Dear Friends of Horfield Common,
We are gearing up for another busy Summer on Horfield Common & have just confirmed a series of dates for our events and activities this year. There are a lot of opportunities to get involved in projects happening on the common - we always welcome new volunteers & if you are interested in finding out more - please do get in touch.
In the meantime, please see below for updates on a range of the projects that FOHC are currently working on - we look forward to seeing you at some of the events and activities taking place over the next few months.
1. Horfield Common Tree Planting Plan
Planting new hedgerows in Wellington Hill Playing Field - Thursday 26th March 2015
On Thursday this week (26th March), Treepips (now part of the 'One tree per child' initiative) will be planting the new and enhanced hedgerow in Wellington Hill Playing Field. If you are free and would like to help - please see the information here & get in touch with Helen at Treepips to let her know you are able to volunteer.
Thank you very much to all of the volunteers who came along to the scrub clearing sessions in Jan & Feb to prepare the area for planting.
For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, a lovely short film was made about the planting that took place on the common in National Tree Week, just prior to Xmas. You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1eVOx-L-1s
Thank you to everyone who helped to raise funding for the Horfield Common Tree Plan project. With those going in on Thursday, we will have planted more than 550 new trees on Horfield Common since November. The impact of this on wildlife in the area, as well as for the local and wider community will be significant - we're looking forwards to enjoying watching them grow and thrive over the coming years.
All of the plaques are now out on the trees with information about local businesses and families who have sponsored them. Please do mention the tree sponsorship to any local businesses you use - the support from our local traders has been incredible & we are keen to thank them!
2. Launch of the new Horfield Common Walk/Run Routes - Saturday 9th May 2015
We are delighted to announce that we will be launching the new Horfield Common Walk/Run routes on Saturday 9th May 2015 as part of the Bishopston, Cotham & Redland Neighbourhood Partnership 'Our Neighbourhood' Festival.
Please come along and join us from 9am when we will be launching the walks.
There are 500m, 1km & 5km routes available & we are keen to encourage as many people as possible to come along and join in. If you would like to get involved & support us by fundraising - please download a copy of the sponsorship form here:http://bit.ly/1CVsz82
If you are a member of, or involved in running another local group & would like to join us to fundraise for your activities - please get in touch. The Ardagh Toddlers will be joining us on the walk fundraising for new toys & we are keen to support any other local community groups who would also like to use the event as a fundraiser. Do get in touch of you are interested.
Equally - you can just come along and enjoy a stroll or a run - we look forward to seeing you there!
3. The Café on the Common - Preparations and Launch Date
We are delighted to be able to advise that we have now agreed an initial short-term lease with Bristol City Council which will enable us to begin to transform the Ardagh site & move another step closer towards our ambition to take day to day management of the site over under a community asset transfer agreement. We are currently working hard to transform what was previously the external goods yard at the Ardagh in to a Community Cafe which will - if all goes to plan - open at the Ardagh from early May. As long as all goes to plan, we will also be celebrating the launch of a new community cafe on the common on the morning of Saturday 9th May!
Opening the Cafe on the Common will also enable us to reopen the pitch and putt course inside the Ardagh site, and also to loan out tennis equipment. Additionally, we hope that having a permanent presence on site will enable us to begin to develop a new programme of activities for local people of all ages. We'll be in touch with more information nearer the date but would love for you to come and celebrate this long-awaited facility at the Ardagh with us - we are planning for an official launch on 9th at 10.15am, following the sponsored walk/run event.
For the community cafe, we would be very happy to accept donations of any excess outdoor furniture (including picnic benches) if anyone local has any that are surplus to requirements (!) and we are currently waiting to receive the final costs for installation of new electricity & water supplies to the yard to enable the project to happen. This is what we will be fundraising for at the sponsored walk, but other donations are very welcome & if you would like to support this project - please do make a donation here: http://friendsofhorfieldcommon.weebly.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html all contributions will be highly valued - thank you.
For information, the cafe on the common is a non-profit making social enterprise with all profits going back in to support improvements to Horfield Common and the Ardagh.
Please do come along and support the cafe & find out more about how you can get involved in the many projects we are running which aim to support increased community involvement and activity on the common.
We'll keep you up to date with the next stages in Project Ardagh but are delighted to report that we are now making good progress on this & expect to be able to announce further improvements and progress in the next few months.
4. Annual Summer Picnic 2015
We have now confirmed the date for our annual Summer Picnic 2015. This will be taking place on June 28th so please get this date into your calendars - we'll have more information available soon.
5. Festival of Nature Event on Horfield Common 2015
Following such a successful first Family Fun Day on the Common as part of Bristol's Festival of Nature last year, we are thrilled to be taking part in this again in 2015. Our Horfield Common event will be taking place on Saturday 12th September & we'll have more information available shortly about the event. By that date, we should have our new pond dipping platform in place - funding for this from BCR NP has just been confirmed & it will be fantastic to see this installed so that the pond can be more easily accessed & used for wildlife education activities by local young people's groups too.
6. Horfield Common Edible Garden Project
The fantastic Horfield Common Edible Garden project is going from strength to strength at the Ardagh & will be part of the citywide 'Get Growing' trail on 6th/7th June 2015. Please do come along and find out more about what is being planted, what is being planned and how to get involved.
New volunteers are always welcome & this is a brilliant, friendly group. We can't wait to see the produce beginning to emerge over the next few months. Working party dates have been set for the rest of the year - you can view them on the main FOHC website here
The group has been very successful at achieving funding for new plants & storage and basic hand tools. If you have any spare tools you'd like to donate, please do get in touch & if you'd like to have a go at growing edible plants - come along and get involved!
7. The History of Horfield Common Project
Thank you to all who came along to our 'Memories of Horfield Common' event at the Ardagh last week. More than 40 local (and not so local!) residents came along to the Ardagh on Monday 16th March for the 'Memories of Horfield Common' event which was jointly hosted by Friends of Horfield Common and English Heritage as part of the 'History of Horfield Common' project we have been working on since the start of the year.
Current local residents were joined by visitors who used to live in the area who had travelled from areas including South Gloucestershire, Dorset and South Wales to take part. It was a fantastic event. There were photographs and maps for participants to look at which documented some of the changes that have taken place on the area and many participants brought photographs and documents with them which they were happy to contribute to the new social-history archive and historical map of the area that will be produced as an outcome of the project. Those attending were each able to contribute rich stories of their memories of living in the area - many had grown up in the Horfield Common area and were able to recount amazing stories of particular public events - e.g seeing bombers flying over the common and down the length of Thornleigh Road, for example or being taken to see the King and Queen who were visiting to inspect the troops stationed in the Barracks which stood at the top end of the common; other memories included the sounds of the crowds outside houses near Bishop Road when the final hanging took place at Horfield Prison in 1963 and others were much more individual - memories of playing on Horfield Common, of the allotments that used to cover large areas of the common and of socialising with friends and family in the local area.
The new History of Horfield Common resource will be available to view at FOHC's Summer Picnic which is taking place this year on Saturday 28th June, and we hope that this will then become a project which we can add to ongoing. If you, or anyone you know would like to contribute to it (this could be in the form of an interview, or sharing photographs or writing down your memories) we would welcome your contribution - please do get in touch.
8. Bristol Parkhive - Photos of Bristol's Parks and Green Spaces by people who use them!
Bristol Parkhive is a fantastic project being run by Bristol Parks Forum in partnership with all of it's members across Bristol to celebrate Parks and Green Spaces in the city in Bristol European Green Capital Year 2015. You can find out more about the project here: http://bristolparkhive.tumblr.com/
Please do take part by taking photos of any of your visits to Bristol's Parks and Green Spaces, and adding these to the crowdsourced photo archive being created by the project. You can upload images via facebook, twitter and by e-mail, and you can print & display the Parkhive Project poster and share the project with friends in Bristol (& beyond if they'll be visiting in 2015).
It will be great to see a strong showing for Horfield Common including Wellington Hill Playong Field in the archive, as well as other parks and green spaces citywide, and is a lovely activity that people of all ages and abilities can take part in.
9. Horfield Common Wildlife Recording Project
Are you interested in Wildlife recording & would you like to get involved in helping FOHC to build a dataset which can help us to understand the impact of our work for wildlife and biodiversity in the area? We would like to bring together a small team of volunteers who can begin to develop this project - with some training provided by experts from the Festival of Nature's team. If you are interested in getting involved in this project - please let us know?
10. Horfield Common Tree Trail
Now that the tree plan has been completed, we will be creating tree and wildlife trails across the common providing interesting activities for local people and families. Again - if you would like to get involved in this project and have some time you can contribute to developing this work - please get in touch & we will begin to organise how we take them forwards.
11. Ardagh Toddlers Table Top Sale and Fundraiser - Saturday 18th April 2015
Ardagh Toddlers are holding a Table-Top Sale & fundraiser at the Ardagh on Saturday 18th April from 10.00am - 12.00pm. Please do come along and join them. Tables are available & if you'd like to book one - please get in touch with Ali for more info.
13. Ashley Down Community Choir will be holding their Spring Concert at the Ardagh on Wednesday 26th March from 8-10pm. Please do come along and support this fantastic local group - entry is free & all are welcome! See here for more information:http://www.gurtlushchoir.com/blog.php?/archives/167-Ashley-Down-Community-Choir-Spring-concert.html
14. Volunteering opportunities:
Saturday 18th April 2015 - Physical Work & Building
Practical work at the yard - to support the cafe we need some volunteers to help us with getting things set up on the morning of Saturday 18th April. If you are able to help & happy to donate a couple of hours of your time - please let us know?
We plan to use the time to build planters using pallette wood, create a couple of new seating areas and complete some other physical tasks - if you are happy to help out & can come along on 18th April 2015 - you will be welcome! Please get in touch.
Saturday 9th May 2015 - Stewarding
Stewards for the Walk/Run routes launch event needed from 8.30am - 10.30am Saturday 9th May 2015. If you'd be happy to help out - please get in touch!
Ongoing - Dog Walkers
Dog Walkers - if you are a dog walker & use the common daily or several times a week, please consider joining our team of volunteers who replenish the dog bags at various sites around the common. There is no requirement other than to top these up when you do your usual walk & we will supply the bags. Please get in touch if you'd be happy to join the group of current volunteers on this project. This is a way you can volunteer with very little time commitment but make a huge difference to the quality of the common.
As always - if you have any questions about the info included above, or would like to get involved in any of our projects - please do get in touch.
Very Best Wishes,
Friends of Horfield Common