FOHC had our first meeting of 2024 and our most well attended yet! We discussed:
Full minutes can be found below:
The Horfield Common wildlife pond was in dire need of restoration!
Over the years, the vegetation had become overgrown and the pond was little more than a swamp. From November 2023 to December 2024, brave volunteers got stuck in and helped us to bring the pond back to life!
What did we do?
First of all, we cleared brambles/overhanging parts of the hedge from the banks and the overgrown vegetation from the pond itself. Nothing was removed from the site, so the vegetation will regrow over Spring and naturally die back over Winter.
We then took any rubbish out of the pond, and began sifting the excess silt out.
This was then placed on the banks, to build these up.
What happens next?
More light can now get into the pond and there is space for wildlife to actually live!
We expect frogs and newts will begin moving in in Spring - keep your eyes peeled, but please stick to the bridge and path, to allow the banks to recover.
The vegetation will grow back over Spring, but will naturally die back over Winter. November 2024, we plan to do a tidy up of the pond to improve it even more!
We will also be doing some hedge-laying on the bushes outside the pond.
Thank you to our wonderful volunteers - especially Dylan Peters who guided the project, Freeways Trust for their help, and Sam Shaw for donating 3 sets of waders!
FOHC had our final meeting of 2023 and discussed ongoing activities and important considerations involving the Common, including:
Full minutes can be found below:
Thank you so much to the amazing Sarah Spilsbury, member of FOHC and local resident, who has sponsored a new tree for Horfield Common!
You may have seen a tree below The Ardagh, which has been pinpointed for felling. Trees for Streets asked for sponsorship for the tree in order to find a replacement. Thanks to Sarah's kind donation, this has now been funded and the replacement will be planted by the council between Autumn 2023 and Spring 2024.
Thank you again, Sarah!
On the 22nd October, Andy Buchan led a wonderful (fully booked!) free walk on the history of Horfield Common.
It was an incredibly well-researched talk, where we were so lucky to benefit from Andy's passion for the Common and learn so much about where we live. Andy shared with us the history of the Common right back to when it was used as common land for farms, the Wellington Hill fountain, the Victorian urinals, Horfield Castle and so much more! It was also wonderful for neighbours to share their own stories and memories of the area!
Andy's group 'Bishopston, Horfield & Ashley Down Local History Society' meets on the third Tuesday of every month and always welcomes new members! Find further details of where they meet and the provisional 2024 program at their website:
Thank you so much to Andy, for volunteering his time and energy for the walk!
If you'd like to attend similar events in future, be sure to email email@example.com to join our mailing list.
On the 14th October, volunteers joined us in the Autumn sunshine to plant daffodil bulbs around the Common.
We managed to plant almost 4 bags in the area around the car park and up by the entrance on Kellaway Avenue - we'll be looking forward to seeing them bloom in Spring!
Big thank you to Steve from The Ardagh who supplied us the bulbs and thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to help, or even just say hello and have a chat - if you'd like to meet your neighbours, please do drop by an event sometime!
Rare cat-mint has been found - for the first time in Bristol in 100 years! – at the Common, across the other side of Kellaway Avenue.
Thank you to Dylan Peters, part of BS7 Wildlife and creator of the wonderful site Wild Bristol, who found and championed the cat-mint!
Thanks to him, the Council has protected the area with a fence and sign, and we'll be looking into the mowing map for the Common going forward.
Please help us protect it by notifying us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you see the fence and sign have been disturbed.
FOHC met to discuss plans for the next few months and ongoing points of interest.
Please note that the September Litter Pick has now been cancelled - the next Litter Pick will be the 28th October.
Please see the Minutes below for more information:
On the 9th and 10th September, we set out to clear the meadow patches for Autumn!
A big thank you to our volunteers for coming out in the blazing heat for hours to clear an area double the size of last year's patch, and to Steve from The Ardagh for his help with tools.
And a special thank you to Val, who has been wonderfully maintaining the patches/liaising with the Council and Lockleaze Good Gym. The patches wouldn't be here without her!
What did we do?
We raked the cut grass away from the patch behind Horfield Parish Church, and then placed this under hedges for mulch.
In order for the wildflowers to grow, the cut grass needs to be raked away from the site, to allow the wildflower seeds to disperse and settle, without grass growing there instead.
One of our volunteers has counted 117 plant species in this area, so there's no need to sow new seeds there!
Why meadow patches?
Meadow patches are home to an incredible range of plants, that all - from bugs to birds to people - can use and enjoy. They're a valuable, dense ecosystem, which is becoming more and more important.
They also are a great way to make green space that residents don't use for sitting in more interesting!
There is one more patch next to Wellington Hill that needs clearing. If you'd like to be involved, please email email@example.com so we can update you.
As for this patch, we'll wait for the new flowers to grow and supplement with any that we need in future.
FOHC met at the Garden Room to discuss events for Autumn!
We'll also be aiming to arrange a FOHC meeting every 6 weeks or so, so please look out for the next meeting in September and feel free to join if you'd like to get involved.
Please find the full Minutes available to download below: