Planning Application - Blackberry Park

posted 7 Feb 2017, 07:23 by Phil Handy   [ updated 7 Feb 2017, 13:42 ]
A new planning application (ref PT17/0215/O) has been submitted to build 215 houses on a green field site on the southern edge of Frampton Cotterell. Named Blackberry Park, this is a slightly scaled down version of the previous Woodland Farm application which local residents fought to have refused a few years ago.

If you wish to comment on this, visit the South Glos Council websiteComments need to be made before 15th February.

Woodlands Farm was the home of well known children's author, Dick King-Smith and his family from 1948 until 1961. The Frampton Cotterell and District Local History Society would be very interested to hear from anyone who has memories or anecdotes about the author, his wife Myrle or their three children Juliet , Lizzie and Giles. 

Contact us if you have any stories you'd like to share or if you'd like to arrange a visit from a member of the local history society to discuss your memories. 

Local residents have been in touch with the children of Dick King-Smith and have received the following response describing their memories of living on this site in the 1950's.

We are dismayed to hear that Woodlands Farm might cease to be a farm, if the planners have their way.

My sister Liz is with me now and we've been talking about what being brought up on the farm meant to us.  I was two years old when Dad and Mum moved to Woodlands, but both Liz and our brother, Giles, were born there.

All our childhood memories and adult dreams about our early years are based there.  We were never bored, because all we had to do was put on our wellies and go outside, where we could indulge our love of animals and the outdoors. This must have rubbed off from our parents' attitudes to wildlife and the countryside.               

The fields and woods were our playground, in all weathers, and we were allowed free rein.  Our parents had inculcated into us the dangers to be found on a farm and how to avoid them, the old mineshafts in the wood and the railway line (the main London - South Wales line) that ran through the farm being just two examples.  In fact, we were allowed to go through the fencing onto the railway embankment, but only to eat the wild strawberries that were to be found there in the summer.  Other childish pleasures included gathering under-ripe hazel nuts, cracking them between our teeth and eating the green contents; picking and devouring blackberries in the far wood; and making dens in the wheat by flattening the crop into circles (this would annoy Dad). Of course, we loved helping with the animals and doing minor chores,  such as collecting eggs and helping to wean calves.  

We all feel that it would be a terrible shame if the farm's land was sold off to developers.  We would so much like it if Woodlands Farm - the house and its land - were allowed to remain as they were, an inspiration to our late father, Dick, for the stories he would subsequently write - animal tales that have helped educate generations of children and have delighted them, their teachers and parents.