Author Archives: BPFadmin

Recycling in Parks

In Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, Bristol Parks Forum are pleased to be working with Bristol Parks to install recycling bins in ten of Bristol’s parks.

If this pilot project is successful then we hope to roll it out to more parks in the future.

Bristol Parks Forum originally applied for a Green Capital Strategic Grant for this project; our application was turned down but Bristol City Council have now found alternative funding to allow the project to go ahead.

TripleBinThe project will involve replacing 42 existing bins with recycling bins similar to the one shown here, with sections for metal cans, plastic bottles and general waste (including dog waste). In addition 4 other existing bins will be coverted. The actual bins will have additional signage to make it clear what can be put in each section.

We have a provisional list of parks and will be contacting the relevant park groups to ensure they are happy with the proposed locations before going ahead. We will not be replacing all the bins in the selected parks, it will be those that are most used. Bins that are removed and are still in a servicable condition will be used to replace damaged bins or add additional bins in other parks.

Cans and plastic bottles have been targeted because they form a high percentage of the waste collected from parks. The success of the project will be based the volume of recycled material collected that is sufficiently free from contamination to be sent to recycling plants.

RHS Pride in Parks Awards

BiBSWlogoBristol Parks Forum are encouraging all our members to enter the RHS Britain in Bloom South West ‘Pride in Parks Awards’.

These awards are specifically aimed at showcasing community involvement as well as considering the standard of the park or green space itself. The entry process is very simple and the assessment process will provide valuable feedback to your group.

This is the second year of this award scheme, last year Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve was the only site in Bristol to enter and it won a Gold Award.

This year there have been some changes to the scheme; there will now be only one class and entries will be awarded one to five stars with the five star rating equating to last year’s gold award. Each park will receive a plaque, with the star rating, that will be suitable for displaying in the park. There is no need to submit any supporting information with your application, but if you wish you can prepare a pack of information to hand to the assessor when he visits the site with evidence of how you meet the criteria. As an example the information prepared last year by Friends of Troopers Hill can be seen here.

The closing date for entries is 1st June 2015 and the presentation of the Plaques will take place at the Britain in Bloom South West Spring seminar in Exeter in February 2016. There are links below to the entry form and the criteria. These awards have a nominal entry fee of £15, but to launch this new award entry will be FREE for this year.

It is important that the entry is community led and there will need to be a representative of the park group at the assessment (judging). The time needed for the assessment will depend on the size of the park or green space and can be up to 2 hours. Assessments can take place any time from June until the end of the year and you can indicate on the form which month you would prefer, this is to take account of the fact that different parks are at their best at different times. There is a space on the form for special requests so that you could ask for an assessment on a particular day – eg when you are holding an event, or to avoid a particular day.

Pride in Parks Awards – Criteria
Pride in Parks Awards – Entry Form

There is an address on the form to post your entry, or you can scan and email it to southwestinbloom@aol.com or simply send an email setting out the information requested in the form.

Details about the award will also be published in the Britain in Bloom South West website soon – www.southwestinbloom.org.uk

Work for Bristol Parks

As from 1st February 2015 all grounds maintenance in Bristol’s parks and green spaces has been taken ‘in-house’. This means that everyone cutting grass, emptying litter bins, maintaining shrubs and flower beds now works directly for Bristol City Council rather than being employed by contractors. Over 40 people transferred to Bristol City Council on 1st February from the two contractors who previously covered parts of the city.

Bristol Parks now have a range of vacancies and a recruitment open day will be held on Tuesday 17th February between 12am and 8.00pm at the Old Council House, CORN STREET, BS1 1JG.

Details of the opportunities available are shown below:



bcclogoAre you adaptable? Do you care about the quality of what you do? Do you want to do something that matters?

We are currently recruiting for many roles – across a range of casual through to seasonal and annualised hours roles. They are available across a wide variety of services, and you can apply for as many or as few as you like.

Seasonal and annualised hours
Grounds Maintenance in Parks, Cemeteries, Plant Nursery,
Salary range £15,523 – 17,714 (BG5 – BG6)

Casual staff
Catering assistant (£7.68 per hour), Caretaking, Play Park assistant and Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC)
Salary range £15,523 – 17,714 (BG5 – BG6)

So, what’s all this about then?

We’ve shown you each of the main areas of work below, and given you a little bit more info about what the jobs are – don’t just read this though, come along to our Open Day – find out about us, the role, and you can even apply there and then – all of these roles are practical and hands on, so we want to make this process the same!

Grounds maintenance
The roles involves maintaining our formal parks, conservation areas, sports pitches, woodlands and heritage estates. Roles are also available at our cemeteries and crematoria, caretaking sites, and plant nursery. For these roles you should be willing to work outdoors in all weathers.
You will carry out a range of practical tasks including grass cutting, horticulture and pruning, fine turf and sports maintenance, litter picking, facilities cleaning and other grounds maintenance tasks. You could also be working in our Plant Nursery, from sowing seeds through to planting and creating planters which will are sent off across the country.

Catering
Working in our Catering business’ at either Ashton Court, Blaise, Canford Park or Oldbury Court. This role will involve a range of catering roles including preparing, cooking and serving hot drinks, meals and snacks. Taking payments for sold items and working as part of a team to deliver a high standard of customer service (the hourly rate for these posts is £7.68)

Caretaking
We are also looking for Caretaking staff on a casual basis which involves cleaning of communal areas in Bristol City Council Housing sites and general site maintenance.

Household Waste Recycling Centre
Working to support the waste centres to run effectively, helping customers and the smooth flow of waste and recycling around the site

Play Park assistant
Primarily at our Hengrove site, to ensure the smooth running and effective monitoring of the site for young people to enjoy.

A recruitment open day will be held for all of these posts on Tuesday 17th February between 12am and 8.00pm at the Old Council House, CORN STREET, BS1 1JG. This will be an opportunity to learn more about the job, speak to us and get help completing and submitting an application. Although we would prefer to see you at the open day, if you really can’t make it, email us at Pamela.jones@bristol.gov.uk and state all the posts you wish to be considered for, and we can send you an application form.

If you want to come and join us, and work for Bristol City Council and be a part of Bristols 2015 European Green Capital year, we look forward to seeing you there!

Green Capital Grants Update

logo-bristol2015-2row-@2xBristol Parks Forum has submitted six applications for grants to run projects during Bristol’s Green Capital year in 2015. This is in addition to applications made by park groups and others for events and projects in their parks and neighbourhoods.

There are three different grant streams available from www.bristol2015.co.uk depending on the size of the projects. The Parks Forum has applied for strategic grants which are for projects from £25k – £50k.

Listing of Bristol Parks Forum Applications

Applications for the strategic grants have now closed, but there is still time to apply for smaller grants. The smallest grants for local initiatives and events are being distributed through the Neighbourhood Partnerships which each have an initial £10,000 to allocate to projects in their area. Each Partnership has its own closing dates and some have passed but there is more money to be allocated so there may be a second round of applications in some areas.

For grants of up to £10,000 there is The Bristol 2015 Small Grants Fund which is being administered by Quartet. The first closing date for this has passed but there are three further rounds with dealines in 2015:
January 5th, April 6th and July 1st.

There is lots of other information on the Bristol 2015 website and more will be added as 2015 approaches, including details of the many events that are planned including those funded by these grants.

Green Capital 2015 Events

logo-bristol2015-2row-@2xBristol 2015 has now launched its initial Events Programme.

Details can be seen at www.bristol2015.co.uk/events where there is a pdf file to download which will be updated as more events are added.

Park Groups can sign up and add their own events to the events calendar, which will also take you through a simple process to access the Bristol 2015 brand. To do this, go to www.bristol2015.co.uk and click on “Get Involved”.

If you are planning an event then there are a range of Green Capital Grants available to help fund them.

Some of the events will be one off celebrations, while others with be projects running throughout the year.

One project that will be of partiicular interest to BPF members will be the designation of 4 new Local Nature Reserves in addition to the 4 that are in the process of being designated now as a result of the Wild City Project that finished earlier this year.

Bristol 2015 say:

Bristol will celebrate improved environmental protection of several areas by completing a programme of designating eight new Local Nature Reserves, doubling the number in the city between October 2014 and October 2015. The city plans to designate four new LNRs before the end of 2014 in preparation for 2015 – Lamplighters Marsh (Shirehampton), Avon New Cut (Southville), Northern Slopes (Knowle, Knowle West and Bedmister), Narrow Ways Junction (St Werburghs). Another four are planned to follow by October 2015, with applications opening earlier in the year.

A list of the 8 current Local Nature Reserves and the 4 currently being designated can be seen here www.bristol.gov.uk/localnaturereserves

Neighbourhood Partnership Parks Consultation

Through the Neighbourhood Partnerships, a consultation is taking place that is intended to help residents and local groups, to influence Bristol City Council’s new Grounds Maintenance specification when the work is brought in-house in February 2015.

This is a separate process to the discussions that have been held between Park Groups and Bristol Parks at recent BPF meetings.

The new consultation has no closing date – the intention is for a continual dialogue with the Neighbourhood Partnerships so that influencing and contract changes can take place throughout the year.

Neighbourhood Officers will be consulting with local park groups, users and other interested bodies to understand their priorities so that the new specification can reflect this as best as possible.

Things that can be influenced include: areas to be weed sprayed, grass cutting regimes, litter collections / litter picking, a site presence (park keeper) or not, which shrubs to maintain, what ornamental planting should take place, frequency of hard surface sweeping, toilet opening / closing.

Once information has been gathered through this initial consultation, the Environment Subgroups / Neighbourhood Partnerships will be asked to establish themes for the whole NP area, e.g. littering, ornamental planting etc. This will become the base in which the Parks Service will build the new specification around for launching in February 2015. Thereafter, the Parks service will want to allow local communities to influence and introduce local park aspirations, e.g number of bins, different types of grass cutting regimes, introduction of bulb planting etc.

You can take part in the consultation via the link below either as an individual or by completing the form on behalf of your group. You will need to make separate submissions for each green space you are interested in. Park Groups should also be contacted by their Neighbourhood Officer to discuss this consultation.

www.surveymonkey.com/s/groundsmain

Honouring Bristol’s Greenest Volunteers

GreenVolsLogoThe Bristol we know and enjoy everyday is one of the greenest places to live in Europe, leafy open spaces visible all around us, some subtly hidden away, and much of it the result of the tireless, unpaid efforts of thousands of our fellow citizens.

From morning birdsong to gardens busy with insects, places to explore wildlife or simply somewhere green to walk through on the way to work, we wouldn’t be able to benefit from the city in which we live were it not for these volunteers, whose labours mostly go unrecognised.

To honour these properly unsung heroes, Bristol Green Capital 2015 is hosting this year’s Green Volunteer Awards and asking the people of Bristol to nominate their green champions.

Eight categories are divided into awards for Bristol-based individuals and projects, all recognising their efforts to keep Bristol green, rich in biodiversity and more sustainable. Nominations opened on September 23rd, exactly 100 days from when Bristol assumes the official mantle of European Green Capital 2015.

The awards ceremony itself will be held 50 days out, on November 12th, at the Paintworks on the Bath Road. Tickets for the ceremony are free but need to be booked in advance.

Nominations aren’t restricted to those who wield a shovel or fork in all sorts of inclement weather, previous winners have included people who administrate green projects, their voluntary work crucial in keeping their organisations viable.

The closing date for Green Volunteer Awards nominations is Sunday, October 26th, judging will start the next day.

On the night, award winners will receive a certificate commemorating their award, as well as plaque specially commissioned from a piece of tree felled in the Bristol area for tree conservation and sustainability purposes.

• Nominate an individual or a project for the Green Volunteers Awards 2014

• Book Now – Green Volunteers Awards 2014 12th November / Paintworks, Bristol / 6.30pm – 11.00pm

Green Capital 2015 – Grants

logo-bristol2015-2row-@2xWith just 100 days to go until the start of Bristol’s Green Capital year the Bristol 2015 Company has revamped its website and introduced a new branding at www.bristol2015.co.uk

For Parks Forum members, the most important section of the new website at the moment is probably on the availability of grants. There are three different grant streams available depending on the size of the projects. The smallest grants for local initiatives and events are being distributed through the Neighbourhood Partnerships which each have an initial £10,000 to allocate to projects in their area. Each Partnership has its own closing dates.

For larger projects grants of up to £10,000 there is The Bristol 2015 Small Grants Fund which is being administered by Quartet. There will be four opportunities to apply for a grant for this fund. The application deadlines are 17th October 2014 and then in 2015 January 5th, April 6th and July 1st.

The third grant stream is for larger strategic grants of £25k – £50k.

There is lots of other information on the website and more will be added as 2015 approaches, including details of the many events that are planned. One of our committee members gets a mention on the website here: www.bristol2015.co.uk/green-and-good.

BGC_LogoBristol Parks Forum along with many other organisations in the City are members of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership which has its own website at www.bristolgreencapital.org. The Partnership has 12 thematic action groups working to make Bristol a greener city and this work will continue after 2015. There are many links between the two organisations and much of what Bristol 2015 does will be driven by the Partnership.

Parks Forum committee member, Fraser Bridgeford, is co-chair of the Nature, Wildlife and Green Spaces Action Group along with Robin Maynard (Avon Wildlife Trust).

It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards

iynlogoThis year’s RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards were announced at the Britain in Bloom – South West awards ceremony in Trowbridge on 18th September.

Many BPF member groups enter this “unique scheme for volunteer led community gardening projects/groups which are focused on cleaning up and greening up their local area”. The awards assess the work of the community groups and although they are run by the Royal Horticultural Society the judges are not only looking at horticultural activities, the involvement of the community plays a major part.

The certificates for those groups that were not able to attend the ceremony in Trowbridge will be presented at City Hall on 3rd October.

A full list of the Bristol awards can be seen here

RHSpark2014crop1This year Britain in Bloom – South West also introduced a new scheme judging parks and open spaces. This has some aspects in common with the Green Flag awards but is much more slanted towards community involvement as well as the standard of management of the park; the application process is also much less bureaucratic.

Friends of Troopers Hill entered Troopers Hill in the ‘Country Park’ category and were delighted to receive a Gold award.

National Save Our Parks Campaign

NFPGS-logoA message from the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces

SAVE OUR PARKS!

Protect and invest in the UK’s green spaces
– Help prevent the slide into crisis
– Let’s make parks a general election issue in 2015

Sign the petition

StateofParksParks and green spaces are an essential and unique resource and service, vital to every local community and serving a wide range of important needs for people of all ages and interests.

However, the June 2014 ‘State of UK Public Parks’ report documented the alarming slide into a long-term crisis being caused by the underfunding of the UK’s parks. We are now at a tipping point. It is up to all those who know and care to raise their voices together.

The inspirational rise of the Friends Groups movement over the last 15 years (with now over 5,000 groups), and the hard work and expertise of green space staff, managers and professionals, has demonstrated the commitment of the public and all those who love parks. We believe that there must now be an equivalent recognition and commitment from the political parties and the next Government in 2015. Let’s make this an election issue!

The petition has already begun to stimulate publicity and debate. There’s been a feature in the Daily Mirror, and important national organisations like Groundwork (the green space volunteering charity) and UNISON (the local Government workers Union) have agreed to back the call. An initial response from a representative of the Department for Communities and Local Government stated: ‘It’s good to see that friends groups across the country have support for the valuable work they do preserving good quality local parks’, and offered to meet with the National Federation to discuss ‘community rights’. But there was no response to the central issue of what the Government plans to do to ensure ‘good quality local parks’, so we now have to step up the pressure. Let’s all get the word out to everyone we know and get thousands more to sign!

Please help get as many signatures as you can…

1. Sign the petition: http://chn.ge/TXdqhj
2. Spread the news via Twitter: @LoveParks_Week #LoveParks
3. Spread the news via Facebook: www.facebook.com/ukparkspetition – and also: www.facebook.com/LoveParksWeek
4. Refer to the Parks Petition webpage: www.natfedparks.org.uk/parks-petition.html
5. Download and take round a Sign Up Sheet
6. Download and hand out leaflets

Please spread the word far and wide!