Green Capital Partnership

BGC_LogoBristol Parks Forum are now members of the Bristol Green Capital Parnership –

The Partnership is a free membership organisation whose aim is to make Bristol “a low carbon city with a high quality of life for all”.

The BPF committee agreed to join the Partnership because they considered it important that the BPF and Park Groups have a say in the plans for Bristol Green Capital 2015. Being members may also help us access funds to benefit green spaces in 2015.

The partnership is currently setting up sub-groups to focus on particular sectors, these groups will then feed into a steering group that will create the partnership’s strategy and work with the company that is being set up to run Bristol Green Capital 2015 – see

One of the groups will cover Nature, Wildlife and Green Spaces and will probably be led by the West of England Nature Partnership, the BPF will be part of this group.

Several Park Groups are also members of the Partnership in their own right. If your group wishes to join then you can do so by signing up to the Green Capital Partnership Pledge

You can see the full list of members of the Partnership at

Three New Town Greens?

There could be three new Town Greens registered in Bristol this month.

The ‘Laundry Field’ was voluntarily declared as a TVG by the landowners this week following and agreement with Snuff Mills Action Group.

The next meeting of the Council’s Pulic Rights of Way & Greens Committee (PROWG) will consider recommendations to declare two sites in Bristol as Town or Village Greens (TVG) – Wellington Hill Playing Field & a site at Bramble Drive, Sneyd Park. The committee is being recommended to reject the application for third site, Tackley Green.

The papers for the PROWG meeting, to be held on Monday 27th January, can be seen here. There are separate reports for the three sites to be considered at the meeting and a further report giving an update on other current applications, including the Laundry Field.

The site on a Roundabout at Bramble Drive is privately owned land and the land owner is not objecting to the application.

The other two sites to be considered at the meeting are owned by the Council. The application for Wellington Hill Playing Field was made in October 2010 with the support of Friends of Horfield Common. The Council objected to the application in May 2011 and it was referred to an independent inspector but then in December 2013 the Council withdrew its objection. The land was held by the Council for educational use rather than public open space.

The recommendation for a rejection of the application for Tackley Green is on the basis that the land is held by the Council as public open space and therefore there is an implied permission for the public to use it. Use of the land was therefore ‘by right’ (with permission) and not ‘as of right’ (without force, secrecy or permission) as required for the land to be registered as a TVG.

If the recommendations are followed then the two new sites will bring the total number of Town or Village Greens in Bristol registered under the 2006 Commons Act to seven. In addition there are fourteen registered under the Commons Registration Act 1965 and five areas of Common Land.

All these areas (including the newly registered Laundry Field) are now shown on the Council’s mapping system. The full list, including links to each area on the mapping system can be seen via the link below:

Blaise Castle Estate Management Plan


Blaise Castle Estate management plan has been updated outlining the site as it is today, the areas to improve and the steps required to achieve these over the next 5 years. We are seeking your views on the plan.

 A public exhibition will be held at Blaise Café, Blaise Castle Estate, Kingsweston Road, Henbury, Bristol, BS10 7 QS at the following times:

• Monday 25th November 08.00 – 11.00

• Friday 13th December 11.00 – 15.00

The consultation closes on Friday 20th December, further information and the online consultation questionnaire can be found at:

– see the ‘Related Documents’ section at the botom of the page to download a copy of the plan.

Bristol City Council Budget

The Mayor’s proposed budget for the next 3 years was published at 8pm on Monday 18th November. Details are on the Council’s website at:

As far as Park Groups are concerned the most significant cuts proposed are probably:

R-PL-005 Parks
Reduce work specification for parks, ground maintenance contracts
Re-letting contract in 2015 and reducing the specification of works in parks. This will enable essential functions such as, but not limited to, litter picking and grass cutting to take place in all parks and green spaces.
Saving £500,000 in 2014

R-PL-012 Trees
Review tree planting and maintenance service
All future tree planting will be absorbed into the PIPs (planting in primary schools) tree planting scheme (involving primary school children) which will introduce 36,000 new trees to the city over 3 years.
Saving £200,000 in 2014, £100,000 in 2015

R-PL-019 Public
Review public toilet provision
Closure of 22 of the 23 public toilets across the city, except the weekend temporary toilets in the city centre and keeping one city centre toilet open. Increased promotion of the toilet scheme where cafes and other business allow customers to use their toilets and use of other public buildings in those areas.
Saving £500,000 in 2014

R-PL-014 Parks
Review Environment and Leisure project team
This team works with the Park groups and Environmental sub groups in delivering improvements and schemes that maintain and improve parks. This proposal will offset costs within the revenue budget and recharge them to capital schemes or development projects.
Saving £228,000 in 2014

The BPF committee is hoping to arrange a meeting with Bristol Parks to better understand the full implications before making our response.

The consultation closes on Monday December 30, 2013

There are some public meetings next week where you can put your views to the Mayor: click here for details

Green Volunteer Awards

Nominate now for Green Volunteer Awards!

Bristol Natural History Consortium are holding their third Green Volunteering Awards ceremony on 28th November from 7.30-9.00pm at Armada House in central Bristol.

The awards recognise the outstanding contribution of volunteers and voluntary projects to Bristol reputation as a centre for excellence in sustainable culture, biodiversity and green space.

Categories for awards include: Volunteers for Food Award, Green Volunteer Co-ordinator of the Year Award and Lord Mayor’s Green Volunteer Award.

For a full list of categories and to nominate please visit the website:  
Please note, nominations close on Monday 11th November (updated date).

For free tickets for the event you can use this link to book your ticket.

We know there are lots of people who are involved with Park Groups that deserve an award, so please nominate them and help highlight the huge contribution of volunteers in making Bristol a green City.

Update 21 Oct 13: Some of the questions on the nomination forms are now optional and the deadline for nominations has been extended to Monday 11th November.

Central Area Plan & Castle Park

(Scroll down for links to further information & updates)

The latest stage in the production of the new ‘Bristol Local Plan’ (previously referred to as the Local Development Framework) is the issue of the Preferred options consultation document for the Central Area Plan. The consultation runs until 18 October 2013.

The full document and links to background information can be found on the Council’s website via the link below.

Of particular concern to many will be the impact on the west end of Castle Park (also refered to as St Mary Le Port) where it is proposed that part of the park could be used for development and the mature trees on Wine Street could be felled.

This is the only section of the document that has specific questions as part of the consultaion, it is shown on pages 49 & 50 of the document.

Proposals for building on a large part of the western end of the park were first published in 2006 and resisted by the Parks Forum and many others. The Parks & Green Spaces Strategy was then adopted in 2008 showing that the area has a shortage of green space and that the existing space should therefore be protected. No disposal of green space at Castle Park was proposed as part of the AGSP consultation in 2010 and all political parties said they would protect green space not already proposed for disposal. The plans proposed from 2006 were then dropped.

The February 2012 consultation version of the Central Area Plan showed the area available for development restricted to the area of the disused buildings with the park being shown as important open space. The BPF response to that consultation can be seen here.

However, the current document suggests that a much larger area could be developed including a significant part of the park. It also suggests that the mature trees on Wine Street could be felled. The image below compares the illustrations from the two documents. The area proposed for development in February 2012 is shown in orange.


The current document asks the following question about Castle Park (p49)

9.3.6     The scale of development in this area will be an important consideration in determining whether the redevelopment of St Mary-le-Port and the delivery of the wider regeneration objectives for the area can be achieved.  The City Centre Retail Study identifies the need for any proposal to provide sufficient floorspace to ensure financial viability. It is therefore necessary to consider options for the development of a wider area than is occupied by the existing site buildings. This may include moving the existing building line forward and/or using some adjacent open space for development. Any proposal would need to meet the policy requirements set out above including an appropriate transition between the development and the park and the retention/restoration of the existing avenue of trees running north east from Bridge Street.
To bring forward a well-designed and viable scheme should the area proposed for development fall within the boundary indicated on the aerial photograph below?
Are there other options which should be considered?

Condidering the trees on Wine Street it says (p50)

9.3.7     Increasing the site area could also include the narrowing the building lines of High Street  and  Wine  Street  closer  to  their  historic  proportions  (with  the  potential  for reinstatement  of  the  historic  High  Cross  and  Dutch  House  or  a  modern  equivalent).  This approach  may  necessitate  the  removal  of  existing  street  trees  along  the  western  and northern edge of the site (with appropriate replacement planting elsewhere). 
To enable the narrowing of High Street and Wine Street closer to their historic proportions should any existing street trees be removed and replaced elsewhere?
Are there other options which should be considered?

Comments on the Central Area Plan can be submitted by e-mail or in writing by 18 October 2013 to

Central Area Plan Consultation (CD/BH)
Freepost BS6529

Further Information

You might also be interested in the article below from the Bristol Civic Society Newsletter of a couple of years ago by Roger Mortimer suggesting an option for a more sustainable development that would not take part of the park.

St Mary Le Port and Castle Park – Article from Bristol Civic Society Newsletter

This issue will be discussed at the next BPF meeting on 12th October 2013, following which the BPF will be making a formal response.

Update 30 Sept 2013:
Report on Bristol 24-7

Update 02 Oct 2013:
More information on Castle Park Users Group website
New Castle Park Facebook Page
Report in Bristol Post 01 Oct
Report in Bristol Post 02 Oct
Bristol Post Comment 02 Oct

Update 04 Oct 2013:
Blog by Tony Dyer on Bristol 24-7

Update 08 Oct 2013:
Bristol 24-7 Cautious welcome as mayor tries to allay fears
Bristol Post Mayor hints at a partial climbdown
Petition: Keep Castle Park Green

Update 18 Oct 2013:
Bristol Parks Forum response to consultation
Tree Forum response to consultation

The State of Your Park

There are currently two surveys where you can give feedback on the state of your park.

The first is Bristol based. A Parks and Estates Satisfaction survey has gone live from today and runs for 12 weeks.

This is for all park users there will be posters and notices placed in the parks and it is also being publicised on the @BristolParks twitter feed.


The other current survey is a UK wide one aimed at Park Groups.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has commissioned a research team to gather information and prepare a draft report on the State of UK Public Parks that will be published by the HLF launched next year.

For more details about the project please visit

As part of this the HLF are carrying out a survey of Friends and User groups across the UK asking their views on the current issues and how they may be contributing to their parks.

The deadline for this survy is Friday 27th September 2013

To aid completion of the survey, a reference copy can be downloaded in pdf format by clicking here.

The survey will be used to produce a report which will be a very detailed assessment on the state of the UK’s parks. It will be used to call for action from Central Government to recognise the extent of the unfolding financial crisis for green spaces, and to ensure adequate protection and resources for all our green spaces.

Guided Walks in Parks & Green Spaces

EstatesWhatsOnBristol’s huge range of parks and green spaces is great to explore by yourself, but many park groups also arrange guided walks to help you find out more about the wildlife and history of the sites.

For Bristol’s large estates download a guide with details of walks and other events throughout the year:

Estates What’s On Guide

Health Walks
There are many ‘Walking for Health’ groups in Bristol and their walks often visit parks & green spaces.
There is a listing of groups with links to their programmes as well as details of regular weekly walks on the City Council website here:

Walking for Health Bristol – Led health walks

Some other walks coming soon:

Eastwood Farm Local Nature Reserve
Wild Wednesdays (just turn up, no need to book)
Wed 28th August 7.30pm – Moth hunt with Rupert Higgins
Wed 25th September 7.30pm – Owl Prowl with Ian McGuire

Kings Weston Estate
Walks organised by Kings Weston Action Group (booking required)
Saturday 31st August 10.15am – Tree walk with Richard Bland
Download a poster with more details or see

Stoke Park
A series of walks with Steve England (booking required)
Wednesday 28th August 6:30 pm – Evening Archaeology Walk
Wednesday 11th September 6:30 pm – Bat Walk
Friday 13th September – 7:30pm Ghost Walk
Sunday 15th September 10.00am – A Walk on the Wild Side
Wednesday 25th September 10.00am – Autumn Wildlife Stroll and Tidy Up
To book and for more details of these and more walks in October see

Northern Slopes
Northern Slopes Initiative walk on the Slopes (walks are free, but donations welcome)
Saturday 21st September 10.30am – Birds and Berries – A walk to find out which wildlife is leaving for winter, or staying; and what autumn fruits are around and what you can make with them.
Walk starts at from the Park, Daventry Road, opposite St Barnabas Church – and take about 2hrs, but feel free to join or leave the walk as you wish.

Cinema in Parks

SolarAs part of the 19th Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival which runs from 17-22 September 2013 there will be three free Solar-Powered Outdoor Cinema events in Bristol’s parks.

Bring a picnic, a blanket, friends and family and wrap up warm for a night of entertainment under the stars watching free screenings of fun and family-friendly short films.

Dates and Locations

Sat 7 September 8pm – St George Park
Sat 14 September 8pm – Victoria Park
Sat 21 September 8pm – Greville Smyth Park

The 2013 Solar-Powered Outdoor Cinema is powered by KnowAlternative and supported by Bristol City Council and Victoria Park Action Group.

Find out more about the Encounters Festival at:

Download the poster at

You Make Bristol

The M-Shed is updating its display about the people who make Bristol the City that it is today.

“Bristol people of all backgrounds have contributed and continue to contribute in a variety of ways to the city through their everyday lives or special activities and have remained unrecognised.”

They would like to know who you would include in this display space. Community groups are being invited to ‘You Make Bristol’ sessions at M-Shed held on Wednesday 11th September 2013 at 11am -12pm and 2pm-3pm; contact details are on the poster below.

The list of people currently celebrated can be seen here: People who have made Bristol, Bristol in a display at M Shed