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

Local Nature Reserves – Expressions of Interest

Delcaration of Manor Woods Valley LNR Feb 2008
Delcaration of Manor Woods Valley LNR Feb 2008
As part of Bristol Green Capital 2015, Bristol City Council wishes to achieve a network of 16 Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) across the city (target set in the Parks and Green Space Strategy, 2008).

Bristol currently has 8 LNRs. A further 4 sites are in the process of being designated (Lamplighter’s Marsh, Avon New Cut, Northern Slopes and Narroways Millennium Green). As such, they are looking to designate at least four more Local Nature Reserves during 2015.

The Council are now inviting expressions of interest from communities who may wish to see their site considered for designation as a Local Nature Reserve.

The criteria for selection are set by the legislation governing Local Nature Reserves (see www.gov.uk/create-and-manage-local-nature-reserves).
The main considerations are:
• The site is important for wildlife (we are only considering sites that are designated Sites of Nature Conservation Interest);
• The site is well used and there is high public enjoyment of its wildlife;
• The site is owned by the council (or the landowner supports designation as a LNR);
• There is a site management plan (or one can be produced during 2015), and
• Natural England would be supportive of the designation.

To seek designation of a site as a Local Nature Reserve please download and return a simple one page form from either of the links below:

LNR Expression of Interest (Word)

LNR Expression of Interest (pdf)

Please return your expressions of interest by Monday 13th April 2015 to richard.ennion@bristol.gov.uk

If you would like to discuss any aspect, please call or email Richard Ennion on 0117 9222001 or richard.ennion@bristol.gov.uk

It may be necessary to prioritise sites for designation. Considerations will include: use of the site by the community, whether there is an active community group, importance for wildlife and potential for educational use. Ultimately, designation of a site as a LNR will be dependent on meeting legally defined requirements.


Some benefits to declaring LNRs:

• Identifying a site as an LNR clearly indicates to the local community and to visitors to the site, that it is an area to be protected and managed primarily for wildlife and for the informal enjoyment of nature;
• The LNR designation elevates a site’s status and value in the eyes of both the Local Authority and the local community. Community groups gain a sense of pride in having their site selected for designation;
• Improves accessibility, by providing more places where people can enjoy contact with nature, and
• Widens opportunities to attract grant funding.

Bristol’s current Local Nature Reserves are:

Manor Woods Valley LNR
Eastwood Farm LNR
Royate Hill LNR
Lawrence Weston Moor LNR
Troopers Hill LNR
Callington Road LNR
Badock’s Wood LNR
Stockwood Open Space LNR
• Avon New Cut c. LNR (subject to legal designation)
• Narroways Millennium Green c. LNR (subject to legal designation)
• Lamplighter’s Marsh c. LNR (subject to legal designation)
• Northern Slopes c. LNR (subject to legal designation)

Wild City Final Update

Wild City Newsletter 14Over the past three years the Wild City Project has organised a series of events and worked with park groups and others on many of the City’s fantastic and varied nature reserves.

Run by Paula Spiers and Helen Adshead, with additional help from Justin Smith, the project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces Programme, which is managed by Natural England under the Access to Nature Scheme. Wild City focused on 7 ‘key sites’ and also worked with 10 other ‘network sites’. Benefits have included improved access and local awareness of the sites. Many Bristol people, including the more vulnerable and under privileged, have been introduced to the sites and shown the opportunities they provide to enjoy nature and the outdoors without travelling out of the City.

Sadly the funding for the project only covered three years and the project has now come to an end. The Wild City Project followed on from the equally successful ‘Wildspace!’ and ‘Nature in the City’ projects that between them ran from 2002 to 2008. While there are many long term benefits from the project it is disappointing that at the moment there is no funding available to allow the project to continue.

The Wild City team has now published their final newsletter and this can be seen via the link below. As well as looking back on the three years of the project, Wild City is able to announce through the newsletter that 4 of their sites are about to be designated as Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) – Avon New Cut, Lamplighters Marsh, Narroways and The Northern Slopes. This will bring the total number of LNRs in Bristol to 12, see www.bristol.gov.uk/localnaturereserves.

Wild City Newsletter – Final Update…

Kings Weston Walks

Walk2Kings Weston Action Group have just launched a new walking guide, their second.

There are more details about the launch in the Bristol Post here

Both walks start from  Shirehampton Road car park and are about 2.5miles. The atractive colour guides have clear maps and directions.

The guides can be downloaded as pdf files from the links below. Printed copies will be distributed through the city’s Library network, local venues in Shirehampton, Sea Mills, and Lawrence Weston as well as being available at Kings Weston itself.

To find out more about the Kings Weston Action Group, visit their facebook page at www.facebook.com/KingsWestonActionGroup

Download Walk 1 – Horseshoe Bend

Download Walk 2 – Kings Weston Hill


National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces

Bristol Parks Forum is a member of the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces (NFPGS) which is the federation of area forums and networks of local Friends and User groups for Britain’s green spaces. Roland represents the BPF at the NFPGS

Until earlier this year the NFPGS was supported by the charity GreenSpace. Sadly that charity has been wound up, however the NFPGS will continue and is currently talking to other charities and groups who might be able to provide support.

NFPGS Website Home page – www.natfedparks.org.uk

Links to websites of other NFPGS Members

NFPGS leaflets