Residents launch Save Frogs Copse campaign

deer running at frogs copseResidents have set up a petition to stop Frogs Copse - a “much-valued meadow at the heart of the Townhill Park and Bitterne Park community”, being built upon. 
Council consults over Townhill Park ideas

Described as a “much-valued meadow at the heart of the Townhill Park and Bitterne Park community”, parts of Frogs Copse could be built upon as part of the redevelopment of Townhill Park estate. While the council’s cabinet member for housing has told that “it’s too early to say if Frogs Copse would be part of the redevelopment”, a petition has already been set up to oppose any possible building on the meadow.

A Facebook page and petition have been set up by Isobel Reid, who also supplied the accompanying photographs taken during dog walks at Frogs Copse, showing just some of the local wildlife sometimes spotted there.


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fawn_at_frogs_copse“There's nothing like going for an early morning walk and coming across a deer and her fawn, or a family of foxes, just metres away from where I live,” she said. “The plans to build on Frogs Copse are not extensive, however local residents are concerned that once the land is built upon, it will become less and less protected, and may eventually result in Frogs Copse disappearing completely.” 


“Any building work would undoubtedly disturb the wildlife and would involve creating road access for the planned accommodation, which would mean wildlife, pet dogs and children would be more vulnerable to road traffic in what is currently a very sheltered section of land, away from nearby roads. I and other local residents are baffled as to why the planned building work is destined for Frogs Copse and not some other section of the Townhill Park estate, as we believe it will negatively impact on the dynamics of this community. We want to raise awareness in the hope that the council will rethink their plans to dissect this green space."

“Development not due during first phase”

Labour councillor Warwick Payne, cabinet member for housing and leisure at Southampton City Council, told “We’re looking to transform the Townhill Park council estate into a modern and high quality suburban neighbourhood.

“Our plans include around 675 homes, of which one third would be for private sale, and 450 new council homes. This is nine times more council homes than have been built in Southampton during the past 25 years, so this is a dramatic change for the council, but our new administration is determined to provide the homes that our city needs.

“At this stage it’s too early to say if Frogs Copse would be part of the redevelopment. It’s not due to be in the first phase of the redevelopment, and ecological surveys might establish that it isn’t suitable for later inclusion.

“Even if part of Frogs Copse was used, it is unlikely that more than a quarter of it would be incorporated into the scheme.”


“I say – BUILD”

It does seem that not all residents feel the same way about building on Frogs Copse: one poster on our own Facebook page wrote, “We live in a private house a few yards from Frogs Copse and occasionally use it as a cut through to the shops or the river. It is a nice area, but I think it's only right that the people of Townhill Park have some better housing. The plans are to build on part of the Copse only. As far as I can see, the social housing will be a bit more mixed up with existing private housing, which is good for everybody as mixed housing avoids creating ghettos. So I say - BUILD

“Absolutely nothing is decided”

But Peter Baillie, (Conservative) councillor for Bitterne Park ward, told he suspected that there would be too many objections for the council to continue with their plans to build on the meadow:

frogs_cops_view_with_dog“There will be a number of chances for residents to put their views forward. regarding Frogs Copse. Absolutely nothing is decided, and the council will have to overcome several hurdles in order to build there. I suggest anyone who is concerned contacts Sue Jones [Manager, Estate Regeneration Projects - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] at The Civic and logs their concern, and asks to be kept up to date with all consultation, and also with all means of objecting.”




  • A community meeting on the issue views takes place on Tuesday, September 18 from 5pm-7.30pm at Townhill Park Community Centre.
  • The petition is online here, and a paper version is also available to sign at local shops including the post office at Witts Hill, and in Cotton’s bakers, Garson’s butchers and Hair @ 20 at Bitterne Park Triangle.



Online petition to "Save Frogs Copse"

Facebook page about Saving Frogs Copse

Council consults over Townhill Park ideas - article

‘Building a brighter future for Townhill Park’ – City council page about regeneration of the area

£100 million housing scheme gets go-ahead – Daily Echo

SO18 Big Local - a community programme in the Harefield, Midanbury and Townhill Park areas of Southampton, UK.

Twitter: #FrogsCopse

deer running at frogs copse

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