HAMPSHIRE punk troubadour Frank Turner returns to his home city next month to support a campaign to save parkland.

The rising star will judge the doggy parade at the Save the Rec event in Winchester on Sunday May 4.
Campaigners are staging a fun day to highlight the threat to the park by expansion plans for the River Park Leisure Centre.

Organiser Mike Caldwell, of Save the Rec said: “We are really pleased and excited to be having him down. It is fantastic that he is coming along.”

Mr Caldwell said he understood there was a connection between Hyde residents and Frank’s mother who lives in Meonstoke in the Meon Valley.

“There is a family connection. He lived just outside Winchester, is fond of green spaces and is a dog lover.”

The parade will start at 1pm. Frank, who recently won Celebrity Mastermind and performed at the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony, will judge three categories: looks most like their owner; waggiest tail; and best behaved.

The parade is open to everyone.

As well as the doggy parade there will be a cricket competition for the first-ever King Alfred Trophy, other sports including rounders, croquet, a tug of war and rugby. There’s also live music, face painting and juggling, ice-cream and coffee for sale and tug of war at teatime.

The cricket trophy will be presented by the Mayor Ernie Jeffs at the end of the afternoon.

Mr Caldwell said the campaign was still needed even though the city council appeared to be considering a U-turn. “It is still a very real threat. There are nine options including using part of the park.”