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Ferndown
Ferndown, parish church of St. Mary - geograph.org.uk - 505282.jpg
The Parish Church of St Mary, Ferndown
Population 26,559 (parish, 2011)
OS grid reference SU071009
• London 100 miles (161 km) NE
Civil parish
  • Ferndown Town
Unitary authority
  • Dorset
Ceremonial county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town FERNDOWN
Postcode district BH22
Dialling code 01202
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
  • Christchurch
List of places
UK
England
Dorset
50°49′N 1°54′W / 50.81°N 1.90°W / 50.81; -1.90Coordinates: 50°49′N 1°54′W / 50.81°N 1.90°W / 50.81; -1.90

Ferndown is a town and civil parish in Dorset in southern England, immediately to the north of Bournemouth and Poole. The parish, which until 1972 was called Hampreston, includes the communities of Hampreston, Longham, Stapehill and Trickett's Cross. At the 2011 Census, the population of the parish was 26,559, making Ferndown the second largest inland town in Dorset in terms of population, after Dorchester.

The district has a relatively large elderly population: in 2006, 38.5% were aged 60 or above.

Transport

Ferndown lies adjacent to the A31 trunk road between Wimborne and Ringwood. To the east, the A31 connects to the M27 and M3 via the outskirts of Southampton to Winchester, and thence to Basingstoke and London or via the A34 to the M4 north of Newbury. To the west, the A31 links to the A35 to East Dorset and Devon. The nearest railway station is Branksome, 6.8 miles (10.9 km) away.

The nearby port of Poole provides year-round services to Cherbourg in France and Santander in Spain. Condor Ferries catamarans run seasonal services to Guernsey, Jersey and St. Malo, Brittany.

Ferndown is also only 4 miles (6.4 km) from Bournemouth International Airport at Hurn. Ryanair, EasyJet, Thomsonfly, Bmibaby and Palmair operate from the airport and provide scheduled services to destinations in the UK and Europe.

Sport and recreation

The King George's Field named in memoriam to King George V is very large area of open space including a children's playground with equipment for children with special needs, six tennis courts, four football pitches, cricket pitch, a bowling green, boules area, croquet practice lawn and a fully equipped skateboard park.

There are two golf clubs, Ferndown Forest Golf Club, which offers a single 18-hole course, and Ferndown Golf Club, which offers two courses: The Old Course also known as the Championship Course, and the nine-hole Presidents Course.

The Ferndown Leisure Centre, situated next to Ferndown Upper School, has two heated pools, a sports hall, a fully equipped Gymnasium, Squash Courts and a rifle range as well as a power house suite.

Ferndown Community Centre is one of the town's main attractions, home of the Barrington Theatre in the main shopping centre at Penny's Walk, which also includes a large Tesco supermarket and the local branch of the county library.

Also there are large areas of woodland and heathlands around Ferndown including Holt Heath and Slop Bog. This heathland originally covered the entire area and up until the early 1900s covered many areas that are now residential. Also on many of the heaths and in much of the woodland there are many burial mounds and small ponds. However, recently Ferndown Heath, visible from King George V playing field, has been subject to several heath fires.

Twin town

Education

Schooling in Ferndown, as in much of Dorset, is based on a three-tier system of first, middle and upper schools. Ferndown Upper School is a co-educational comprehensive school for students aged between 13 and 19, with up to 320 pupils admitted each year from its feeder middle schools in Ferndown, West Moors and Verwood.

Ferndown Middle School (on the former Gorsemoor Middle School site) takes pupils at age 9 from Ferndown First School (on the old Ferndown Middle School site), Hampreston First School and Parley First School. The Ferndown school changes occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the original first school was demolished to make way for a small residential area named Old School Close, and former Dorset Council offices, now called Enterprise House and owned by logistics company Hoare Lea. The two middle schools combined and one became the new first school.

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