NEWSLETTER 28:17 on South Bristol Toy Library

What is South Bristol Toy Library?

South Bristol Toy Library is a community resource where you can borrow a changing range of toys for children as they grow.

Come to a session – become a member

Would you like to borrow low cost, high quality toys for your children?   We have hundreds of different toys to choose from for children aged 0 to 12.   Membership is just £10 a year with hire costing 20p to £2 for two weeks.   We are open fortnightly on Tuesdays (10-12) and Saturdays (10.30-12) at United Reformed Church on West Street.   Come along for free to see what it’s all about. Continue reading “NEWSLETTER 28:17 on South Bristol Toy Library”

NEWSLETTER 27:17 on the Malago Greenway Berry Maze

The Malago Greenway Berry Maze is an unique project in the UK, which will see volunteers and school children building a maze made out of berry plants (16 types of them) for the enjoyment of the whole community of South Bristol and beyond.   It will be replacing a field of weeds in Brixham Road Open Space  (see map) and the works will start this September.   If you would like to be a part of this and think you can help in any way, shape or form, please do contact the organisers at

The bulk of the funds have been secured through a combination of grants (Greggs and Grow a Greener Britain) and crowdfunding, but as they’ve opted to replace the weed membrane, which would be damaging to the soil long term, with mulch, which is very much more expensive, and adding to that the usual surprises that come with the project this size, they will really need as much cash as they can get!   It only takes 5 seconds for you to vote for MALAGO GREENWAY PROJECT at your local Tesco store, but it would make a huge difference to them.

The project has moved the community and lots of people are joining in.  Here are just some of them… Continue reading “NEWSLETTER 27:17 on the Malago Greenway Berry Maze”

GBCP NEWSLETTER (26:17) – Roll of Honour, butterflies & birds, poo, summer games

Bedminster’s Roll of Honour

Thanks to those who have already nominated ‘good citizens’ to the Bedminster Roll of Honour.   But, we know that there are lots of other people out there that make a great contribution to our communities.   We want to recognise that contribution and, incidentally, offer them a place at the Town Team’s celebratory meal on Sunday, August 20.    The North Street Party being planned by the Bedminster Business Improvement District is not just to promote general interest in the retail streets, but to celebrate the great contributions made by both our international restaurants, bars and cafes and by individuals from all parts of the world (including Bristol) who have helped to make our community so interesting and lively.   We want to honour these neighbours.

Please send your nomination to .   We need the following information:
Name of nominee:
Address (this will not appear on the roll):
City/town/province of birth:
Year of birth:
Organisation/person making the nomination (not on the roll):
How has the nominee contributed to communities in South Bristol? (max 25 words).

My Wild Wood White?

As part of My Wild Bedminster, a survey of butterflies to be found at Windmill Hill City Farm is underway.    So far, six species have been identified.   They are Green-Veined White, Small White, Orange Tip, Brimstone, Holly Blue and Red Admiral.    These are butterflies that you would expect to see in a rich and welcoming habitat like the farm on a sunny day at this time of year.    More surprising was a possible sighting of a Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).    This was only a passing glimpse and may have been either a Green-veined or Small White.    Continue reading “GBCP NEWSLETTER (26:17) – Roll of Honour, butterflies & birds, poo, summer games”

GBCP NEWSLETTER (25:17) – 24th May 2017 – Special on Playing Out

Playing Out is one of Bedminster’s most successful products, fairly new, but firmly established across the city and increasingly also in other parts of the UK.   It’s one of those ‘it’s so simple and obvious, why didn’t I think of it’ ideas.   Well, dear readers, most of us didn’t think of it, so GBCP NEWSLETTER is proud to set out Playing Out’s message below.
New Home
After five years, Playing Out CIC is moving from our shop at 148 North Street to a new shared work space in the old Lloyds Bank building on East Street (opposite Wilko), from mid June.   Thank you to everyone who has worked with us in the shop.   We’re looking forward to the next exciting phase of our work and being part of the East Street community.   This seems a good moment to give a local update on what Playing Out is doing…
From local to National…
Playing Out began in 2009 when two BS3 neighbours on Greville Road, Alice and Amy, applied to close their street to cars for a couple of hours after school one day so that children could play freely and safely outside their own front doors.   Thanks to the interest and shared concerns of parents everywhere, the idea spread across Bristol and beyond.

Continue reading “GBCP NEWSLETTER (25:17) – 24th May 2017 – Special on Playing Out”

GBCP NEWSLETTER (24:17) – 22nd May 2017

Walking Groups

LinkAge coordinates a free programme of walks described as ‘a mixture of town and country routes…..aimed at those who are doing little exercise at the moment, but would like to become more active.’

These range from, more or less, 30 to 90 minutes and each is lead by a qualified walk leader. Recent walks have included local ones such as Bedminster starting at Windmill Hill City Farm and Harbourside starting at Cascade Steps and out of town trips such as to Blagdon Lake and Stockwood Open Space. As well as good exercise, these walks are friendly and welcoming outings. For more information, contact Dan Lewin at 0117 3052365 or

South Bristol Libraries

South Bristol Toy Library is urgently seeking its next Committee Chair to begin a crossover with the current Chair who will no longer be available for the role from the end of June. The Chair role is flexible, rewarding and varied and is a fun and play-focused way to get more experience of the charity sector and running a charity. The local toy library idea started nearly two years ago and our library sessions have been running for nearly one year. They are becoming busier than ever: There are nearly 150 members who at any one time usually have around 50 items out on loan from the stock of 450 items. We now have a freelance project development worker on board making this an exciting time to get involved in a fantastic and much appreciated community service.
Please see for more information on the role. As long as you are passionate about play, we encourage people from all backgrounds – with or without children – to get in touch with Annie our current Chair at for an informal chat.

Also lots of exciting events and new groups happening in June! Please see attachment. Continue reading “GBCP NEWSLETTER (24:17) – 22nd May 2017”

GBCP NEWSLETTER (23:17) – 15th May 2017

Get Your Front Garden Ready

It’s not long now until the annual Good Gardens awards in Greater Bedminster. Judging will take place between 10th June and 16th July, so get those pots out the front, trim those hedges and hang that hanging basket! Thanks to Riverside Garden Centre who will be sponsoring the awards this year.

And Judges Needed

Judges are needed to help give the awards out. No particular skills are needed, you just need to wander round, see who you think has made an effort with their front garden and put an award poster through their letterbox (some judges even knock on the door and present the award to the enthusiastic gardener). You will be given a ‘round’ (or more if you want), which usually consists of 3 or 4 streets and then you just need to visit your allocated streets within the judging month. It’s a lovely thing to do on a sunny summer’s evening after a hard day at work.

If you’d like to help please email Matthew Symonds ( for more information or you can look at the Blooming Bedminster Facebook page to see which rounds are still available

Help for Secret Gardens

A few volunteers are needed for Bedminster’s Secret Gardens weekend on 10th and 11th June to help sell the programmes. If you can spare an hour or two on either day, please email  There will be a stall on North Street on the Saturday and one at the Tobacco Factory Market on the Sunday. About 25 gardens are now going to be opening so please do buy a programme, have a look round and get some inspiration. Last year the trail raised £1,200 for local community projects.

Next Patchwork Session Continue reading “GBCP NEWSLETTER (23:17) – 15th May 2017”

GBCP NEWSLETTER (21:17) – 6th May 2017 – Let’s Walk Bedminster 2017

Bedminster Project: Let’s Walk Bedminster 2017.

Attached is some information about a community led project that GBCP intends to run in central Bedminster ward.   Some of you will have seen an earlier draft.   The project builds on activities and ideas that have been developed over the last few years.

Please pass this information on to others, especially if they live or work in or near the initial target area.

Story So Far
Over the last few years local residents have formed community organisations to improve the locality either by directly doing things themselves, (litter picks, establishing community gardens, holding street parties etc) or by pressing other agencies (BCC, police etc) to intervene in some way.     Good stuff, but more to do!!

An international team of students from UWE are surveying the central Bedminster area, talking to local people and recording their concerns and ideas.    Hopefully, their report will bring all these thoughts together in one place, add new ideas and give a good basis for future improvements.    It’s important that the students capture as much about local ideas as possible.   Groups like West Street Neighbours, Jewels and LImP already have lists of things that they think need doing and ideas about who might do them.   Others may have too.   Please pass these to me ( and Ernani Barea ( from the student team asap, if you have not done so already.   Mark your message ‘Bedminster Project’.     If you do not tell them, they will not know. Continue reading “GBCP NEWSLETTER (21:17) – 6th May 2017 – Let’s Walk Bedminster 2017”

GBCP NEWSLETTER (20:17) – 2nd MAY 2017

Air Quality in Bristol
You will know that air quality is poor (ie it is dangerous to life and health) in many parts of Bristol including parts of BS3. BCC has secured funding to undertake a feasibility study with a view to implement a Clean Air Zone at some future date. At the same time, BCC applied for a second bit of funding to engage the public and raise awareness of the causes of dirty air and the need for cleaner air. This second application was unsuccessful, but there is a Plan B.
The Bristol Green Capital has a potential funding stream at ( Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s #BetterBristol collaboration with Crowdfunder UK). Plan B will be lead by Sustrans and the Sustainable Transport Network. For more information and to join in on the application contact Jon Usher ( ).

Organisations that might be interested in supporting this application are not restricted to transport. Clean air will be of interest to health, planning and education  groups as well as community organisations and businesses of all kinds.

GBCP is now linked to Butterfly Conservation which is the national charity for Butterflies and Moths. We hope they will be able to support one or two of the schools that are participating in My Wild Bedminster. One of their projects that you might like to join in is to be found at

My Wild Bedminster

Our butterfly correspondent reports, ‘I visited Windmill Hill City Farm one bright Saturday afternoon in April to look for spring butterflies.    Wandering around the area I spotted Holly Blues and quite a few whites.   Most of the whites were too far away for a clear identification, but a few came near to me so I was able to identify an Orange Tip and a Green-veined White.   There may also have been Small Whites, but that’s not confirmed.    I saw one Brimstone.   It was very yellow and therefore a male.   It looked as if it was heading off to Vicky Park, no doubt with amorous intent.     I plan to visit the farm a few times during the summer, not least to sample their new cafe’.

Please send any butterfly and day-moth sightings to as part of our My Wild Bedminster butterfly count.    Pictures (including caterpillars, eggs and pupae)  are also very welcome.

Top Three UK Cities for Walking

The national charity Living Streets undertook a survey of major UK cities to find out which was most walkable. The top city was Edinburgh followed by Sheffield and London.   In Bristol only 53% of respondents said that they felt safe when walking. Of course, lots of factors may be in play there such as age and gender, the heaviness of traffic, time of day and part of Bristol, but it shows that we still have a long way to go. We need to make walking safer and more pleasant if we are to get more people taking exercise and reducing congestion and air pollution.

Events in South Bristol Libraries May 2017 
Sat 6th Chatterbooks 10:30
A book club for children – ask in the library for
more information.
Sat 6th Bristol South Skyline Walk 11am
Meet at the library at 11, walks leaving the
library at 11:30. Choice of three walks, of
varying difficulty, all exploring the skyline
views from south Bristol.
Wed 3rd & 31st Reminiscence Group 11am
Come along for a chat about local history and
memories over a tea or coffee.
Wed 10th & 17th Storywalk 2pm
Meet at the library at 2pm to go on a walk

Wild Outdoors Day
Windmill Hill City Farm are hosting their annual ‘Wild Outdoors Day’ event on Saturday 13th May this year and are asking locals to come and celebrate nature and the great outdoors with them.
Doors open from 11am for a unique mix of nature crafts, outdoor games, live music and local food and drink. Outdoorsy fun will include: campfire cooking, spoon carving, flower crafts, magic potion making and even a dog show , so there really will be something for everyone.
The event aims to encourage people to spend more time outdoors in nature and to show that you don’t have to go far to do this! The city farm itself is only 10 mins walk from the city centre and is set in 5 acres of land that was re-claimed by local people as a green community space.
Music will be provided by a host of brilliant local musicians, including Priita, Circe’s Diner, Brook Tate, and Roseanna Ball, all playing live in the farmyard.  To eat there will be a Texan style BBQ from Smoke Catering as well as burgers from farmer Tim. If you fancy something a bit less meaty, ‘Planted’ will be bringing along a fab range of Vegan street food. Children will love the  farms Wild Space with forest skills, woodland crafts and outdoor games and adults can relax and drink in the festival atmosphere.
Simone Dougall, Marketing Manager at the farm said;  ‘Wild Outdoors Day, is a great opportunity for local people to celebrate nature on their doorstep and learn more about using it to enrich their lives, whether that would be finding a snail in your back garden, growing your own veg, or discovering the joys of eating outside’.
The event costs £3 for adults and is free for children. For more information go to:

Malago Greenway Open doors day

Malago Greenway is going to be part of Bristol open doors day on Saturday the 9th of September, between 10-16.
Volunteers are needed to help make this happen!!

What they are trying to do:
1. make a mock of the maze on the exact location, so that people can explore and imagine how the place will look like
– they have a confirmation that Bristol park will clear the weeds before that
– they will make the maze out of 3ft bamboo canes(instead of wooden posts), twine (instead of wires) and they will “plant” kebab sticks with pictures of the berries that will be planted there. They will draw in chalk the frame of the design on the slab and put some cardboard boxes instead of the planters. This will be a very useful exercise for the real thing, when they will mark the maze in November.
2. bake and sell some berry themed cakes to raise some money for the maze.
3. distribute flyers for the maze
4. present a junk model of the maze.

Can you help?
1. They will order all the materials for the mock maze and make the kebab sticks with the berries pictures, but can you come on the day and help set it up before 10am?
2. can you bake and donate some cakes on the day? can you help with the cake sale?
3. can you help print some flyers?
4. are you interested in making the junk model, if they give you all the dimensions and details?

Please get in touch ASAP via:
Facebook! Malago Greenway & The Malago Greenway Berry Maze

Not Fun for Mealworms
See the attached short hedgehog film from Thanet Road:

My Wild Bedminster
A useful website if your school, park, play scheme etc group want to participate in My Wild Bedminster can be found at

LImP Evening Walk (and Pub Visit)
All were welcome to join Luckwell Improving Project for a short walk from Duckmoor Road and along lower Luckwell Road on Thursday evening, 27th April. The main purpose was to review the planters which LImP instigated along the route eighteen months ago, but also to review other suggestions for local improvements.
The planters themselves will be refreshed by volunteers on the morning of Saturday 6th May. If you are able to join in this very worthwhile activity, you will be most welcome. Please meet at A1 Café on Duckmoor Road at 10am.

Revamped website
Go to this website is being revamped for both the Bedminster Business Improvement District and Greater Bedminster Community Partnership. Note too that it’s Breakfast in Bedminster on Saturday 29th April.

Bedminster Energy Group Talks and Films
Bedminster Energy Group is a group of local volunteers working to support the communities of Bedminster and Southville to cut their energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. Throughout 2017, the group are hosting a series of FREE films and talks on Tuesdays 7:30-9:30pm in the Tobacco Factory Snug room. Currently author of ‘Guide to Low Carbon Lifestyles’ and Director of the Cosy Home Company, Mukti Mitchell is delivering 3 talks and 2 workshops:
Tuesday 2nd May: BEG volunteers meeting 7:30pm-9:30pm at the Hare, North Street (all welcome to come learn more about what we’re up to)
Tuesday 9th May: Mukti Mitchell workshop ‘Calculating your Carbon Footprint’
Tuesday 16th May: Mukti Mitchell workshop ‘How to Calculate your Quality of Life’
Tuesday 23rd May: Film Screening ‘Demain’ NEARLY SOLD OUT
Tuesday 30th May: Nikki Jones’ talk ‘What might a decarbonized economy look like?’ and film screening ‘The Economics of Happiness’
Tuesday 6th June: BEG volunteers AGM 7:30-9:30pm at the Hare, North Street (all welcome to come and learn more about what we’re up to)

Bedminster Green Development Proposal
Bedminster Energy Group have recently learnt about proposals for a gas-fired district heating system at the new Bedminster Green development (proposals are in for an additional 800-1000 homes around Malago Road)and are discussing with various professionals the viability of renewable alternatives such as Ground Source Heat Pumps powered by Solar PV.  Local action group WHaM (Windmill Hill and Malago) are trying to raise awareness with local residents about the proposals in an effort to get people to add their comments to the BCC planning portal. Bedminster Energy Group have joined forces with them and would encourage people to leave their comments on the Bristol City Council planning portal:  See WHaM’s website for further details:

Roll of Honour

In March (newsletter 12:17) we began to identify people from all over the world who had made a real contribution to our community. As a way of saying thank you, we want to publish their names and the Bedminster Business Improvement District wants to offer them a free meal on Sunday, 20 August.   These will be prepared in local restaurants which themselves reflect the diversity that makes Bedminster such an interesting place.

We want still more nominations, so please send the following information to .

1.Name of nominee……..2.Address (not for inclusion on the RoH)……….3.In what city, town, province and year was this person born?………4.Organisation/person making the nomination…….5.How has this person contributed to the local community (max 25 words)?

Bedminster’s Secret Gardens

It will soon be time again to be nosey around back gardens in Bedminster.   The weekend of fun will be June 10 and 11, between 12 and 5pm.   A guide and map are now available for £2 at places including Southville Centre, WHCF, and various flower shops.    Proceeds will be used to support community gardening and wildlife projects across BS3.

Friend of the Avon New Cut

This is a reminder that a member of the FrANC Committee, our very own Ed Hall, is due to lead a walk entitled “Exploring the Cumberland Basin”  which is FrANC’s contribution to Bristol Walk Fest 2017.   The walk, lasting around 1½ hours, will start at  The Cottage Inn on Baltic Wharf and will encompass a “tour of the Cumberland Basin showing how the development of the lock system and the Floating Harbour enabled  Bristol to manage the high tidal range so that trade could flourish”.

If you would like to take part in this walk then there is a choice of four dates/times when it will be run during May:

  • on Thursday 4th Maystarting at 10:15am
  • on Wednesday 10th Maystarting at 1:30pm
  • on Wednesday 17th Maystarting at 6:15pm
  • on Thursday 25th Maystarting at 1:30pm

Please ensure that you turn up around 15 minutes before the above start times so that registration can take place.  A fee of £2 per head will be charged on each walk as a contribution to FrANC funds.

You can find out more about the different walks on offer as part of Bristol Walk Fest by visiting their website:


GBCP NEWSLETTER (19:17) – 2nd May 2017 Special on Poo Patrol Big Spray Day

On Friday 26 May Bristol University, the Sustainable Learning Team, Bristol Waste Company and the Clean Streets Campaign will be supporting primary schools and communities to highlight the scale and health risk associated with dog fouling across the city and the need for dog owners to pick up after their dogs and put dog bags in bins.

Most dog owners manage dog waste responsibly but there are some who don’t, leaving dog fouling on pavements, in parks or bagged up and thrown or hidden in bushes.

In a recent survey conducted by Bristol Waste Company on attitudes to environmental problems, twice as many respondents were annoyed by dog fouling than the next highest issue which was cigarette butts.

Dog fouling also poses a risk to human health.

Toxocariasis is an infection caused by roundworm parasites spread from animals to humans through infected faeces such as dog waste which usually but not exclusively affects young children because they are more likely to come into contact with contaminated ground when they play.

We will be working with primary schools, community groups and representatives to deliver the Poo Patrol Big Spray Day when the following will happen:

Before the day Continue reading “GBCP NEWSLETTER (19:17) – 2nd May 2017 Special on Poo Patrol Big Spray Day”