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Ferndown is a town and civil parish in the East Dorset district of Dorsetmarker in southern Englandmarker, situated immediately to the north of unitary authorities of Poolemarker and Bournemouthmarker. The parish, which until 1972 was called Hampreston, includes the communities of Hamprestonmarker, Longhammarker, Stapehill and Trickett's Crossmarker. The latest population figure (2006 mid year estimate) for the parish is 17,200.

The district has a relatively large elderly population (38.5% are aged 60 or above)..

Transport

Ferndown lies adjacent to the A31 trunk road between Wimbornemarker and Ringwoodmarker. To the east, the A31 connects to the M27 and M3 via the outskirts of Southamptonmarker to Winchestermarker, and thence to Basingstokemarker and Londonmarker or via the A34 to the M4 north of Newburymarker. To the west, the A31 links to the A35 to East Dorset and Devonmarker. The nearest railway station is Bournemouthmarker, away.

The nearby port of Poolemarker provides year-round services to Cherbourgmarker in France and Santandermarker in Spain. Condor Ferries catamarans run seasonal services to Guernseymarker, Jerseymarker and St. Malomarker, Brittany.

Ferndown is also only from Bournemouth International Airportmarker at Hurnmarker. Ryanair, EasyJet, Thomsonfly and Palmair operate from the airport and provide scheduled services to destinations in the UK and Europe.

Industry

On the outskirts of the town lie the Ferndown and Uddens Industrial Estates, forming the largest industrial area in East Dorset containing a wide range of both small and large businesses.

Ferndown is headquarters of the Stour and Avon Magazine (formerly Community Magazine), a free magazine which is published every Friday with a readership of over 55,000 copies a week.

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 Tescomarker 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.

Education

Schooling in Ferndown, as in much of Dorset, is based on a 3-tier system of first, middle and upper schools. Ferndown Upper Schoolmarker is a co-educational comprehensive school for students aged between 13 and 19 years, with up to 320 pupils admitted each year from its feeder Middle schools in Ferndown, West Moorsmarker and Verwoodmarker.

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), from Hampreston First School and from 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. The two middle schools combined and one became the new first school.

Twin Town



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