See below for January's Deep Litter Clean... ___________________________________________ Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project (www.avongorge.org.uk) events programme spring 2022
For further information contact Mandy Leivers (Avon Gorge & Downs Biodiversity Education Manager) on 0117 903 0609 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Pre-booking for all events is essential and can be done online at bristolzoo.org.uk/all-events or by calling 0117 4285300. Details of meeting points are given after booking.
Saturday 12th March Meet the Avon Gorge goat keeper (Walk) Search for our herd of gorge-ous goats on this strenuous walk in the Gully. Hear about our rare breed Bagot and Kashmir goats and find out how these 'hairy conservationists' are making space for the rare plants of the Avon Gorge. 10.00am - 12.00pm, £7.50 NB: There are very, very steep slopes and uneven ground on this walk. On the Downs and in the Avon Gorge. Book Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project events online at bristolzoo.org.uk/all-events or call 0117 4285300.
Tuesday 15th March A year in the life of birdsong (Talk) During 2020, Tim Dowling started recording the birds singing on the Downs, creating a remarkable collection of recordings. In tonight’s talk Ed Drewitt, will use them to show how the peak dawn chorus develops during the course of an hour and how birds change their singing behaviour throughout the year. Tim will also share how he went about making the recordings and what his personal highlights were. 7.00pm - 8.00pm, £6.00 At Bristol Zoo Gardens. Venue accessible to wheelchair users. Book Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project events online at bristolzoo.org.uk/all-events or call 0117 4285300.
Saturday 26th March Learning birdsong on the Downs (Course) The Downs are home to a wide range of birds and a great place to learn how to identify them from their song. After a multimedia introduction to the birds you’re likely to see and hear Ed Drewitt will lead you on a walk to identify birds ‘in the field’. 10.00am - 3.30pm, £30.00 At Bristol Zoo Gardens and on the Downs. Book Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project events online at bristolzoo.org.uk/all-events or call 0117 4285300.
Saturday 2nd April Gorge-ous spring plants (Walk) The Avon Gorge is internationally important for its rare and interesting plants. Discover spring-flowering rarities on a scramble around the Avon Gorge with local botanist Libby Houston. 10.00am - 12.00pm, £7.50 NB: There are very, very steep slopes, uneven ground and steps on this walk. In the Avon Gorge. Book Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project events online at bristolzoo.org.uk/all-events or call0117 4285300.
Sunday 3rd April Early birds and bacon butties walk (with a veggie or vegan option) Join us for an early morning walk with bird expert Michael Johnson. After learning how to identify birds on the Downs, it’s back to the Zoo for a spot of breakfast. 6.00am - 8.30am Note the early start time! £15.00 (includes a bacon bap, egg butty or vegan bap plus tea or coffee). On the Downs. Book Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project events online at bristolzoo.org.uk/all-events or call 0117 4285300.
Thursday 14th April Feathered friends (Children’s event for 8 – 12 year olds) The Downs are a brilliant place for birds from blue tits and blackbirds through to our super speedy peregrine falcons. On this egg-stra special Easter event, have fun learning to identify and discover more about our feathered friends. In the afternoon, make an amazing bird mask to take home. Drop off children at 10am and pick them up at 3.30pm £20.00 per child At Bristol Zoo Gardens and on the Downs. Book Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project events online at bristolzoo.org.uk/all-events or call 0117 4285300.
Saturday 30th April Spring on the Downs in batik (Course) Come and learn the art of batik (using hot wax and fabric dyes) to create an individual picture inspired by wildlife found on the Downs in spring. Artist Jo Whiteland will show you how to design your picture, transfer to fabric and apply the wax and dyes to build up colour and texture before dipping in a dye bath to create the characteristic batik crackle effect. 10.00am - 4.30pm, £50.00 (includes materials). Suitable for ages 11+ (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult). At Bristol Zoo Gardens. Book Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project events online at bristolzoo.org.uk/all-events or call0117 4285300.
Thursday 5th May Butterfly Britain (Talk) Butterflies have been collected and studied in Britain for hundreds of years and their decline over recent times has been dramatic. Enjoy Oliver Smart’s stunning photographs as he takes you on a journey to see many of the resident butterfly species of these isles. His talk will cover the behaviour, habitats and the relationships with other plants and animals that make these little insects so uniquely special. 7.00pm - 8.00pm, £6.00 At Bristol Zoo Gardens. Venue accessible to wheelchair users. Book Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project events online at bristolzoo.org.uk/all-events or call 0117 4285300.
Friday 13th May Music with Mummy® on the Downs (For children under 4 years old) Let’s make some melodious music on the Downs. Decorate and play a shaker, sing, dance and meet some wildlife puppets with Fiona from the well known ‘Music with Mummy®’ franchise (of course daddies, grandparents or any other responsible adults are equally welcome!). 10.00am - 11.00am, £5.00 per child (babies under 1 and adults can come for free!) On the Downs. Book Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project events online at bristolzoo.org.uk/all-events or call 0117 4285300.
Sunday 15th May Writing the Downs (Course) The Downs are haunted by a rich human and ecological history. In this creative writing workshop led by Poet in Residence, Dr John Wedgwood Clarke, we’ll explore the people and flora and fauna that have shaped its distinctive landscape and think about how the traces of the past can inform writing our own experiences of the Downs. 10.30am – 4.00pm, £25.00 Run in conjunction with the Friends of the Downs and Avon Gorge and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council via the Wastes and Strays project www.research.ncl.ac.uk/wastesandstrays .The event consists of a guided walk on the Downs in the morning and an indoor writing workshop in the afternoon. At Bristol Zoo Gardens and on the Downs. Book Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project events online at bristolzoo.org.uk/all-events or call 0117 4285300.
The Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project is a partnership of Bristol City Council, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Natural England, University of Bristol, the Society of Merchant Venturers, Downs Committee, Bristol Zoological Society, National Trust and Forestry England. We also work in partnership with the Friends of the Downs and Avon Gorge. The Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project is working to secure the outstanding wildlife interest of the Avon Gorge, Clifton Down, Durdham Down and Leigh Woods, as well as raising awareness and understanding of this unique location and its importance for people and wildlife.
Two new Deep Litter clearing events for January 2022:
As promised at the last event in our Wombling Calendar for 2021 we will be litter-picking on the regular timetabled date of Saturday January 29th but, in addition an extra outing is proposed for Saturday January 15th. Details are outlined below. Volunteers are requested to sign up for either or both dates in the usual way by contacting me be eMail at email@example.com or by telephone at 0117 924 9435 Date: 15.1.22 Time: 10.00 – 11.30am Meeting Point: Extension to top of Parry’s Lane now used as a HGV and Coach Park but which should accommodate our small number of vehicles. Target Area(s): From Clay Pit Road Traffic Lights to Wills Hall northwards to St. Monica’s and through the Granny Downs. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT IF THERE IS MUCH RAIN BETWEEN NOW AND JAN 15TH. PARTS OF THE GRANNY DOWNS CAN BECOME WATERLOGGED AND FOOTWEAR MIGHT NEED TO BE SELECTED WITH THIS IN MIND.
Date: 29.1.22 Time: 10.00 – 11.30am Meeting Point: On Ladies Mile where it intersects with the tarmac path linking Worrall Road with Ivywell Road. Target Area: Clifton Down to the East of Ladies mile from the tarmac path to Fountains Hill including Zoo Banks. Timothy and I look forward to meeting up with as many of you as can make it on either or both of these dates and send our best wishes for the New Year. Take care and Kind regards, Martin (Collins) and Timothy (Dowling) ___________________________________________
NOTICE DEER LITTER CLEARANCE: December 4th Having consulted with last weekend's volunteers, I have decided to change the November cancellation to a postponement. Details will be as for November 27th except for one. On Timothy's suggestion to get closer to our starting point and to avoid having to cross Bridge Valley Road : Meeting Point : NOT FOUNTAINS HILL but beside the triangle of greensward adjacent to the Lord Mayors Residence. This is the extension of Clifton Down which makes up 2 sides of the triangle. Apparently, on Saturdays parking here is free! Thank you Martin _________________________________________
FOD+AG November Deep Litter Clearance
Next Deep litter clear.
Date : 27th November 2021
Time : 10.00 - 11.30 am
Meeting Point : Fountains Hill
Target Area : Woodland Edge from Bridge Valley Road along the Promenade to Observatory Hill
Kind regards, Martin ____________________________________________ FOD+AG October Deep Litter Clearance
The arrangements for this months DLC are as follows:
Date : Saturday October 30th Time : 10.00 – 11.30am
Meeting Point : Western side of Ladies Mile adjacent to parking bays closest to the Junction with Circular Road Target Area : South of tarmac path linking Ivywell Road to Ladies Mile including the wildflower Meadow and the parallel strip to the South of Circular Road back to where we ended the September DLC.
In preparation please : 1. Sign up in the usual way at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01179249435 2 Check weather on the day and beforehand to choose clothing and footwear appropriate to the conditions 3 If you are a first time volunteer let me know so that I can send you copies of the H&S protocols within which we work ,and obtain information needed to ensure you are covered by the Insurance Policy provided by BCC.
We send kind regards look forward to meeting up on the 30th Martin (Collins) ________________________________________________________
FOD+AG’s First Deep Litter Clearance of the 2021 – 2022 Season
For all potential volunteers out there waiting with bated breath for this announcement, your patience has been rewarded. We will begin our wombling activities again on Saturday September 25th – see below for details.
It being the first session following much heavier use of the Downs during the summer and also after the recent Music Event there, we will target the area in the far south west corner of our patch known as Ash Wood. That is where we will meet, although the reach of our litter picking will be determined by the number of volunteers who turn up! To ensure that we can equip you all and to plan a route, it is most important that you sign up in advance in the normal way
By eMail email@example.com telephone 0117 924 9435. DATE : Saturday 25th September TIME : 10.00am – 11.30am LOCATION : Western-most grassy area variously known as being adjacent to Ash Wood, the Sea Walls Toilet block or the Ice Cream Van!
PREPARATION : 1, (re)-familiarise yourself with the Health and Safety protocols within in which, for insurance purposes, we operate – for new recruits, you will receive a copy of these when you sign up: you will also be asked for contact details of a relative or close friend, in case of emergency on site; and you will be asked to arrive on site at 9.45 on the day of session with us for a short introduction to H&S by Timothy Dowling.
2. Please note weather conditions on the day and for the week before to ensure that you are appropriately clothed and particularly shod for the activity.
We will look forward to meeting up again or for the first time in a fortnight’s time. Until then we send our thanks and kind regards, Martin Collins (DLC Coordinator) ________________________________
Event invitation: Tuesday 21st September - St Christopher’s design workshop I am writing to you on behalf of the development partnership that is preparing proposals for a new ultra-sustainable Extra Care community on the former St Christopher’s site in Westbury Park.
Following our initial engagement with the local community earlier this year, we would like to invite you to an interactive workshop-style session to discuss the emerging proposals for the site.
The aim of the workshops is to work with neighbours and other interested parties to develop a deeper understanding of the St Christopher’s site, the character of the local area and to help shape the emerging proposals. Discussions will focus on a wide range of issues including, but not limited to, scale, massing and layout.
Please note the workshops are not intended as a conventional exhibition and the format will be more informal and participative, and will involve working in small groups. Once the proposals are further developed, we will hold a more conventional drop-in exhibition open to all where anybody will be able to view the plans in more detail and respond more formally.
We are holding two workshop sessions at St Alban’s Church on Tuesday 21 September, the first from 3 - 5pm and then from 6 - 8pm.
In order to manage the number of attendees and ensure that the sessions are as valuable as possible, we are asking people who would like to participate in the workshops to sign up in advance by either calling our freephone number 0800 148 8911 or emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The content of the workshops will be the same in both sessions so please only book onto one session as there is a limit on attendees. We will be operating bookings on a first come first served basis.
ATTEND A DESIGN WORKSHOP TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF THE ST CHRISTOPHER’S SITE Date: Tuesday 21st September 2021 at 3pm - 5pm OR 6pm - 8pm Location: St Alban’s Church, Bayswater Avenue, Bristol, BS6 7NS
Please contact the team to book your preferred session ________________________________________________________
Events on the Downs 11.30 -1.00 Sunday 11th July "Wildflowers" Walktalks with local ecologist Neill Talbot: A small charge of £10.00 will be made for each. To register please contact Robin using the form below.
11.30 - 1.00 Sunday 20th June "Grasses" Walktalks with local ecologist Neill Talbot: A small charge of £10.00 will be made for each. To register please contact Robin using the form below. ________________________________ MEADOW MAKER A New Collection by Sally Stafford 3rd – 30th July It is estimated that 97% of Britain’s wild flower meadows have vanished since the 1930s, and the few that remain are often vulnerable, together with the numerous creatures that depend on them, such as vital pollinators, butterflies, birds and small mammals. The tireless work of conservation charities such as Plantlife has never been more important.
Beginning on National Meadows Day, Saturday July 3rd, our latest exhibition is a celebration of these beautiful habitats, expressed through the encompassing mixed media paintings of Sally Stafford, who has long drawn inspiration from the intricate balance of living colours and changing textures that define unspoilt meadows.
Meadow Maker immerses the viewer in a rare and precious world that deserves to be cherished and protected by us all.
Next and last winter Litter collection If you want to help the last session for this winter will be on: March 27th, 10.00am - 11.30am Meeting Point: Above the designated parking bay on Fountains Hill, as for 27th February. We will be targeting the areas along the Promenade and its woodland edge adjacent to the Gorge and Observatory Hill. Please register with Martin as usual. Use the 'contact us' page on this site to reach him so that his email is kept safe.
Deep Litter Clearance Date : Saturday February 27th 2021 Time : 10.00am - 11.30am Meeting Point : The open area on the south side of Fountains Hill above the the designated parking spaces along the wide curve of Fountains Hill. (as recently please collect equipment from the piles which you will find there and avoid the pavement and ts the members of the public who might be walking/jogging/running there).
Target Area : Depending on the number of volunteers and thus the number of sub-groups into which it would be advisable to split for ease of social distancing, the locations to be cleared will include The north side of the Promenade., the south side and the woodland verge at the top of the Gorge, Observatory Hill and perhaps the west side of Bridge Valley Road.
As always please bring any equipment of your own if you have it to reduce the risks associated with sanitisation, but we will supply what is required to keep you safe. Wrap up warmly and come shod appropriately for conditions underfoot.
Please also register with me in the usual way in advance so that paperwork andequipment required will provide what is needed for everyone. Email at email@example.com Thanks, and kind regards, Martin 7.00pm Saturday 20th February 2021 Illustrated Zoom Talk: Butterflies of the Downs and Beyond. Last chance for members to register firstname.lastname@example.org
10.00am - 11.30am Saturday 27th February 2021 Deep Litter Clearance Meeting Point : The open area on the south side of Fountains Hill above the designated parking spaces along the wide curve of Fountains Hill. (as recently please collect equipment from the piles which you will find there and avoid the pavement and its the members of the public who might be walking/jogging/ running there). Target Area : Depending on the number of volunteers and thus the number of sub-groups into which it would be advisable to split for ease of social distancing, the locations to be cleared will include The north side of the Promenade., the south side and the woodland verge at the top of the Gorge, Observatory Hill and perhaps the west side of Bridge Valley Road. As always please bring any equipment of your own if you have it to reduce the risks associated with sanitisation, but we will supply what is required to keep you safe. Wrap up warmly and come shod appropriately for conditions underfoot. Please also register with me using the below forms in advance so that paperwork and equipment required will provide what is needed for everyone. Thanks, and kind regards, Martin
9.30 am Sunday 7th March 2021 Dead Hedging working party If you are interested in maintaining the hurdles along the circular road and learn new skills register with Robin using the form below.
Regular Activities If you are interested in being involved when our activities resume please feel free to contact us for more details using the forms at the bottom of the page. Deep litter picking FODAG volunteers and friends forage for litter one Saturday morning of the month during the winter from 10 am to 12 pm. If you would like to join the merry band please contact Martin for details.
Butterfly Survey Friends have actively surveyed the butterfly population of the downs over the last 6 years adding to national data. (data is held on our website). If you are interested in being involved please contact Martin on the form below.
Goat and Gully Monitoring A group of Friends keep a regular eye on the Goats in the Gully, making sure they are happy and healthy. Also we are looking to create a similar group who take note of the health of the Victorian steps and it's surroundings. If you would like to find out more or to get involved please contact Martin on the form below.
Conservation Sundays The second Sunday in the Month (this sometimes changes). Doing a range of activities and often asked to bring gloves, loppers and secateurs if possible. please register an interest with Robin on the form below.
Dead hedging the dead hedge working party work to build and maintain the dead hedges. If you are interested in being involved please contact Robin on the form below.