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Bristol Parks Forum Update

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In this update: 


Love Your Park Small Grants

A reminder that applications the small grants fund being run by Your Park Bristol & Bath are open until Sunday 5th September at 8pm
Guidance and the application form can be found at there is also a link to a recording of the recent webinar.
If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss your ideas before finalising your application, please contact Judy Gowenlock on 07711 049 196 or
Your Park Bristol & Bath would welcome applications from people who are starting new park groups, don’t worry if your group doesn’t yet have a bank account that doesn’t stop you applying.

Health & Safety Training

Ella has two more in person health and safety training courses for Park Volunteer Group Leaders coming up: 
Friday 3rd September 9.30am – 2.45pm at Eastville Park in the Nissen Hut
Saturday 4th September 9.30am – 2.45pm at Kings Weston House
BCC Parks H&S Training:
  • introduces you to the Risk Assessment processes required by BCC Parks
  • gives you the confidence to organise and host volunteer work parties in your local community
  • gives you full insurance cover (Public Liability and Personal Accident) whilst volunteering in Parks
  • covers safe use of hand tools
  • covers how to keep your volunteer group safe
  • discusses making adjustments to your session to encourage wider participation.
Please book a place on either date if you would like to do the course in person.

Ella is also planning Emergency First Aid Training - contact Ella - for more details.

I have also now updated the Parks Forum website with the latest information from Ella on volunteering now that restrictions are being eased -

Ella has her own mailing list, so if you are not receiving emails from her directly then please do email her and ask to be added. It will likely mean that you get information on volunteering and some other subjects ahead of it appearing in our updates.

NHS Green Social Prescribing Introduction

Also from Ella:
Introduction to Nature Recovery & Green Social Prescribing at Southmead Hospital (20th Sept – 18th October, Mondays 11.30 – 3.00)
After meeting Phoebe Webster, the Nature Recovery Ranger at Southmead Hospital, we’ve organized a 4-week programme of training to support Park Groups to start thinking about Nature Recovery. This could be anything from partnering with another local organization to welcome them to your regular sessions, or setting up something specifically focused on wellbeing in your local Green Space.
We have up to 8 spaces on this opportunity, where you will take part in Phoebe’s usual volunteer sessions, aimed at improving mental/physical health and wellbeing.
You will be able to meet some of the service users working with Phoebe and ask her any questions you have.
The sessions will be practical, outdoor-based at Southmead’s 19acres of green space. Activities will include:
Nature Walks
Wildlife surveys
Wildflower bed creation
Tree planting
Allotment work
Clearing work in the woodland and scrub
The 4 sessions (attending all 4 weeks is recommended but not essential) will be an opportunity to gain confidence and learn directly from Phoebe what we can do support more diverse groups in our communities. To book and for further info, please head to the Volunteer Database.

Training about Crowdfunding

Groundwork are offering some online training about crowdfunding, open to all Friends of Park Groups, delivered by Ian Goodman from MyPark Scotland. Take a look at the training offer below and share with your group. Thanks!
What is crowdfunding?
This 1.5 hour interactive online session will introduce the concept of crowdfunding for greenspace heritage projects. The session will cover the following areas:
  • Understand the concept of crowdfunding
  • Develop project ideas –turn ideas into a fundable project
  • How to present your crowdfund?
  • Engaging young people with your crowdfund project
The session will be based around the Groundwork UK Crowdfunding Toolkit which groups will be shared with groups after the session.
For any queries, please contact Ian Goodman at
One Bristol Friends Group chair (who I know quite well) said “I have been on a Groundwork crowdfunding course pre-lockdown and found it useful (particularly for comparing costs of different crowdfunding sites as well as how to make your pitch - the difference in charges are quite big).”

Parks & Green Spaces All Party Parliamentary Group

The Parks & Green Spaces All Party Parliamentary Group APPG (Westminster) met on the 8th of July, to review progress made since the 2016 Select Committee Inquiry into the Future of Public Parks.
If you weren't able to make it, a highlights video, full recording and minutes are now available on the APPG website, along with the copy of the letter the APPG has sent to Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee.

The Great Big Green Week

A national celebration of community action: 18-26th September 2021
The Great Big Green Week will be the largest event for climate and nature ever seen in the UK. Thousands of events will celebrate how communities are taking action to tackle climate change and protect green spaces, and encourage others to get involved too.
Together we will call on politicians to raise their ambition and champion action on climate change.
Here are a few useful Great Big Green Week tools you can promote to your networks for community groups to showcase the work they are doing or join others taking part near them. 
  1. The Community Greening spark sheet - this will be on the resources page of the GBGW site -   
  1. The GBGW website with events listing and map - 
  1. Film encouraging to organise activities:
  1. And a comms pack to go with it 
  1. General supporter comms pack here, including a folder with lots of lovely share graphics 

Green Space Under Threat

You may have seen coverage in the local press about proposals to build on green spaces in Bristol, particularly South Bristol.
For the most part these are areas that were listed for development in the Local Plan and the Site Allocations document that was formally adopted in 2014 after a long period of consultation and reviews. Of course since then the Council has declared Climate and Ecological Emergencies and the Mayor agreed before the election to protect one of the sites listed – Brislington Meadows.
The sites and designations in the adopted plan can be seen on the web at
The two sites that are of particular concern to local residents at the moment are:
An area of the Ashton Vale green belt in South Bristol. Steve Lansdown is looking to get planning permission for 510 homes on the site. This is the site which was earmarked for the new Stadium at the time the Local Plan was produced. A small part of the site is an SNCI, through the plans show this being protected with a 5m buffer.
The developers are apparently arguing that development of the Green Belt should be allowed because the profits will enable the news Sports Village to be built next to the existing stadium – the group campaigning against this can be found at -
The other site is the ‘Western Slopes’ in Knowle. This is a large area of Green Space partly owned by the Council and partly privately owned. At the moment there are no public footpaths across the site and no public access, parts are used for grazing.
Lovell Homes have put forward plans to build houses on part of the site off Novers Hill.
Avon Wildlife Trust have said that they recognise Bristol's Western Slopes as a vital wildlife corridor, and stands with those people calling it to be protected from development - .

Start a nature club in your local area!

Would you like to pass on your love of the natural world to the next generation? Do you enjoy working with children, and would you be able to spare a few hours a month?
Avon Wildlife Trust are looking for volunteer Wildlife Watch leaders and assistants to start up new nature clubs for kids. Maybe you feel this is something your local community could really benefit from? If so, we can offer training and ongoing support, and you'll get to tap into a growing network of Wildlife Watch leaders to share ideas, experiences and resources.
For 50 years, Wildlife Watch clubs have given young people the opportunity to take part in amazing wildlife experiences and take practical action for nature. In the 80s and 90s we had Watch clubs all over Avon, including Bath, Brandon Hill and East Harptree. Our Watch network faded away 20 years ago and we are on a mission to bring it back!
Would you like to find out more? Contact  for further details.

Wildlife Groups Across Bristol

You may be aware that My Wild Bedminster are encouraging other areas of the City to follow their example and establish wildlife groups in their area.
They say that their aims are:
1. Raise public awareness about wildlife in the city including both the good things ('a family of hedgehogs is visiting my garden, aren't they sweet?') and the bad things ('chaffinches are in decline, what can we do about it?').    Facebook and other social media is good for this with pictures and ideas circulating without much effort.
2. Undertake monitoring of wildlife in different parts of the city.     That would include the neighbourhood auditing that we have already started and also the monitoring of particular species.     There are now several 'Hedgehog Groups'; a 'Bat Group' covers BS3 and BS4; some people are noting down butterflies, moths and dragonflies and who knows what.    Of course, some people have been doing that for years.    The new features are that we want more people to do it and we also want people to share the information.    It's not just fun to do, it's also vital if we are to reverse the decline in Bristol's wildlife.
3. Take action to improve habitats.    Again lots of people are already doing that, but we need more.     A single wildlife garden is a Good Thing, but a neighbourhood full of wildlife gardens is an Even Better Thing.    A productive park is another Good Thing, but its impact is limited if there aren't other friendly habitats nearby.     Many animals need to move around in search of food, shelter and breeding opportunities.     A great, but isolated green space isn't good enough: an isolated island in an urban sea.     Lots of people are doing their bit, but, so far, our impact is limited.     Only local organisation can raise the game in support of wildlife.      Perhaps, most people lack the time, skills and inclination to do much more, but it only takes a few people to galvanise local action.     Are YOU up for being a Community Activist (aka Busybody)?     If so, please get in touch.
They envisage groups being based on postcode areas and say “There are some advantages including that they cover every part of the city and are fairly large (there are 14 across the city); they are stable and not changed by, for example, boundary commissions and most people know their post code even if they are not sure about their political ward or the boundaries of their named neighbourhood.   But, if people want to organise on some other basis, fine”.
Working with Groundwork and others they are trying to produce wildlife audits for all parts of the City.
You can get in touch via and you can also ask to be added to their email circulation list.
Rob Acton-Campbell
Bristol Parks Forum   
The minutes from the May meeting are on our website at Next meeting Sat 16th October – we will decide nearer the time whether this can be a face to face meeting or whether it will be on zoom.

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