Newsletter Masthead

No. 24 - November 1998 edition

In this Issue:

Dundry Hill Project Launch

S.B.R.I. under way

Conservation Area


The Programme

Who's who


LOTS OF NEWS to report, but the top story has to be the designation of the Bishopsworth & Malago Conservation Area. Read the final chapter on page 4, but let us record here thanks to all those who have helped over the past five years to bring about this success. If I try to remember names there's a risk of leaving some out, so let's just express gratitude to all those who have helped in M.V.C.G.'s evolution from an ad hoc group to an established organisation with good relations with those we do business with.

Right, that's the fleeting moment of self-satisfaction finished with. We need HELP. Vanessa Van Eecke, who kindly volunteered to become our Minutes Secretary after the last A.G.M., has had to stand down because of pressure of other commitments. Would anyone like to take her place? In fact, any new volunteers for the Committee would be welcome, whether or not they are able to take minutes. We are currently sharing the minute-taking task, so if you would be interested in joining the Committee (and possibly helping to take minutes), please contact any Committee member (see the back page).

If you don't read the Newsletter all in one go, at least please note the corrected date for the next meeting given in the Programme on page 7. We are NOT meeting on Tuesday 17th November, because that's the date of the Bishopsworth Quiz. If you would like to come to this fun evening to support the M.V.C.G. teams, please ring me immediately.

The traditional autumn Coffee Day took place last Friday and was well supported. It's our main fund-raising event in the year, and good amounts were raised for the Wildlife Trust and the University of Withywood, as well as £96.12 for M.V.C.G. Many thanks to Chris, Lola, Jo and Marie Jo and to all who donated goods.




STORYTELLER Jim McNeil was on hand to entertain us at the celebration of the Dundry Hill Project on Saturday 12 September. The story had elements of Dundry's environment woven into the tale of a young man's ambitions around 200 years ago. A good evening was had by all who attended the event at Dundry Village Hall.

The Dundry Hill Group A.G.M. preceded the celebration on 12 September. Angela Stone has been elected as Treasurer, Chris McFarling will be standing in as Chair and Barbra Wharton will be standing in as Secretary until the Extraordinary General Meeting on 4 February 1999. David Hurford, Frank Webb, Peter Hall, Anton Bantock and Richard Thomas have expressed interest in being on the Management Committee.

A project meeting was held on 1 October to discuss the establishment of a Ranger Service, how it would work and what it would be doing. The creation of a Dundry Hill Group leaflet and a programme of events for 1999 were also discussed. These projects will be further considered at the next Dundry Hill Group Meeting on 16 November at Norton Malreward Village Hall starting at 7.30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Dundry Hill Group and Venture Scouts have successfully built two bridges and a set of steps over the muddy area on the footpath leading up to Newham Lane from Alderwick Avenue. The drystone walling at Little Down Reserve is looking really good and deserves a look at if you happen to be passing.

The Dundry Hill project is being run by Community Service Volunteers with funding from the Government's Environmental Action Fund. For further details of the Project, call Barbra Wharton on 935 9710.





The City Council Planning Committee special meeting to consider the travellers site will be on Tuesday 17 November. The officers' report - available the day this Newsletter is printed - recommends REFUSAL of planning permission. It's highly unlikely the councillors will disagree.



THE SOUTH BRISTOL RIVERS INITIATIVE was officially launched on the morning of Friday 6 November. Dawn Primarolo M.P. helped to get the project under way and cut the ceremonial ribbon to the new path which is being constructed through Manor Woods from near the interceptor.

Also present were senior managers from Allied Domecq who are kindly sponsoring the project and representatives of the three groups involved in managing the Initiative - the Wildlife Trust, the Forest of Avon and the Western Partnership for Sustainable Development. The local organisations on the Community Working Group were also there - ourselves, Highridge Forum, Dundry Hill Group and H.H.E.A.G.

In fact, work started on the ground a few weeks ago. Clearing the overgrown vegetation around the pond to allow construction of the boardwalk was halted when workers saw what was thought to be a water-vole. Water-voles are increasingly rare and a protected species, so a 'vole watch' was organised at dawn (when they are most active) to try to confirm the sighting. As we go to press, positive confirmation hasn't been obtained.

Unfortunately, the launch didn't get the coverage it deserved in the press, who chose to concentrate on the group from the Bedminster Down and Uplands Society demonstrating to Dawn Primarolo on the travellers camp issue. There can be no objection to lobbying an M.P. at a public event in a public place - but it would have been better if they had had the good manners to wait until after she had finished what she was there to do and not draw the media's attention away from the purpose of the event.

I waited until afterwards to have a word and invited Dawn Primarolo to the Coffee Day happening that afternoon. Despite her busy schedule, she spent both time and money with us; we're very grateful.




AS WE HAVE several traditional red telephone boxes in our area which we are anxious to retain, we have been in touch with B.T. who assure us that there are no plans to replace these boxes with the new type. In fact, old style red boxes are now protected, and if any damage should occur which needs a new box, another red box would be provided.




BISHOPSWORTH & MALAGO CONSERVATION AREA was officially agreed by the South & East Planning Committee of Bristol City Council on 7 October. The report produced in December 1993 by a group of local people has achieved its aim.

M.V.C.G. has worked closely with the City Council, particularly Robin Smyth of the Planning Department, to bring this campaign to a successful conclusion. Robin's approach - which we were happy to go along with - was to draw the conservation area boundaries around the 1920s/1930s development; after that time, the general expansion of Bristol swamped the village.

We had some debate about our green spaces. Robin, advised by English Heritage, accepted the Malago Valley as Bishopsworth's natural setting and agreed with our inclusion of the whole of Manor Woods and Withywood Park. Highridge Common was also an established part of the traditional village, and its historical extent as shown on the tithe maps linked it with the central axis of Bishopsworth Road/Church Road/Queens Road. Robin was less keen on including Kings Head Park and Highridge Playing Fields, since open spaces receive official protection under the Bristol Local Plan.

The public consultation meeting on 3 September expressed support for including both these open spaces (and their historical significance as the Home Farm of the Manor and as Bishopsworth Cricket Field are clear). Robin's paper to the Planning Committee offered these spaces as options to be added to the area (along with Bishopsworth Road allotments). His recommendation was for Kings Head Park and the allotments. I made a statement to the Committee supporting these additions but asking also for Robin's 'Area 3' - Highridge Playing Fields and the adjacent school grounds and the British Legion.

Cllr Helen Holland, Chair of the main Planning Committee and a good friend to M.V.C.G., spoke in favour of adding Area 3 and was supported by Cllr Andrew May, a former Planning Committee Chair. This was agreed, and the Bishopsworth & Malago Conservation Area as final designated is shown on the map opposite. We recognise that conservation area status is not the answer to all the planning problems in the area, but it helps us press for a higher standard of development and it helps to safeguard our open spaces.


Conservation Area map


HEROES ... or
Hartcliffe Encourages Recycling and Overall Environmental Sustainability!

THE HEROES first came together in 1995 and have been working ever since to encourage recycling and waste reduction in Hartcliffe. The group is supported by the Recycling Consortium and is a mix of local residents and people working for local organisations, e.g. Hartcliffe Community Park Farm, H.H.E.A.G., CSV Environment, Dundry Hill Group, Malago Valley Conservation Group. We meet at Hartcliffe farm every month or so to plan what to do next. You could be a HERO too!

HEROES have organised three shredding sessions for garden waste. The latest was on 17 October. We spent all morning collecting garden waste, e.g. hedge clippings and tree prunings from people in Hartcliffe, and created a huge pile in Symes House carpark. A forestry chipper came for two hours and shredded the pile down to about two dozen bags of mulch. People could also bring their garden waste along and help themselves to the bags free of charge. The mulch can be put on flowerbeds to stop weeds, composted or used as a soil conditioner. This is great for the environment because it helps to reduce fly tipping on green spaces, reduces the amount of organic waste going to landfill (which causes leachate and methane pollution), and puts the nutrients back to work locally.

HEROES have also been working with local schools in a campaign to begin to change attitudes amongst young people towards the benefits of living in a litter-free environment. A questionnaire is being developed by the children for the children as part of an attitude survey. The responses to this survey will give HEROES a clearer idea of which solutions should be supported, encouraged and funded. We have begun with assemblies at Hareclive and Teyfant Schools and will use the childrens' questionnaire in the associated senior schools. In the January term, this campaign will move to Cheddar Grove/Bedminster Down schools. For further details, and offers of support, for this particular project, contact Chris McFarling on 946 5285.

Recycling Consortium logoIf you would like to know more about the Recycling Consortium generally, or join our mailing list, please contact Jude Andrews at The Recycling Consortium, CREATE Centre, Smeaton Road, Bristol, BS1 6XN; tel. 930 4377/4355.





THERE WAS A MISTAKE in one of the dates in the last Newsletter. 'Tuesday 19 November' doesn't exist, so you probably thought we meant the 17th. In fact, the 19th is right - exceptionally, we are meeting on a THURSDAY to avoid clashing with the Bishopsworth Quiz.

Sunday 15 November: As part of the SOUTH BRISTOL RIVERS INITIATIVE, we have offered to help plant aquatics on the margin of the pond in Manor Woods. Meet at 10.30am at the pond - wellies essential!

THURSDAY 19 November: A Demonstration of Digital City Bristol. MARC DAY of U.W.E., who is 'Harbourmaster' of Digital City Bristol, will show us what it is and how it works. We will be using the public information terminal at Bishopsworth Library, so meet at the Library at 7.30pm.

Tuesday 24 November: Owl Prowl led by CHRIS SPERRING. As a follow-up to his talk last March, Chris will guide us through Manor Woods to look for signs of owl activity. Meet at Bishopsworth Library at 7.30pm in appropriate clothes and footwear and bring a torch.

Monday 30 November: Garbage Raid. Meet at Symes Avenue at 3.30pm.

Tuesday 15 December: Our inimitable Christmas Do at St Peter's Rooms at 7.30pm. This year it's a Christmas Conservation Party and, as usual, we will include an American Supper, so please bring along a little something for the feast.

Monday 4 January: Garbage Raid. Meet at the 'Elm Tree' at 3.30pm.

Tuesday 19 January: A speaker from Bristol Zoo who will tell us about the Zoo's work to conserve endangered species. St Peter's Rooms, 7.30pm.

Monday 25 January: Garbage Raid. Meet at Bishopsworth Library at 3.30pm.

Tuesday 16 February: Malago Valley Conservation Group Annual General Meeting and Birthday Party. More details in the next Newsletter.

The visit to Bristol Astronomical Society's observatory at Failand has been postponed while the moon is full and the weather is bad. As announced at meetings, those who have expressed interest will be contacted when an opportunity presents itself. If you would like to go and haven't let us know, ring Lola on 964 1116.



THE RESOURCESAVER kerb-side recycling collections through the Black Box scheme changed to weekly from 2 November. This is fantastic news because now more people will remember to recycle. However, your recycling day may have changed. (In some parts of Bishopsworth, the day has changed from Monday to Thursday). You should have had a leaflet through your door but there have been problems with delivery; if you haven't had one please call the Rubbish Revolution Help Desk on 903 1221. If you need a new Black Box or any advice please give them a ring.

You can recycle cans, paper, glass, textiles, car oil and batteries, aluminium foil and spectacles. So before you bin it ... think what's in it!

  • Don't forget that M.V.C.G. will take drinks cans from you for recycling. We separate the aluminium ones to sell for our funds and put the steel cans in the black box. André and Marie Jo Coutanche will be happy to receive your cans at 14 Queens Road, or call us on 964 3106 and we'll collect (give us a break at Christmas/New Year, please!).


Malago Valley Conservation Group

Committee Members


André Coutanche

964 3106


Lola Hardingham

964 1116


John Taylor

964 2913

Other Members

Anton Bantock, Brenda Docherty, Royston Griffey, Beryl Heaton, Mary Sykes.

Co-opted Members

Geoff Clarke, Tessa Coombes, Tania Ford, Peter Hall, Chris McFarling, Sue Walker, Cllr Bernard Chalmers, Cllr Terry Cleverley, Cllr Peter Crispin, Cllr Paul Walker, Cllr Claire Warren (All the City councillors for Bedminster, Bishopsworth, Hartcliffe and Whitchurch Park wards are invited to become co-opted Committee members).

Newsletter edited by André Coutanche, 14 Queens Road, Bishopsworth, Bristol, BS13 8LB; telephone 964 3106. Letters, articles and suggestions from readers are welcome. The opinions expressed in this Newsletter do not necessarily represent those of Malago Valley Conservation Group.


Back to Newsletter page >>>