In this update:
RHS It's Your Neighbourhood
RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood is a unique scheme for volunteered led community gardening projects/groups who are focused on improving their local environment through community gardening.
Any Bristol parks group would be eligable to enter and it is an excellent way to get some recognition for your group's work. It is the group and its activities and community engagement that is beuing assesed, rather than the park itself - there is a separate award for that.
Entries are free - the closing date is Firday 8th April. All entries will be assessed by an RHS It's Your Neighbourhood assessor between Fridy 1st July and Friday 29th July 2022.
Several groups in Bristol entered last year, but it would be great to have more this year. The assessors are volunteers and often involved in their own groups so the visit can become more of an exchange of ideas than a judging event.
More details are at http://www.southwestinbloom.org.uk/Its-Your-Neighbourhood.aspx
In the past the RHS has received some justified critisism for its attitude on pesticide use etc. but I went to the South West in Bloom conference this week and there is no doubt that there has been a change of attitude both amongst member groups and at the top level.
It sometimes seems that the Bristol City Council website is designed to make things difficult to find, so you may not know that there is a Council webpage on the Ecological Emergency.
The page has links to One City Ecological Emergency Strategy and Bristol City Council’s Ecological Emergency Action Plan
There is also a link to a recent leaflet setting out how the Council is “going to use nature recovery to reverse the decline in wildlife by creating new spaces where nature can recover and thrive in our city”.
In turn the leaflet has a link to a map “to show surveyed parks in the Nature Recovery Network where we believe there is potential to create new wildlife space”
Nationally - DEFRA has published proposals for long-term, legally-binding environmental targets, as well as a Nature Recovery Green Paper that it says will support the Government's ambitions to restore nature.
Both are open to public consultation until the 11 May at the following links:
Consultation on environmental targets - Defra - Citizen Space
Nature Recovery Green Paper: Protected Sites and Species - Defra - Citizen Space
Save the date – the above links to the DEFRA consultations came from the West of England Nature Partnership (WENP) newsletter - This year's WENP conference will be held on the morning of the 9th June, at Bristol City Hall.
Sign up to the WENP mailing list to get updated information.
Consultation on Cycling and Walking Infrastructure
A reminder about our second consultation on our Information Pack on Cycling and Walking Infrastructure.
The consultation document is here:
It is open to comments until Friday 29th April.
i-Naturalist & City Nature Challenge
I mentioned the City Nature Challenge (April 29 - May 2) and the i-Naturalist postcode projects in my last update.
There are now i-Naturalist projects for all fifteen BS postcode areas that cover part of the City of Bristol - BS1 to BS16 (BS12 was abolished in the 1990s) – including those I missed off the list in the last update.
All these are now listed on the Trees of Bristol website see:
Clicking on the link to each district will bring up links to the i-Naturalist groups, and I understand that there are plans to add lists of green spaces within each area.
Many of these postcode areas also have facebook wildlife groups. Some of course cover areas outside the city boundary as well as parts of the city - including a new one for BS15 which covers Kingswood and Hanham in South Glos as well as parts of St George and Hillfields within the city.
Hopefully these i-Naturalist areas will help encourage people to take part in the challenge.
Remember that the site listing on the Trees of Bristol website, also gives you access to i-Naturalist projects showing recordings for individual sites in Bristol.
How Should the Downs be Managed?
The Downs Committee, is asking people in the city for their views on how they think the much loved 412 acres of green space should be managed in future.
The Downs Committee has been reviewing in-depth how it works and operates the popular open green space in the city. As part of this review, a stakeholder event was held at City Hall in late 2021 in which 12 groups with interests in The Downs participated.
The committee is putting forward six principles for the management and operation of The Downs which can be seen and commented on in full in the survey, as well as a work plan for the next 18 months. These principles cover how The Downs is used for both recreation and conservation, how it is funded, the role of events, building and infrastructure, and engagement.
To take part in the survey, go to smartsurvey.co.uk/s/DownsEngagement or call 07769 285266 to request a paper copy. Members of the public have until 19th April 2022 to contribute.
There is also an additional optional follow-up survey about transparency and effectiveness in the way that the Downs is governed, which you are invited to complete once you have completed the main survey.
This means you have to press 'finish the survey' and then the governance survey comes up.
You can also see the questions in a pdf document here – but please use the above link to respond.
Ashton Court Estate Conservation Areas
Sections of The Plateau located near the Clifton Lodge car park of the 850-acre country park, have been roped off for the spring to offer protection to some of the endangered wildlife on the estate.
Areas marked with a rope fence should not be entered, and visitors must stay on the mown and marked paths with dogs being kept on a short lead. This replicates last year’s temporary conservation areas which were put in place following record numbers of visitors during COVID-19 lockdowns.
The Parks and Green Spaces service has closed off The Plateau to protect breeding skylarks which make their nests amongst the grass. Increased visitor numbers and numbers of dogs roaming off the lead are believed to have contributed to a decline in their population over the last 40 years.
After the success of the previous temporary conservation zone in protecting skylark nests, it was decided that they would be put in place again this year.
The area is also home to an important population of green-winged orchids, some of which are in danger of being damaged by the impact of walkers while they are dormant underground.
For further information and an estate map which includes the location of The Plateau please visit: www.bristol.gov.uk/museums-parks-sports-culture/ashton-court-estate
Photos for celebrating 75 years of Bristol Parks twinning with Hannover
A request from Ella for one or two of your best volunteering in Parks photos!
Bristol Parks are wanting to celebrate 75 years of twinning with Hannover and share photos of our respective Parks and volunteers in our city centres.
10-15 photos will be selected and we'd love these to come directly from you :)
The photos must be high resolution (minimum 5MB) and people in the images must be happy for the image to be shared.
Please send me any photos (max 3 for now - although I know there will be many more!) so we can get a selection together.
Sending your photos doesn't guarantee that they'll be featured, as there is a limited amount of space for the display. However please know that they will all be hugely appreciated and be very helpful for promoting the brilliant work you do in the future.
Please complete and return this Media Release Form any photos you'd like to share.
Send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Gardening in Dementia Action Week
For Dementia Action Week, Alive and Brace are running a webinar on the benefits of community gardening for people living with dementia.
Alive Activities’ community gardening team will be hosting the free webinar from Bristol’s first dementia-friendly allotment on Thursday 19th May 10-11.30am
For more details and to register go to their Eventbrite page
The Big Give – Green Match Fund
I’m very pleased to say that after success in 2021, Your Park Bristol & Bath will again be taking part of in this campaign this year.
The campaign will launch on Friday 22nd April, World Earth Day at midday and run for 1 week.
Any donations made to Your Park through The Big Give during that week will be doubled by the charity’s Champion funds, until the match funds have been exhausted or the campaign has closed, whichever comes first.
Look out for more information and links nearer the time.
Bristol Parks Forum
BPF meetings for 2022:
Sat 2nd July 9.30am to 12.30pm – Raleigh room, Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road BS10 5PY
Sat 15th October –venue to be confirmed
Report problems in parks to BCC at: www.bristol.gov.uk/reportparkproblem
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