Newsletter Masthead

No. 37 - January 2001 edition

In this Issue:

Now We are Six

Annual Accounts

Planning Matters

Christmas Party

Talk by Alvis Brothers

The Programme

Who's who


HAPPY NEW MILLENNIUM! (The purist argument that insisted last year that the millennium didn't start until 2001 now seems to be accepted - now that we've had the party for 2000 anyway.)

Malago Valley Conservation Group can look back on 2000 with some pleasure. Within the Bishopsworth & Malago Conservation Area, we have seen Chestnut Court restored; at Elm Tree Corner, the pub itself is improved out of all recognition, and our own efforts are starting to bear fruit - or leaf, rather, as the trees planted along Highridge Road become part of the scenery. And our ambitious effort in publishing My Manor Woods Book has been very well received.

More widely in our BS13 patch, the Hartcliffe Millennium Green has made a great impact and encouraged support for the more challenging realisation of the rest of the Community Campus. Work has started to develop the former Wills site; and while a development of more large shops may not have been everyone's first choice, things are proceeding carefully and in consultation with local people. Even at Symes Avenue, where the call-in of the Panther scheme for a large supermarket surprised and horrified all concerned (not least the City Council), this last year has seen wide agreement on a way forward.

So what have we got to look forward to in 2001? At Elm Tree Corner, the daffodil bulbs we planted (1500 of them!) will, with luck, be making a show before long, and the elm tree which we are planting with the City Council will be appearing shortly. The Working Group on Elm Tree Corner recently met and we will be taking things forward again on some of the longer-term issues. As usual, there's never a shortage of things to do. Come to the A.G.M. to hear more about the past year and M.V.C.G.'s plans for the future.



THE SIXTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of Malago Valley Conservation Group will be held on Tuesday 20 February at St Peter's Rooms, Church Road, Bishopsworth, starting at 7.30pm. The Officers and Committee members retire each year but are eligible for re-election. The names of the current Officers and Committee members appear on the back page.

According to the M.V.C.G. constitution, nominations for either Officers or Committee members should be made in writing at least 14 days before the A.G.M. They must be supported by a seconder and the consent of the nominee must first have been obtained. Nominations can be made to the Hon. Secretary, Lis Pibworth, at 9 Cowler Walk, Withywood, BS13 9AY or to the Chairman, André Coutanche, at 14 Queens Road, Bishopsworth, BS13 8LB.

However, anyone thinking of volunteering to join the Committee should not be put off by these formal requirements. If you think you may be interested, please contact any existing Committee member for an informal chat. New members are always welcome!

As usual, the formal A.G.M. business will include a report-back to members on the year's events, and, as usual, we will have a guest speaker, who this year is BEN BARKER, the Chair of VOSCUR, the umbrella body for the voluntary sector in Bristol. M.V.C.G. has been active in VOSCUR since it started, and Ben will talk to us, in his entertaining way, about what VOSCUR has done and is planning to do in the future.

We will finish with wine/orange juice and cheese/other nibbles to celebrate our birthday. All members and friends of M.V.C.G. are invited to come to our birthday party.


  • At the A.G.M. we will also be announcing the winners of our Annual Environmental Awards. If you would like to nominate any new development - large or small - which has improved the appearance of our part of Bristol during 2000, please ring André with your ideas on 964 3106.



HERE ARE THE ACCOUNTS which will be presented to the A.G.M. on 20 February. If you have any queries or comments on the accounts and cannot be at the A.G.M., please contact me on 964 5780 or e-mail


Income £   Expenditure £
Membership 299.00   Postage & stationery 50.00
Functions Income 232.00   Refeshments 41.40
Refreshments 16.00   Hall Hire 160.00
Other Income 1930.75   Printing 77.00
Bank interest 10.48   Speakers fees/donations/expenses 35.00
      Christmas meeting 21.36
      Other Expenditure 2569.92
Total 2488.23   Total 2954.68


Excess of Income over Expenditure 466.45
Brought forward from 1999 1245.22
Balance carried forward to 2001 778.77
Made up of:  
Cash in Hand 9.31
Bank Account 769.46


Detail of Functions Income £   Detail of Other Expenditure £
Plant/Bring & Buy sales 23.10   Elm Tree Corner: bulbs 165.00
Coffee Day 74.40   Elm Tree Corner: trees 250.00
Christmas meeting 20.00   Elm Tree Corner: printing 98.06
Sposored Walk 114.50   My Manor Woods Book: printing 1322.90
      My Manor Woods Book: folders 675.63
      Photographic archives 8.33
      Donation: St Peter's clock 50.00


Detail of Other Income £      
Grants/Donations 1511.00      
Visitors 0.50      
Sale of aluminium cans 78.10      
My Manor Woods Book: sales 341.15      
  1930.75     115.93




WE HAVE INSPECTED quite a few planning applications recently. As usual, many did not need comment once we had assured ourselves that the details were acceptable. Often, a phone call or e-mail is appropriate to check things out, and we must record with pleasure the friendly co-operation from individual case officers in the South Area Development Control team in the Planning Office.

The biggest application in our area in recent months was for the redevelopment of the heart of the Highridge estate at Sandburrows Road and Lakemead Grove. This had good public consultation locally and general support. We also agreed that it was a good scheme and were happy to see it approved.

The Severn Vale Bowls Club applied for permission to erect a new club house on their ground at Vicarage Road to replace the existing temporary buildings. Again, there had been good consultation from the sports and planning officers of the City Council and we had met them and the Bowls Club. The design of the proposed pre-fabricated club house is acceptable in the Conservation Area and we were pleased to support the Club. The application has been approved.

We have also looked at applications for conversion from unused shop to flats at 42 Bishopsworth Road and the division into four units of the warehouse on Cater Road behind the Pioneer store on Whitchurch Lane. We had no objection to either application.

Most recently, there were twin applications for masts for mobile phones on Cater Road and at Queens Road, Withywood, in the car park by the Spar shop. We couldn't see why two masts were needed (perhaps they weren't and the company was hedging its bets); and the Queens Road site was wholly inappropriate - and it's in the Conservation Area. We objected, and the application was refused (the Cater Road application was granted).

Finally, not a planning application but an update on the Gatehouse Open Space which we reported in Newsletter 35 (September 2000): after the initial rush to consult, the City Council are now reconsidering the options and having internal discussions between the different departments who hold the land. The situation will develop more slowly and M.V.C.G. is keeping in touch.



Crossword crackingREGULAR ATTENDERS know that the M.V.C.G. Christmas Party is an event not to be missed. This year's event was no exception. The evening started with guests drinking mulled wine while attempting a crossword with a conservation theme compiled by Beryl.

What's anag. an anagram of? >>

We then settled down to a demonstration by Lesley Hurford, an old friend of the Group, of traditional Austrian Christmas decorations made from natural products like pine cones, beech mast, berries, leaves and pot pourri ingredients. Several brave souls had a go at following Lesley and made decorations, most of which were very attractive. Congratulations to Mavis and Kate whose decorations were judged the best by Lesley, while a special mention must go to Freddie who was the only gentleman to take part.

Lola and Lesley

<< No, you can't have some for your bird table

After this, guests were entertained by Jo's sketch of a 'typical' garbage raid performed by the regular raiders (complete with trolley and rude small boy). This event has already borne fruit because as direct result Mavis Eddy joined the team at the next garbage raid. Welcome and well done Mavis.

The evening concluded with the usual lavish American supper and the Wassail Bowl after which we all went home content.

Congratulations to the Programme Group for another happy evening.






THE TALK at our November meeting, given by Nick Baker of Alvis Brothers, gave us a good insight into farm life. Alvis Brothers produce organic cheese but Nick really came to explain the conservation measures that are used on the farm. They are anxious to encourage wildlife and do much to achieve this aim.

We were shown slides which illustrated the work being done. There was a magnificent hedge which had been flailed, but in such a way as to encourage new growth and consequently become a haven for insects, birds and small mammals. They are hoping that other farmers will follow their example. We saw tree plantations, and a newly made footpath, and pictures of deer. Although deer are welcome at the farm, they can of course cause a great deal of damage to young saplings. Alvis have overcome this problem by using taller tree guards. They need to be 4 feet tall to prevent the trees being chewed.

There were slides showing farm staff helping to plant a meadow at a local school. They want to educate children in rural ways, and many schools visit the farm to try their hand at practical skills. It is the intention to set up a classroom there when funding and grants become available. Nick told us that the hedge laying and dry stone walling courses are very popular and help to further the work of educating young and old. There are open days for the general public, and private visits can also be arranged. It is our intention to organise an M.V.C.G. visit to the farm this summer so that we can view the progress being made.

After the break there was the opportunity to ask questions. Nick very skilfully answered our queries and the consequent discussion was so interesting we could have stayed longer. Although there are many problems for farmers today, it is good to know that there are those who care so much about the countryside, and strive to preserve it for future generations. We are very grateful to Nick for coming to share his knowledge with us, and we look forward to seeing the farm for ourselves in the coming months.



THE SYMBOL indicates an event organised by M.V.C.G. The regular meetings on the third Tuesday of the month are at 7.30pm at St Peter's Rooms by St Peter's Church, Bishopsworth. (DHG) means an event organised by Dundry Hill Group. If you would like more information about D.H.G., ring 935 9710 or visit their website at

Monday 29 January: Garbage Raid. Meet at 3.45pm at Symes Avenue.

Sunday 4 February: Snowdrop Walk. Meet at the Carpenters Tavern (Upton Lane) car park at 10.00am - return by 12 noon (DHG).

Tuesday 20 February: Malago Valley Conservation Group Annual General Meeting and Birthday Party. See the official notice of the meeting on page 2. Our guest speaker is BEN BARKER who will tell us about VOSCUR, the 'umbrella' group for voluntary bodies in Bristol in which M.V.C.G. takes an active part wherever possible.

Monday 26 February: Garbage Raid in Manor Woods. Meet at 3.45pm at Bishopsworth Library.

Sunday 4 March: Walk around Maes Knoll. Meet at Church Road, Norton Malreward at 10.00am - return by 12 noon (DHG).

Thursday 15 March: As part of the University of Withywood's regular programme of Thursday evening talks, KEREN SUCHECKI and JANE COX will talk about the Hartcliffe and Withywood Community Partnership, set up to determine how best to spend the £13.5 million Single Regeneration Budget. (M.V.C.G. takes part in some of the SRB5 working groups.) 7.30pm at the University of Withywood, 131 Queens Road.

Tuesday 20 March: WENDY HARRIS will tell us about the Food Co-op run by Hartcliffe Health and Environment Action Group. With a strong emphasis on local and organic produce, this is an environmentally sound way of buying food which is also good for your health and your wallet. Wendy will have a sales table of goodies, so bring some money and sample their wares!

Monday 26 March: Garbage Raid. Meet at 3.45pm at Withywood Post Office.



MEMBERSHIP of Malago Valley Conservation Group runs from 1 January each year (but people who join in the last three months of the year have their membership carried through to 31 December of the following year).

That means that for the majority of members, it's time to renew your membership. You will find enclosed a membership renewal form, and we'd be very grateful if you would fill it in and return it with your subscription for 2001 as soon as possible.

We hope you think you are getting value for money for the £4 per household. If you have any ideas on how M.V.C.G. could be improved, or things we could be doing, or ideas for meetings and events, please get in touch with any Committee member (contact details below).

Malago Valley Conservation Group


André Coutanche

964 3106


Lola Hardingham

964 1116

Hon. Secretary

Lis Pibworth

987 0825

Hon. Treasurer Beryl Heaton

964 5780

Committee Members

Anton Bantock, Brenda Docherty, Royston Griffey, John Taylor

Co-opted Members

Don Bartlett, Tania Case, Eleanor Davis,Valerie Gay, Audrey Milton, Ben Rosedale, Paul Stephens, Ted Thomas, Sue Walker, Barbra Wharton, Cllrs Bernard Chalmers, Tessa Coombes, Peter Crispin, Richard Eddy, Ron Hodges, Dave Johson, Mary Sykes (All the City councillors for 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; e-mail; web address Letters, articles and suggestions from readers are welcome. The opinions expressed in this Newsletter do not necessarily represent those of M.V.C.G.


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