Townhill Park residents encouraged to visit Frogs Copse to learn more about local wildlife

Explore the outdoors at Frogs Copse during the summer holidays

A series of free Explore Outdoors sessions will be running throughout July and August at Frogs Copse, Marlhill Close, for local families to discover the nature living on their doorstep.

Explore Outdoors sessions

The sessions, aimed at families and run by SO18 Big local will be attended by educators, including those from the Hawthorns Urban Wildlife Centre and Youth Options Forest School. They will offer an introduction to the living creatures at Frogs Copse, such as insects, birds and plants and will include arts & crafts, an activity and a nature quiz/trail. The outings are also a great way for children to get outdoors and stay physically active during the summer holidays.

Frogs Copse is a seven hectare informal open space in Townhill, on the eastern side of the River Itchen. The whole park is primarily managed to encourage wildlife species, especially bats, bullfinch, song thrush, stag beetle and the purple hairstreak butterfly. Frogs Copse also has a copse with a woodland stream and a pond.

The sessions will focus on the following themes:
Monday 23 July, 10:30am to 12:30pm – Marvellous Minibeasts
Monday 30 July, 10:30am to 12:30pm – Mammals and Birds
Monday 6 August, 10:30am to 12:30pm – Bees and Butterflies
Monday 13 August, 10:30am to 12:30pm – Remarkable Reptiles
Monday 20 August, 10:30am to 12:30pm – Plants and Trees

Development work at Townhill Park started last year with initial works on-site taking place on plot 1, which will deliver 56 new affordable homes. The council has already approved a proposal to bring forward the development of a further 215 homes around half of which will be affordable housing on Plot 2. An important aim of the regeneration is improving the access and use of the green spaces in and around Townhill Park for local residents, ensuring that all residents have access to high quality open space close to home. A range of improvements were agreed with the Council and Natural England when planning consent was given in 2016.

The first phase of these improvements is currently being developed at Frog's Copse, including:

  • Upgrading of the existing footpath
  • Provision of a natural play trail
  • Creation of a picnic/informal sports area
  • Habitat management

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “Encouraging families of Townhill Park to this excellent green space in the local area will provide residents with the awareness that it exists, education on the living things there and offer tranquillity from the redevelopment site.”

Councillor Dave Shields, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, said: “Many of us have fond memories of childhood adventures in the city's many parks and green spaces. It is healthy for children to be outdoors in nature, to reconnect to the living world around us. I hope that Townhill Park residents and others in the city will take time during the summer to enjoy our parks and green spaces like Frogs Copse.”

Southampton City Council has developed close ties with SO18 Big Local and are working with them to provide activities for local residents at Frog's Copse. SO18 Big Local is a project that covers parts of Harefield, Midanbury and Townhill Park in Southampton. These neighbourhoods together were awarded £1m from the Big Lottery Fund to make a lasting positive difference to the area over 10 years. The project is resident-led and is driven by what they believe would make a positive impact in their area.

No booking necessary for Explore Outdoors sessions. Meet at main base on Frogs Copse near playground off Marlhill Close, S018 2GE. Sessions are outdoors so dress for weather. Children under 12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

For more information contact S018 Big Local on 07528 338104 or info@so18biglocal.org.uk