Stoke Park update from Bristol City Council
This is the latest information on the restoration works at Stoke Park Estate. The work is designed to ensure improved long-term management and restoration of the estate.
This will enable it to be used by a wide range of people, improve its wildlife value by maintaining a rich mosaic of habitats, and restore and protect its historic features.
There are differing community views on the works taking place. The council needs to balance the long term needs of managing the estate with a range of public views. This is not always easy.
To protect the World War II battery, a nationally important scheduled monument, we are fencing the area around it to allow the area to be grazed by sheep. This will help manage re-growth of vegetation including bramble, improve grassland and reduce root damage. Without this intervention Purdown Percy will fall into further disrepair. The intention is to keep the pedestrian gates and public rights of way open to allow public access, however if there is anti-social behaviour causing damage to the monument there is the option to lock the gates to protect it. We will be seeking further funding to carefully stabilise the monument, remove graffiti, provide interpretation and, if people are interested, develop a small volunteer group to watch over it and invite occasional guided visits for school groups and open days.
Stoke Park Accessible Path
Following recent public consultation on the council’s preferred option, we have been evaluating the responses to the consultation, the preferred option put forward and a number of alternative options. 52% of people responding supported the path option put forward and the topline results are available here www.travelwest.info/stokeparkestatepath We are currently pulling together a more detailed report which will show our assessment of all the options and will detail responses to the main issues raised in the consultation. This will be made public as soon as possible. We will be creating a design on the preferred option chosen, incorporating stakeholder and public views that will be used in a planning application. Everyone will again be able to share their views on the proposed plan option as part of the statutory consultation for the planning application.
Grazing and stock proof fencing
It is hoped that grazing will now start in Spring 2019, and fencing and gates will be installed in preparation for this. There will be a small herd of cattle that will be moved around between fields. There will be access through all fields and a requirement for dogs to be on leads only when they are walked through a field being grazed at that time. There will be plenty of space in the park which won’t be being grazed.at any one time. Grazing can be an excellent way to manage land and reduce the amount of scrub encroachment. It is hoped that there will be opportunities for the community find out more about farming and grazing through the land being grazed.
Much of the tree thinning, scrub removal and hedge-laying work between and around Barn Wood and Pale Plantation has been completed. In response to public concern we reduced the amount of thinning in secondary woodland to retain 70% canopy instead of 50%, and to retain 10% of scrub instead of 5%. The work will improve the quality of the woodland, creating wood pasture and improved grassland, and restoring views across the estate.
Tree planting and hedge laying
In December and early in 2019 we will be planting 70 parkland trees and replanting an historic orchard of around 200 trees to the south of the park. One Tree per Child have planting a new woodland of approximately 450 trees in Lockleaze Open Space, and will be planting a hedge along the fence-line by Sir John’s Lane and along the boundary of the M32 (with Highways England funding). We are currently restoring a historic hedge within the park around the young woodland from Barn Wood to Duchess Pond. If you want to find out about the work visit