Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Bat walk - Thu 13th May 8.30-9.30pm

Ever wondered what hangs out in the valley of a nightime. Well come and join us for a special bat walk on Thursday May 13th from 8.30-9.30pm. We will be joined by experts from Avon Bat Group who will bring special bat detectors so we can hear the bats and torches so that we can see them too.

Last time we did this we saw rare Daubenton's bats catching insects along the river and tiny pipistrelles in the trees. This year we hope to see the large noctule bat which likes to dart about among the tree tops.

The event is free and everyone is welcome. If you have a torch, please bring it with you.

Bat walk photo: Ian Wade

Garden progress

Have you noticed how lovely the Snuff Mills garden is starting to look? This is thanks to the regular work of a small team of Snuff Mills Action Group members who have spent hours digging over the beds, planting bulbs and plants and even relaying the edging to the borders. Special thanks must go to Jean, Annette, Dave, Chris and Mark who have spent many an hour sorting out the garden, but there is a much bigger team of people who do their bit too, without whose regular help the garden would not be looking half so good.

You can help too by coming to one of our gardening events in May. This month they are between 10-12 noon on Sunday 9th and 23rd May. You do not have to be a gardener to do your bit, just bring yourself, tools and gloves if you have them.

Friday, 16 April 2010

New toilets for Snuff Mills

The first campaign Snuff Mills Action Group organised called upon Bristol City Council to replace the public toilets in Snuff Mills. The Council promised they would replace the loos sometime in 2010-11. They have been busily searching for funds to do this for some time and I am delighted to be able to announce that the existing public toilets in Snuff Mills will be replaced in October 2010.

The existing loos will be demolished and the area landscaped to make the entrance to Snuff Mills more welcoming. New toilets will be built in the green by the car park, as far away from River View as possible, but in such a way that they can be clearly seen from the cafe.

The new public convenience will include a single disabled toilet with baby changing facility with a key held by the cafe. The Snuff Mills toilets attract various kinds of misuse and to prevent this, the new toilets will be made up of two individual unisex toilets that can only accomodate one person at a time and a single urinal. Each toilet will have its own direct access from the car park and there will be no shared areas.

Bristol City Council are so pleased with the design for the new loos that they plan to enter it for the public lavatory of the year award. If they win, this will be a major achievement since the BBC decided the Snuff Mills toilets were the worst in whole of the country in 2002!

Vote Grove Wood

We have enjoyed excellent support from our current MP, Roger Berry, whose Kingswood constituency currently covers Grove Wood. However, Grove Wood is about to move in to Bristol East, so we have contacted every candidate asking them to:

1) Publicly support our campaign to ensure Grove Wood becomes a nature reserve and is in safe public ownership as soon as possible
2) Agree to urge Bristol City Council to do all it can to ensure the current landowner does not do any further damage to the woodland if you are elected
3) Support our call for Grove Wood to become a Town Green, protecting it for public enjoyment for all time
4) Support our efforts to ensure the rare wildlife that lives in Grove Wood is not disturbed by the landowner's damaging actions
5) Sign up to the Woodland Trust's manifesto about trees and woodland to show your wider committment to the natural world. Visit:

We will post replies from the various candidates here in the order they arrive. So far, we have received replies from the Green, Conservative and Labour candidates. We leave it to you to decide whether their responses are satisfactory and whether it will affect who you vote for.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Dawn chorus walk this Sunday

Get up with the lark this Sunday 11th April and join us for a dawn chrous walk with bird expert Ed Drewitt. If you have ever wondered what a chiffchaff, robin or blue tit sounds like, Ed will train your ears so you will know some of the amazing bird song that makes the valley sound so alive this time of year.

Meet in the car park at 6.30am which should be open. The walk should finish by about 7.30am, just in tine for breakfast and it is FREE.

More gardening dates...

Major work is about to begin on the Snuff Mills garden and to help things along the Council have today removed some of the old cherry trees that were casting shade over the garden and making it hard for new plants to get going. Don't worry, they will be replaced as we replant the borders with colourful flowers and bushes.

Help us get ready for this by sorting out the garden with us on Sunday 11th April and Sunday 25th April between 10-12noon. Bring gloves and tools if you have them.