A Stoke Park update

May 15 2019
A Stoke Park update

Lots of volunteers have been working at Stoke Park with Steve England, Groundwork UK and Bristol Parks,

With a lot of hard work…

Lots of volunteers have been working at Stoke Park with Steve England, Groundwork UK and Bristol Parks, helping to restore historic woodland and grassland across the estate and re-start maintenance at Purdown Percy. University of West of England (UWE) conservation volunteers and members of the public have been working hard to remove bramble and re-coppice hazel within the woodland. Particular highlights include re-opening the historic saloon in Barn Wood and creation of a dead hedge, ideal for nesting birds – this was last cleared in 2011 with work from the Stoke Park Restoration Trust. The tunnel by Hermitage Woods, built in 1749, is now visible again following work to open up the area. It’s great to see so many people enthused about Stoke Park, and the estate has benefited significantly from all those willing to volunteer, whether that’s through the conservation projects or regular litter picking days.

If you are interesting in volunteering with some of the volunteering projects you can contact Steve England at Newlook388@aol.com or Groundwork at amy.walsh@groundwork.co.uk.

Update on fencing, gates and grazing

Grazing is being re-introduced at Stoke Park after more than 20 years absence to increase

biodiversity and help restore this nationally important historic landscape. Grazing will help stop the spread of scrub and invasive, fast-growing species and encourage a wide range of grassland plants. Grazing is a more sustainable way to manage the land instead of mechanical cutting of the grass.

Earlier this year concerns were raised about the positioning of some of the stock-proof fencing and the location of gates. Following feedback from local people, Bristol Parks has made some changes. The fencing in front of the Vench will be moved back to the hedge line to the east and west of the Vench and 18 additional gates than originally planned will now be installed. This should ensure that people have good access to the whole estate.

There were a few requests for further gates within the fencing surrounding Purdown Percy. The gates have been reviewed but the decision has been to not to include more gates here. When sheep and / or goats are grazing here it’s important that they have some quiet space.

A plan can be found on the city council website at www.bristol.gov.uk/cattle-grazing The plan is to install all the infrastructure required for the field immediately to the west of Duchess Pond by the end of April with the water supply connected. This will be the first field to be grazed. When the timescales are known for the introduction of grazing this will be posted on the Bristol City Council webpage www.bristol.gov.uk/cattle-grazing, via noticeboards and the Parks twitter account.