No. 40 - July 2001 edition
In this Issue:
South Bristol Rivers Initiative
News from the Millennium Green
'Food for All' Food Co-op
Where have all the Flowers gone?
Flowers by (e-)Mail
Daffs by the Kilo
A LOT OF THIS EDITION has been written by non-M.V.C.G. members. This is a very good thing for two reasons: any newsletter is better for having more 'voices'; and (more selfishly) it means that I have to write less of it.
Taking the second point first: there's a standard sentence at the bottom of the back page which says 'Letters, articles and suggestions from readers are welcome'. And we mean it. We have a handful of faithful contributors from the M.V.C.G. committee, but nothing would give me greater pleasure than to have more input from readers, whether M.V.C.G. members or not.
But a more positive reason why the Newsletter has a wider range of writers this time is because we have news from three of the organisations we work and co-operate with.
Hartcliffe Community Campus has taken on new people as it gears up for the next stages of its ambitious plans, and the wonderful Millennium Green goes from strength to strength as you can read on page 3. The Food Co-op at Hartcliffe Health and Environment Action Group has a new worker who introduces himself and their new developments on page 4. And the new Greenworks project is open for business (see page 5).
There's more networking reported on page 2, where the latest meetings of the South Bristol Rivers Initiative are looking positive.
If you would like to report any news, or ask any questions, or suggest future improvements, please get in touch.
SOUTH BRISTOL RIVERS INITIATIVE
MEETINGS of the South Bristol Rivers Initiative have been happening much more frequently recently, and we've strong hopes for improvement work on the ground in both the short and long term.
At the latest meeting, we had some invaluable input from the City Council's Drainage Engineer. He's the man who has to be convinced that any changes affecting streams won't lead to an increased flood risk. He's happy with the idea which has been around for some time to partially open up the former line of the Malago at the Vale Lane end of Manor Woods so as to create a wetland habitat. He also has no objection to a pedestrian bridge over the stream below the dam - this would give an extra link between the woods and rest of the area and allow more varied walks.
Of course, engineering approval and feasibility are only the start. There is also the little matter of money. Working with the Wildlife Trust, the Forest of Avon, and, of course, the City Council who own the land, we think the best way forward could be to apply for grants from the New Opportunities Fund. Once a scheme starts to be worked up, we will also want to publicise it and consult people both near-by and more widely. As a first step to wider involvement, the next meeting will be attended by representatives of other organisations in south Bristol.
Needless to say, none of this will happen quickly. However, in the shorter term (and subject to successful grant applications), we hope to see further work on the woodland path. If you have any ideas for improvements on or around any waterways on our patch, please contact me.
THE RESULT OF THE SYMES AVENUE PUBLIC INQUIRY has been announced. As expected, the Inspector, Mr Robert Watson, has recommended granting Panther Securities' planning application for a large supermarket and other smaller units. As hoped, the Secretary of State has agreed, so permission has now been granted, subject to the usual sorts of conditions which always attach to a major application. Panther now have a year to find an operator, so nothing will happen on site yet. But it's another step on the way - we hope - to regeneration for Symes Avenue.
NEWS FROM THE MILLENNIUM GREEN
THERE ARE NOW OPPORTUNITIES for anyone who would like to get practically involved in the management of Hartcliffe Millennium Green.
A guided series of gardening mornings - every other Saturday from 10.00am to 12.00pm - doing weeding, planting and carrying out general garden care, will be taking place on the Millennium Green this summer.
Why not take the opportunity to 'adopt a flower-bed' on the Green and get the help and advice you need to make it your own. We can also help you to buy plants! Our local resident expert Ted will be available to provide advice on what you could grow and how. If a number of people are interested we could arrange trips to nurseries to buy plants - who knows where it may end?!
The Gardening dates arranged so far are the Saturdays of 30th June, 14th July, 28th July and 11th August. If you would like more information please call 964 2853 and ask for Richard.
Are you interested in being a part of starting a Community Orchard? Community Orchards provide opportunities for people to come together and create a place for quiet contemplation, grow a variety of native fruits, gain new horticultural skills and create a refuge for wildlife.
Orchards were once widespread throughout the British Isles - apple varieties hail from north of Inverness to the edge of Cornwall. Until recently every farm, country house and suburban garden had its own collection of fruit trees. However numbers of orchards have declined by 64% in the last 27 years!
The Millennium Green already has 15 apple trees planted in it that need to be cared for. But what about planting a fruit hedge - raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, blackberries - and other fruit trees - damsons, plums, pear trees, cherry trees? Fancy having the skills to plant these and look after them properly?
If you are interested in starting a community orchard, or have experience to share, please call Richard on 964 2853 so the hunt for funding - there are several bodies that fund community orchards - can begin.
Millennium Green Project Worker
'FOOD FOR ALL' FOOD CO-OP
IN MAY I started as HHEAG's new Community Development Worker for Food Issues. Part of my job is to manage Food for All, the Hartcliffe Food Co-op. (Wendy Harris of HHEAG told M.V.C.G. members about it in March). There's a lot happening ...
In the next few weeks Food for All will be moving into its new improved premises. Although we will be sorry to say goodbye to the cupboard near the HHEAG office, we are very pleased to be moving into new larger 'Shop Front' premises. We are not moving far. The new Food Co-op premises are just at the other end of the Gatehouse Centre (Unit 4, next to the glaziers). The 'Shop Front' should be open very soon and we will be planning an official opening day for extra publicity. We hope you will all drop in to visit the new improved Food for All.
There is also some office space at the new food unit. The new Food for All telephone number is 0117 964 7228.
The weekly orders for organic fruit and vegetables started again from the week commencing Monday 9 July. Our supplier, Leigh Court Farm, will be providing vegetables at wholesale prices. At the moment we cannot tell you definite prices or availability details (partly because these things depend upon nature and how quickly vegetables ripen!). However, we will know closer to the time. In order to find out prices and availability, you will have to phone on 964 7228 or drop into the HHEAG office on Monday mornings before 12 noon. Also, if you are interested in the organic fruit and vegetables please let us know.
It is coming up to time for Food for All's Annual General Meeting. This will take place on Wednesday 12 September at 12 noon, in the Ledbury Room, upstairs at the Gatehouse Centre.
June is the month for renewal of membership of Food for All. Membership fees continue at £2.00 for the year or £1.00 for six months. Please pop into the HHEAG office to renew your membership as soon as possible. If you have joined in the last two months you do not have to renew until 2002.
Community Development Worker - Food Issues
THE GREENWORKS PROJECT which we mentioned last time is now starting to get under way, and there will be a launch event on 17/18 August (see the Programme on page 7).
Environmental Training: creating opportunities to improve skills and gain employment
Fundraising: a small grants scheme to help community groups and individuals access funds for environmental improvements
Environmental Action: encouraging practical activities that allow people to access and appreciate areas of natural value
Hartcliffe Community Tree Nursery: a centre for learning skills and growing trees for local projects
Environmental Practice: working to reduce negative impacts on the local environment.
Greenworks' address is CSV Environment, City of Bristol College, Hartcliffe Centre, Bishport Avenue, Hartcliffe, Bristol, BS13 0RJ.
If you are interested in volunteering or gaining training in any of the 'green' skills, call the Volunteer and Training Development Officer on 964 0114. If you are an individual, community group or organisation with ideas for an environmental project, call the Environmental Enhancement Officer on 935 9710. E-mail email@example.com.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE?
WELL, QUITE A LOT OF THEM WERE IN MANOR WOODS on 19 June when a dozen or so members met for an informal stroll to see what was about.
It was a fine evening as we set off to explore. Several of us had our wild flower books at the ready to identify any 'new' or interesting species. We hoped that we would see a return of the Bee Orchids which had excited us two years ago. Unfortunately an extensive search failed to reveal any. We succeeded in establishing the name of a white flower as Hoary Cress and also found Hedge Woundwort.
The area that has been left to grow into meadowland looked particularly beautiful. The various grasses, with seedheads in subtle shades of pink and mauve, waved gracefully in the breeze and the evening sunshine enhanced their colour. There were lots of marguerites (moondaisies), buttercups and tom thumbs to be seen amongst the grasses, all adding to the general beauty of the scene. We observed the Corky Fruited Water Dropwort that was once quite rare but alas, has lost this status and is now deemed common.
We returned by way of 'our' path which we cleared last year and was subsequently cleared again by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. We were pleased to find that it was reasonably easy to negotiate although Marie Jo had brought secateurs just in case.
We arrived back at our starting point at about 9.00pm and Mary very kindly invited people to her house for coffee. It made a pleasing end to a most enjoyable evening.
BERYL HEATON and MAVIS PALMER
HELEN HALL, who is part-time Conservation Officer for Bristol City Council and works part-time for the Wildlife Trust, has asked us to keep her posted about what we find in Manor Woods and elsewhere on our patch. A summary of our observations in Manor Woods, and a note of the common spotted orchid we recently saw on Highridge Common, was therefore e-mailed to her. She is pleased that we help her keep an eye on things and told us that the long grass should now be cut and kept short to prevent nutrient enrichment.
PROGRAMME OF MEETINGS AND EVENTS
MALAGO VALLEY CONSERVATION GROUP'S own events are shown by the symbol. Please also support the activities of Greenworks and the Malago Society.
Monday 30 July: Garbage Raid in Manor Woods. Meet at 3.45pm at Bishopsworth Library.
Saturday 4/Sunday 5 August: Dry Stone Walling at Hartcliffe Community Farm. This is a free event and trainers will be there to show you this traditional technique but you need to book - phone 935 9710.
Friday 17/Saturday 18 August: Hartwood Fair, from 11.00am to 4.00pm each day on the green space near the roundabout on Bishport Avenue (look out for the banner). Come and find out what the Greenworks Project can offer you. Loads of activities for people of all ages, whether you are active, artistic, interested or just hungry! There will be guided walks, conservation projects, food stalls, graffiti projects and much more ...
Sunday 26 August: Our annual special Amphibious Garbage Raid in Manor Woods. Meet at 10.00am at Bishopsworth Library. The silt on the pond is too high to launch an inflatable, but we'll find other ways to tackle the junk in the pond and stream. Come in old clothes, and wellies if you fancy a paddle.
Saturday 15 September: Open Day at Bishopsworth Manor House, to mark the start of the Malago Society's new season. Guided tours of the House, craft demonstrations, exhibitions and sales stalls. Starts at 2.30pm.
Tuesday 18 September: Visit to the CREATE Centre at Cumberland Basin. We will have a guided tour of the Eco-house at 3.00pm, and there are plenty of interesting exhibitions to look at in your own time beforehand. The café serves good and economical meals, so you could start by having lunch! (The café closes at 2.00pm).
Monday 24 September: Garbage Raid. Meet at 3.45pm at Withywood Post Office, Four Acres.
Tuesday 16 October: Our opening 'winter' meeting at St Peter's Rooms at 7.30pm. PHIL QUINN of the Wildlife Trust will talk to us about Our Local Wildlife.
Monday 29 October: Garbage Raid. Meet at 3.45pm at the 'Elm Tree'.
DAFFS BY THE KILO
Lots of people enjoyed the 'turning cans into daffodils' poem in the last Newsletter. We now have a chance to make that more literally true than ever, because there is a promotional scheme being run by Alupro, the trade organisation for aluminium recycling.
For every kilo of aluminium cans or foil which we take for recycling (and which thus generates funds for planting), we now get points which, at the end of the year, will win us vouchers which can be spent at DIY and garden centres. The cans become points, which become Garden Centre vouchers, which become bulbs! There are also bonus points available when we reach intermediate targets, so your little bag of cans could win us another hundred bulbs!
We have set ourselves a target of 250 kilos by 31 December. If you aren't already letting us have cans for recycling, please do so if you can. And if you are one of our existing valiant supporters, please keep up your efforts and encourage others to join in. If you have a lot of cans, we will be happy to collect from you - please ring 964 3106.
Malago Valley Conservation Group
Anton Bantock, Don Bartlett, Brenda Docherty, Royston Griffey, Mavis Palmer
Tania Case, Eleanor Davis,Valerie Gay, Peter Hall, Audrey Milton, Ben Rosedale, Ted Thomas, Sue Walker, Barbra Wharton, Cllrs Bernard Chalmers, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org; web address www.mvcg.cjb.net. 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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