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Nature conservation group report for May

Posted on Friday 14th June 2019 at 10:08 pm by SH (Editor)

Scouts from the 1st Stoke Gifford Group standing on a large fallen tree during a bat walk.

An update from Sara Messenger of Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group.

Pollution

Photo of a pollution sheen on the surface of water in Stoke Brook.

On Wednesday 1st May, we received the unwelcome news that we had pollution in our brooks again, and it was again coming from Stoke Brook by Sherbourne’s Brake. Reg Ward kindly doubled back to get some photographs for us, as these are required as evidence, and it was reported to the Environment Agency. The oily pollution had travelled through Forty Acres (Stoke Gifford) and I believe they also reported the problem. Although some areas still have oily patches, we think we have been lucky this time, as we haven’t found any signs of  lasting damage,

Savages Wood paths

Unknown to us, our paths had, for some, become a bit of a campaign issue. We are well aware of the state of the paths and have been lobbying the land owners (SGC) for many years for them to be improved; unfortunately their tree officers believed that a more solid path would have a negative impact on the tree roots and therefore the length of the trees’ lives. Path making methods have improved over the years and we were finally able to agree on a method which protects the tree roots while providing a path that does not resemble the Somme at its worst. In April 2018, we put together a grant application – which was unsuccessful, but after some tweaking, a second application was submitted in December 2018 which was approved. We are very pleased to finally be able to announce that the Enovert Community Trust has given us a grant of £25,000 which will shortly be used to improve more than 500m of woodland paths at the northern end of the reserve in Savages Woods. The total project budget is £29,444, so the extra funding has come from a combination of match funding supplied from South Gloucestershire Council’s Member Awarded Funding (MAF) Streetcare budget, the Conservation Group’s own funding, which came from our small reserves, and £2,152 of further MAF funding from Cllr Brian Hopkinson.

More: BSCS primary phase wildflowers and Scout’s bat walk »

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New play equipment installed at Jubilee park

Posted on Thursday 13th June 2019 at 9:34 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of new play equipment.

Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) says it has received “great reviews” from users of a new £16,000 suite of play equipment recently installed at the Beacon Play Area on the town’s Jubilee Green.

The new equipment, designed to offer physical challenges to young people from the ages of 3 up to teen ages, replaces items installed ten years ago that had become unsafe due to timber rot.

BSTC’s premises manager John Rendell told the Journal:

“We are delighted with the fantastic new play challenge recently installed in the Beacon Play Area. It provides some much-needed play space for children and we have received great reviews from local users who regularly attend the site.”

‘Phase two’ of the upgrade is to install a community shelter which parents can use in bad weather (whilst keeping an eye on their children using the play area). Mr Rendell says it is hoped that this will be installed “towards the end of July, in readiness for the busy summer months”.

He added:

“This particular play area offers something different to the other more traditional play areas in the town and has always been extremely popular with local residents. It doesn’t have the more common metal swings, but it has a sand pit for the very young to enjoy, slides, a nest swing and a climbing net, along with the new play challenge.”

“We plan to continue to make improvements going forward to further enhance this popular play space for the benefit of all users.”

The play park is located on the green next to the Jubilee Centre, Savages Wood Road BS32 8HL.

Photo of new play equipment.

This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 15). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Dismay at Manor Farm Roundabout vandalism

Posted on Wednesday 12th June 2019 at 9:32 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a group of people celebrating the return of 'Debbie the heifer' and 'Peppa the pig' to Manor Farm Roundabout.

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

Well, what a month! We have done some work in places other than the Manor Farm Roundabout. Not much, but some. We did some overtime and have given the community herb garden a replant. These are the large wooden planters outside Brook Way Activity Centre. Just for fun, we’ve added a few vegetables to one, for some colour. We have beetroot, chard and lettuce, and for the children, strawberries. For those with more sophisticated palates, you can choose anything from the spicy curry plants and wild garlic, to borage, fennel and rosemary. Or maybe parsley, basil, chives or thyme are more to your taste. Whichever you prefer you are welcome to come and snip off any that you fancy.

In another bit of overtime, we have managed to repair the bench at The Common East and on one sunny Sunday morning it was also repainted. Apart from the non-stop birdsong, it was amazingly quiet, until I found a dog to fuss and someone to talk to that is. Our new decoy ducks are still nameless, but Wheatfield School is intending to rectify that soon and will be running a competition to choose their new names, which we’re looking forward to. We might even be able to come up with a prize for the lucky winner. Usually in the spring we remove the decoy ducks so as not to upset the drake, but as we’ve not had a breeding pair take up residence this year, we have left them where they are. This pond no longer has any fish, but it does have some very large tadpoles. I suspect they are thriving as, apart from a dragon fly larvae or two, they have no predators here.

We have, in agreement with SGC, been keeping an eye on their Brook Way wild flower strips, and gave our new recruit Kelly the task of pulling out the oilseed rape plants. This may not have been a good idea, as I think some of them were almost as tall as she is! We also discovered that the thistles I often admired were in fact not thistles but something else (not that I know what – it took me long enough to remember ‘brown side down, green side up’!). But I did remember the three birthdays we have this month in the group, Pepi, Jenny and Stevie. They couldn’t all make it this month so we had plenty of cake to work off in the afternoon.#

More: And then there was Manor Farm Roundabout »

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Volunteers needed to support summer reading challenge in local libraries

Posted on Sunday 9th June 2019 at 9:01 pm by SH (Editor)

Space Chase, Summer reading Challenge 2019.

South Gloucestershire Libraries are looking for friendly and enthusiastic volunteers to join the team running Space Chase, Summer Reading Challenge 2019.

Volunteers will spend their time supporting children to do the Summer Reading Challenge, talking with them about the books they’re reading and helping at a range of fun activities in the library. This is a great opportunity to develop skills in communication, team working and creative projects, whilst having fun and making new friends.

Mason, who volunteered last summer, said: “I’ve really enjoyed helping out this summer. It’s been really good to develop my communication and problem-solving skills which I know will definitely be invaluable for me in the future. The excitement of reading that children still have or had gained by the end of the summer reading challenge was a joy to see, and I was glad to be a part of that”.

More than 5,000 children took part in last year’s Summer Reading Challenge helped by 60 volunteers. The theme of this year’s challenge is Space Chase – our super space family, the Rockets, need children’s help to track down books that have been nabbed by Aliens! As children read six library books over the summer they collect special stickers to complete their mission.

Volunteers must be aged 13 or over. The closing date for applications is 30th June.

For more information ask a member of staff at any South Gloucestershire library, email libraryvolunteers@southglos.gov.uk or visit www.southglos.gov.uk/libraries

Like ‘South Gloucestershire Libraries’ on Facebook and follow @southgloslibs on Twitter for the latest Space Chase updates.

This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 35). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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