interpretation of the historic significance of Willow Pond and Berry Lane reflecting the former agricultural use of the site and North Bersted conservation area.

Wildspace meeting point

Area to make the most of longer views to the north with wildflower grassland, seating, natural play features and pockets of wetland planting. A bridge crossing the ditch would connect the open spaces and incorporate WW2 pillbox interpretation.

Enhance wildlife corridors to provide habitat connections beyond site boundaries.

Flood management interventions

Improve existing ditch network and introduce wetland planting. This could result in drier areas allowing better access.

Linear edible landscape

Community growing areas would provide opportunities for learning and volunteering and include features such as edible hedges.

Wetland planting

Wetland planting to improve flood resilience and enhance biodiversity.

Encourage dog walking in Field 1 of Bersted Brooks, keeping the remainder of the local nature reserve as a wilder area.

Brooks car park

Expand parking provision at Bersted Brooks and improve surfacing of car park. Proposed location for seasonal café / mobile catering.

Board 3 – Outline masterplan - phases of delivery

Board 3 - described below





The project title of Bersted Brooks Park…wildspace on your doorstep is accompanied by an image of a wetland scene with tree and shrub planting either side of a river and reed planting and a kingfisher in the foreground.

The consultation board has a title of outline masterplan – phases of delivery.  It summarises the vision for the open spaces gives examples of when particular works could be delivered. It also provides information about future management principles.

  • A place to enjoy the outdoors in all conditions
  • To understand landscape and water infrastructure
  • A place to learn from the past and to shape the future
  • A place to bring wildlife to your doorstep

The masterplan is a long term 30-year roadmap that is emerging from the consultation process where we are engaging with stakeholders and community members.

The masterplan is a concept at this stage and needs to be developed with further technical assessments to deliver the outcomes for all who live, work and play in Bersted.

The Bersted Brooks Park masterplan process has identified the following 7 themes which represent the priorities for the open spaces.

List of labels

  • Image of an insect - conserving and enhancing biodiversity
  • Image of trees and fields- landscape setting and character/ sense of place
  • Image of water drops - flood mitigation and healthy ecosystems
  • Image of a museum - historic character
  • Image of a beating heart - healthy and cohesive communities
  • Image showing a rambler - access to green recreation
  • Image of a hand holding a magnifying glass - lifelong learning/volunteer

The masterplan design approach is based on interventions shown on the emerging concept masterplan that can be delivered in different stages. These include: access, walkways, ditch and rife modifications, crossings, platforms, play and floodplain management.

Early works

Wetland planting to help create drier areas.

Images in this section include:

  • photos of a wetland and a lake, and a heron.
  • natural play, ‘learning through landscape’ features and adaption of play provision

Images in this section include:

  • photos of a child playing with a flower play board, sensory timber windchime play items, timber stepping logs and an artist impression of natural style timber play equipment
  • waymarking, signage, roadside features and historic interpretation

Images in this section include:

  • photos of a timber waymarker, a timber post sign, an artist impression of people standing on a raised meeting area
  • wildspace meeting point

Images in this section include:

  • photos of a timber log bench and a wildflower field
  • adaptable parking locations to reduce pressure in residential areas and pathways to be improved/widened where necessary

Images in this section include:

  • an artist impression of a car park with a temporary kiosk

Mid-long term works

Raised pathways.

Images in this section include:

  • an artist impression of raised stone pathways and timber board walks
  • linear edible landscape alongside wetland areas

Images in this section include:

  • photos of an apple tree, a friends garden and a community garden or allotment
  • natural flood management interventions

Images in this section include:

  • an artist impression of a lake with wetland planting

Long term aspirations

Improved crossing, future bridge over North Bersted Bypass / A259 linking the two areas north and south.

Images in this section include:

  • A photo of a curved raised footbridge

Outline management principles and aims:

  • adopt a ‘design through management’ approach, increasing access in certain areas, easing pressure on other parts of the park
  • discourage human activity in specific locations to aid the re-naturalisation and wilding of the landscape.
  • positively welcome people to Bersted Brooks Park, encouraging and facilitating year-round use for both physical and social benefit, whilst balancing the need to safeguard local wildlife and habitats across the park
  • maintain and enhance the diverse range mosaic of habitats within the park, notably woodland, scrub, meadow, and watercourses, increasing foraging, nesting and breeding opportunity with encouragement of wildlife corridors. Ensure habitat management is appropriate and based on best practice, particularly within Bersted Brooks local nature reserve
  • maintain formal/designed landscape areas whilst increasing awareness and understanding of the site’s natural environment and history, such as the WW2 heritage
  • ensure a healthy, safe and secure experience for site users
  • provide opportunities to increase community use and involvement, allowing local people to take a degree of ownership, particularly through volunteering opportunities, education, events, interpretation and building partnerships
  • improve the environmental quality and management of the park using sustainable practices, including the effective management of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) and watercourses
  • provide a well-maintained and clean open space for community use, maintaining the landscape and infrastructure to a high standard

Current management at Bersted Brooks Park

Through the course of the stakeholder consultation, some residents of the estate have been concerned that the annual fees they pay to the estate management company go towards the management / maintenance of the Bersted Park public open space which is identified in red on the plan below– this is not the case.  This area of public open space, which is subject to the consultation, is in public ownership and under the management of us as part of its greenspace portfolio. You can view further information regarding the parks and open spaces managed by us on our website.

The area that the estate management company is responsible, and for which an Estate Service Charge is paid, can be seen in blue on the attached plan (please note this is indicative) – these are integral to the development and do not include the public open space of the park.

Map of Bersted area - described below









(Click on the image to enlarge it)

The 9 areas of open space under Hobden’s management are shown in blue on the map, include areas on Waterside Way, Lakeland Avenue, Sonning Crescent, Kelmscott Way, Burberry Close, Chichester Road.

The areas under our management are shown in red on the map, which includes Bersted Park Lake, the fields of the village green on Berry Lane, the playing fields and semi-natural grassland to the south of the A259 between the community centre and the roundabout on Rowan Way, plus the semi-natural grassland of the Bersted Brooks local nature reserve to the north of the A259 from Shripney Lane to the Rowan Park caravan park.

Next steps

The results from the public consultation will be collated and an updated concept plan will be developed and presented to the Environment Committee for approval.