New pocket park could be built in Northampton

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Residents of St Crispin’s are being asked if they want to create a pocket park to help protect the area’s huge toad population.

Pocket parks originated in Northamptonshire and are natural areas of countryside which are owned and looked after by the community, for the benefit of the area and the protection of wildlife.

A meeting was held at St Crispin Social Club on Tuesday to explore the possibility of setting up a pocket park in the area, near Duston.

And the meeting heard one of the main beneficiaries of such a park would be the area’s toad population, which currently lives in a pond on a building site.

Toads can live for up to 40 years and do not breed as readily as frogs.

Northamptonshire County Council’s pocket parks officer, Rose Little, chaired the meeting. She said there were 80 pocket parks across the county, and the land next to St Crispin Social Club was one of many green spaces be suitable for a park.

St Crispin resident, Donna Robins, aged 35, is particularly interested in helping preserve the area’s toad population.

At the moment there is only one pond in the area, which has formed on a building site, and it will eventually be filled in. She said: “Any time now they will start migrating and trying to cross the roads.

“They need help getting to the building site pond, but without help, we will lose two-thirds of them.

“We have the largest population of toads in the neighbouring counties, but we probably lose three-quarters of them.

“We did a toad patrol last year and probably saved 1,000 of them.

“If they can’t breed, they will die out. It is about saving the wildlife population.”

Upton parish councillor, and borough councillor, Alan Bottwood, said: “There is plenty of land around. At the moment, none of it is owned by the parish, but in time it will be.

“This is in hand. My personal view is you need something for people to get involved in to get them interested in the first place.”

Anyone interested in getting involved can email Rose Little at RLittle@

Moulton, Great Billing and Brixworth are among the areas which already have pocket parks.

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