Monday, 5 December 2011

Winter Party!

Yes it almost Christmas! and how would you like to adorn your front door with a lovely handcrafted (by yourselves) Christmas Wreath?
Well get yourselves down to Snuff Mills on Sunday 11th Decemeber between 2pm and 4pm
Snuff Mills Action Group members will be on hand to help you make your own Christmas wreath just like above!
Jean our resident gardener will also be doing a demonstration of how to make a table decoration for the special day or just to brighten up your dinning experience at 3pm
If people want to make their own lantern, bring a jar and we'll provide the tea lights
To get us all in the Christmas spirit there will also be cakes and mince pies along with mulled wine (alcoholic and non alcoholic) or squash for those that prefer.

Meet other members have a natter and find out about what weve done and what we are planning and dont forget to bring a couple of quid for those mince pies and mulled wine. All proceeds will go directly to work in and around Snuff Mills organised by Snuff Mills Action Group.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Centre page spread

Yesterday's Evening Post featured a centre page spread about the Snuff Mills garden and all the work of our volunteers. Featured is Jean Davidge, one of the key people who has been involved in the renovation of the garden. It still looks great down there even though it is the beginning of November.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Future of Blackberry Hill Hospital

As mentioned at our recent AGM the HCA is holding a drop in session on Friday the 4th Novemeber at the Vassals Centre to gather opinions and find people who would be interested in being part of a community developement board that will help shape how the site is developed.
below is the letter sent out to local residents.
18 October 2011
Re: the future of Blackberry Hill Hospital

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to update you about our consultation on the future of Blackberry Hill Hospital in Fishponds and let you know how you can get involved and find out more about this project.

As you may know, the Homes and Communities Agency acquired Blackberry Hill in 2009, with a view to transforming the site into a new, vibrant and sustainable community. Initial proposals for the site, which were publicised on our website, include a mix of shops, commercial space, community facilities and open space, as well as up to 350 new homes. We believe this development could bring significant benefits to the community, and we are committed to involving local residents to ensure that proposals for the site reflect their aspirations.

Recently, we have written to members of the Bristol Citizens Panel about the project and held meetings with local residents, community groups and partners to discuss their ideas for the site and get their views about how this project can be progressed.

We are setting up a Community Development Board of around 15 local residents and people with a connection to the area to work with us to shape proposals for the site. A number of people have already expressed an interest in joining this Community Development Board, which will play a key role in working with the development partner and providing the direction needed to ensure that local people can be proud of the Blackberry Hill project. These include local councillors and representatives from the HCA, Bristol City Council, Snuff Mills Action Group, Fishponds Historical Society, Stapleton and Frome Valley Conservation Group and the Neighbourhood Forum.

But we want to ensure that all residents have the chance to find out more about the project and get involved in the Community Development Board. We have set up an information event on Friday 4 November, from 2pm to 9pm, when you can come and talk to me and my colleagues, find out more about how we will involve local people and help us shape these proposals. The event is open to anyone and will be held at The Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Fishponds, BS16 2QQ. More information will be available at the meeting. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact me and I will do my best to answer them.

I hope to see you at the event.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Owls on the prowl

Our third annual owl prowl takes place next Tuesday 18th October in Snuff Mills. It will start at 7.30pm and involve a walk around the valley in the evening.

We have a male owl hooting again most nights, so there is a very good chance we'll hear them this year.

Last year we were overwhelmed with people, so we are having a booking system this year, so please email us at to reserve your place and find out where the walk starts from!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Steve hands chairmanship of SMAG to Chris Williams

Steve Micklewright resigned his post as Chairman of SMAG at this year's annual general meeting. Steve was given the above framed photo montage to mark his years of brilliant leadership. Steve will continue his work in the Grove Woods sub group and Chris Williams was voted in as the new Chairman. Malcolm Stenner is the Treasurer and Sue Drake is the Secretary. Many congratulations were given to Jean and the gardening team for their amazing efforts and Steve, Mark and Jean all gave presentations. We all wish Chris the best for her term in the big seat!

Monday, 3 October 2011

'Outstanding' with the Lord Mayor

Snuff Mills Action Group have just attended a reception hosted by the Lord Mayor to celebrate Bristol in Bloom. We were awarded an 'outstanding' award by the RHS for all the work we have done to improve the garden.

In their comments about the garden the RHS and Bristol in Bloom said, "It is unbelievable that this high standard of horticulture has been achieved with such a small working group, bearing in mind that the volunteer sessions are held on Wednesday mornings and weekends. The group are a credit to the local community and also to the local authority. The standards of the gardens could easily equal the standards of any National Trust or other estate gardens. As soon as you enter the gardens, you're left both speechless and breathless.

On their visit the judges described the garden as 'the icing on the cake' for Bristol in Bloom and another one said, 'Wow - what more can I say.'

This is praise indeed. Special congratulations to Jean, Mark, Cheryl (pictured here with the Lord Mayor) and all our committed gardeners.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The National Lottery have been using the work we have done in Snuff Mills in newspaper adverts to show just how many good causes have benefited from lottery money in Bristol. We were really pleased to be the project they chose to feature in the advert.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Snuff Mills meeting - October 6th

Please come to the next Snuff Mills Action Group public meeting.

It will take place from 7.30pm on Thursday 6th October at the Stapleton Baptist Church on Broom Hill (between the roundabout and River View).

This meeting will be a celebration of all we have achieved over the last three years and will also feature with an update on Laundry Field and the plans by the HCA to build on it

There will also be a special presentation about Grove Wood where we will share with you the trials and tribulations of the campaign to save this lovely woodland.

This will also be our AGM - but don't worry, we'll get that over and done with quickly

Monday, 19 September 2011

Its official we're "Outstanding"

As many of you may know this year SMAG entered the Royal Horticultural Societies "Its Your Neighbourhood Award" The results were announced last Thursday and we have been ranked as "Outstanding". The highest rating available. A huge congratulations and thankyou to all those who help out in the garden, organise events, lend a hand and to all those who have donated money however large or small without which this would have not been possible.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Signs of Autumn

This fungus is growing on some rotting logs in Grove Wood by the river and is one of the first signs of Autumn we've noticed. Have you noticed any tell tale signs that the season is changing? Let us know.

Friday, 26 August 2011

More Awards for our area

The Greater Fishponds Neighbourhood Partnership area recently won an award for its local history and community organisations. The award was given by the Lord Mayor who repeatedly mentioned Snuff Mills Action Group during his speech as a great example of local people who care about their area and its history. The award can be seen at Glenside Hospital Museum which is open Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Our area is full of community groups who care passionately about this very special part of Bristol, including the Fishponds Local History Society and the Stapleton and Frome Valley Conservation Society who all share the credit for the award.

Ice Age Discovery

Steve England, our local fossil hunter, has recently found a tooth from an ancient horse from the river Frome in snuffmills.

During his fossil walk last June, Steve explained how the grey “pennant sandstone” of the gorge contains many fossils of extinct plants and animals.

He explained that the local rocks were originally laid as sediments from river deltas some 300-360 million years ago during the period described by scientists as the Carboniferous. The remains of ancient plants and animals were left in the sediments too.

After great pressures and the effects of ancient earthquakes, many rocks from the valley can now be split and squared easily for use as building stone. From the old quarries, Steve has collected many Carboniferous aged fossils, but has now found animal remains from the more recent ice age.

As reported last month in the Bristol Evening Post, Steve found a tooth from an extinct species of horse, which must have lived in the valley some 600,000 years ago.Read this following article:

Friday, 19 August 2011

Snuff Mills garden in line for award

Members of Snuff Mills Action Group's enthusiastic gardening group recently spent the evening at Bristol Zoo as part of the judging for Bristol in Bloom. The team took photographs of all the work that has been done to improve the garden as well as some flowers freshly picked from the garden.

The judges have already said how impressed they are with the work we have done to make the garden something really special. We are waiting to see if that means we will win an award for all the hard work.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Little Owls in Grove Wood

Little owls have recently been heard calling in Grove Wood in the early evening and later into the night. There are resident tawny owls as well and people have also reported seeing more of the otters. This is a good indication that the lack of disturbances in the woods this year is helping wildlife to return.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Grove Wood Town Village Green Inquiry pt 2

The The final stages of the Inquiry in to whether Grove Wood should become a Town Village Green takes place on Thursday and Friday of this week (4th-5th August). The objectors (Mr Jafari and his land agent Mr Mair) will present their evidence and be cross examined by Snuff Mills Action Group and there will be summing up from both sides.

The Inquiry takes place in the Council House on College Green between 10-4pm on both days, please come along to witness for yourself the evidence to be given by the objectors.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Jafari appeal fails

Jafari and Rhino Group were in court last week appealing their criminal conviction for not removing the shipping container when directed to do so by Bristol City Council. After two days in front of three judges, the appeal was dismissed. The judges were not convinced by John Mair's (Jafari's agent) claims that 'remove' simply meant 're-move', that is simply moving the container a little bit. The judges were also satisfied that Bristol City Council's witnesses were honourable in their intentions and had no hidden agendas with regard to Grove Wood.

Costs were awarded against Jafari and Rhino Group. Jafari claimed Rhino Group had no money to pay costs and the Judges made it clear that if that was the case, Jafari would have to pay all costs.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Garden Inspected

Representatives of the Royal Horticultural Society and Bristol City Council visited the Snuff Mills garden over the weekend to look at all the work that has been done by the Action Group to improve it. We are hoping that all the hard work of the volunteers (some pictured here including gardening coordinator Jean Davidge in the wheelbarrow) will be rewarded with some sort of acolade from the RHS or the Council. They deserve it for all the hard work and for transforming the garden in to a thing of beauty.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Let's get the Council moving on Grove Wood

Grove Wood at full council from 6pm on Tuesday 21st June 2011

It is now over a year since Bristol City Council’s Cabinet declared their intention to designate Grove Wood a Local Nature Reserve and compulsory purchase it from the landowner if they could not reach an agreement with them.

Well precious little seems to have happened in the last year as far as we can tell. We know that the Council sent a letter to the landowner in November 2010 offering to buy the wood from him, but no official proceedings to declare the wood a nature reserve seem to have started. We can only assume that nothing is being done.

We are therefore going to lobby the next full Council meeting on Tuesday 21st June at 6pm. We have submitted a series of questions to the Council for the appropriate Councillor to answer so we can find out what is going on.

You can help put some more pressure on Bristol City Council to get moving by sending in a statement telling them exactly how you feel about this situation. Please send in a statement in your own words, but you might like to tell them that:

• Snuff Mills Action Group and the local community have been campaigning for over 3 years to get Grove Wood in to safe hands
• Thousands of people signed a petition to seek the declaration of Grove Wood as a Local Nature Reserve
• The landowner appears to have very little respect for the woods, local people or the attempts of the Council to resolve the situation
• The Action Group is seeking to make Grove Wood a Town Green, but this would not get it in to safe ownership or ensure that it is properly looked after
• It’s time the Council helped the local community in its efforts to save Grove Wood by compulsory purchasing it from the landowner

But this is really the time for you to say why you think Grove Wood should become a nature reserve and tell them how disappointed you are that nothing seems to be happening.

Please keep your statement polite and send it to no later than noon on Monday 20th June. If you send us a copy, we will paste it on to the blog for others to see, to give them ideas.

If you wish to speak to the full Council meeting, let them know and don’t forget to join us outside the Council House on College Green at 5.45pm for yet another protest – bring those trusty banners from other protests or make a new one!

Everyone in Snuff Mills Action Group thinks it's time for the Council to take action - help us make that happen.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Fossil Walk - Thursday 9th June, 7-9pm

400 million years ago Snuff Mills was part of a massive river delta in warm tropical seas. Fallen trees were buried in the sand of the delta and these are now fossils hidden among the tough pennant sandstone that makes up the rocks of the valley. Come and see them for yourself with local fossil enthusiast, Steve England. We can't offer you dinosaur bones, because they hadn't evolved 400 millions years ago, but the fossils that we have are fascinating.

The walk starts from the Snuff Mills car park and the gates will be open.

Laundry Field news

Snuff Mills Action Group submitted an application for Laundry Field to become a Town Village Green last week. It is now nearly two years since the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) bought the field, along with Blackberry Hill Hospital. While we had hoped to be able to agree with the HCA about the future of the field, we have put in a Town Village Green application to ensure we have recourse to this process if negotiations with them over the future of the land are not successful.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Mutt Strut film

A short film of our recent Mutt Strut by Richard Pring

Monday, 23 May 2011

Laundry Field Update

On the 28th April a meeting was held at the Baptist Church Hall on Broom Hill.
The main topic of conversation was a discussion over the future of the Old Blackberry Hill Hospital Site and the adjoining Laundry Field.
Invited to attend were representatives from the current owners the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) namely Jay Lambe, Niki Wagstaff and Ben Lowndes.
In no particular order the meeting discussed the following:
Jay Lamb explained who the HCA were and gave some examples of the projects they had been involved in recently.
She also confirmed that they are the current owners of the site and have recently advertised for expressions of interest from developers to form a partnership with the HCA in developing the site.
This is done via a tender process and as part of this tender the developers would be expected to detail their vision for the site and also how they would engage in consultation with the community and other interested parties (stakeholders). It was emphasised that community involvement would be a key aspect in bringing forward any proposals for the site and this would include any development of laundry field. It was stressed that no decisions have been made in regards the future of Laundry Field. It was also pointed out that the historic nature and the presence of listed buildings within the hospital site would also have to be taken account of in any development scheme.
Niki explained her role as the Estates Manager of the site for HCA and outlined the work that the HCA had undertaken since its acquisition of the site. This included securing the building, tree surveys and tree works to many of the trees across the site. Works had also been done to some of the listed buildings with full approval of Bristol City Councils heritage team. Signs had also been erected on Laundry field stating the legal ownership outlining the public rights of way. This was required to protect the HCA from the potential of claims if somebody should injure themselves on the field when not on the footpaths.
Throughout the meeting much discussion took place over community involvement and the openness of the process that would take place. Apart from certain financial aspects of any agreements made it was explained that the process would be open for all to see but the appointment of the development partner would be the HCA’s decision due to the financial aspects and ensuring the right partner was chosen in a timely manner.
Members of the HCA left the meeting leaving the meeting to continue with discussions over what had been said and whether a Town and Village Green Application would be submitted to Bristol City Council.
After much debate it was agreed that the erection of signs stating that the land was private property and access was only allowed on the public footpaths could legally be deemed as prevention of the publics’ right of access to the field, and as such a Town and Village Green Application should go ahead.
Any queries about the day to day activities should be directed to Niki Wagstaff at or tel 0117 937 7219 this should include any suspected vandalism/damage.
If you need any further information regarding the future developments should be directed to Ben Lowndes at or tel  0117 937 7209
The Ariel photograph shown is a plan of the ownerships boundaries reproduced approximately onto a google earth image, thanks to plans of the HCA’s ownership that cannot be displayed due to copyright. We take this opportunity to thank the HCA for attending the meeting and providing information to produce the above plans.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Dog show fun

The valley was full of dogs on Sunday for the second Snuff Mills Action Group sponsored mutt strut and fun dog show. We had more dogs taking part in the walk and especially the dog show compared with last year and everyone had a great time. By the end of the event all of the dogs were behaving like long lost friends, and one recently rescued Staffie had changed from a nervous little thing in to quite a confident hound.

Special congratulations to all the winners in the fun dog show and special congratulations to rescued Staffie Oscar (middle photo), this year's best in show, and the reserve best in show, Sam the lurcher (bottom photo). Oscar is set to feature in the evening post soon as his owner has told us: "I’m Paul and along with my partner Klaire we own Oscar the staffie who won the King of the Valley and overall dog show prize last Sunday at Snuff Mills held after the Mutt Strutt (which was great fun!). Anyway I just wanted to let you guys know that I contacted the Bristol Evening Post (my tagline was: from stray dog to show winner in six months!) and they plan on taking a photo of us and Oscar and publishing an article in their newspaper which will thus be seen right across the Bristol area. This will also generate publicity for Snuff Mills Action Group and Bristol DAWG"

All profits from the event will be shared equally between Snuff Mills Action Group and DAWG - Dog Action Welfare Group Bristol. A special thank you just go to Gerry Watkins from DAWG for judging the show for the second year and to Chris Williams and all the other volunteers from Snuff Mills Action Group who made it such a fun event.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Litter pick - Saturday 7th May

Join us for our spring clean of the valley on Saturday 7th May from 2-4pm. Bring gloves and a sturdy bin liner if you can. Meet in the garden area.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Sponsored mutt strut and dog show

Last year's mutt strut and fun dog show was so popular and so much fun that we have decided to hold another one. It will take place on Sunday 15th May from 2-5pm. There will be a sponsored 3 mile mutt strut around Snuff Mills and Oldbury Court to raise funds for Snuff Mulls Action Group and the DAWG - Dog Action Welfare Group Bristol. It starts from the Snuff Mills car park and you can register from 1.30pm.

From 3.30pm it will be time for the dogs to show off in the fun dog show. Who will be this year's Queen of the Valley and which dog will do the longest sit? This part of the event will take place in the grassy area just beyond the mill where the picnic bench is in Snuff Mills. You do not have to take part in the mutt strut to join in the fun dog show.

Sponsor forms and entry forms for the fun dog show are available by emailing us at

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Woodland walk Sun 17th April

Join us for a woodland walk to celebrate Spring from 2pm on Sunday 17th April. Naturalist Rupert Higgins will lead the walk around the valley and he will show you all of the amazing plantlife of the area. Bluebells will be in full bloom by then, but Rupert will also show you the rare plants that live in the ancient woodland areas of the valley, including this beautiful Solomon's Seal that some people also grow in their gardens.

Meet in the Snuff Mills car park at 2pm. Wear appropriate footwear - trainers should be alright if it is dry.

Grove Wood update

The Inquiry in to whether Grove Wood should become a Town/Village Green was adjouneed after four days of evidence last week. The hearing will start again in July when more evidence will be presented and Lord Jafari and his agent, John Mair, will give evidence and be cross examined. Both sides will also have a chance to sum up their cases. After this, the Inspector will write his report and we should know whether he recommends that Grove Wood should be registered as a Town Village Green by the early Autumn at the latest.

Thanks to everyone who came and gave evidence at the hearing and to others who came along to watch the proceedings.

Wickham Glen accident

Late on Friday night/Saturday morning a jeep type vehicle collided with the new entrance to Wickham Glen resulting in damage to the bollards and the new wall. Luckily it appears that no one was hurt.

It's terrible that this has happened just days after the completion of the new cycle track and pathway through the Glen. This picture shows the entrance before the accident.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Dippers by the Mill

For those who can remember back to the dawn chorus last year when dippers flew over us, well today whilst down at the mill I had the rare privilege of seeing a pair of dippers. They flew along the river about a meter high and decided to stop just opposite the benches overlooking the river by the mill. What a truly wonderful sight. Yet another example as to why it is so important that we all fight to protect the valley for all its wondefull inhabitants. I have often heard people say they had seen dippers upstream but never thought I would see them and yet today they decided to stop say hello by the gardens if only for a short while!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Otter Spotted

A member of SMAG saw an otter on Friday evening just before dark. It was swimming upsteam along Grove Woods but for obvious reasons we don't want to give away the exact location. The sighting, being at dusk, proves that there is a holt (an otter den) somewhere nearby as they will only start to venture out once the light is going. This is more proof, if it were needed, that the woods and the river banks need protection of the highest sort. We need the Local Nature Reserve plan to be completed as soon as possible.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Ghost seen at Snuff Mills?

We were sent this message today by someone, has anybody had similar experiences in the valley?

"My wife and I walked along the river Frome from Frenchay for the first time this week, what a wonderful walk! As we arrived at Snuffmills there was an elderly couple in front of us with an alsation dog. They turned right around the old snuffmills and entered the building through what we assumed was the entrance to the cafe. When we tried to do the same there were black railings and a padlocked iron fence leading to the waterwheel. They had walked through the fence and disappeared.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?"

Friday, 25 February 2011

Grove wood Town Green Hearing coming soon

An official notice has now been served to confirm that an Inquiry in to whether Grove Wood should become a Town Green will take place in April.

You can help us by providing details of your use of Grove Wood as evidence to be used at the Inquiry. Please email us at for more details of how you can help.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Signs of Spring

The first signs of spring seem to be showing up in the valley. Greater spotted woodpeckers have been heard drumming, while great tits have been seen carrying nesting material around. Some of the ducks already have paired off along the river too. Snowdrops are also out in the garden, hopefully the first of many flowers to come.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Wickham Glen fiasco?

We have been getting reports that the works to construct a cyclists' ramp in Wickham Glen are damaging the area and we have been to have a close look too.

Work of this kind is always messy, but these before and after photos do show the serious impact that the works are having on the Glen.

Mark Logan, our Vice Chair, has been to take a close look so that he can compare the work being done with the precautions that were meant to happen to make sure the construction of the ramp has the least impact possible. Here's what he reports:

* At the entrance to the Glen a section of wall has been removed (at no point was this ever mentioned) thus destroying part of the historic fabric of the Glen.
* At the compound outside the Glen, soils have been stripped and just dumped behind the wall and into the woodland edge.
* As you go into the Glen a large pile a tree trunks etc has been dumped next to the river bank.
* There has been excessive movement of plant across the Glen that has occurred after the access track has been constructed. This can be clearly seen by the tracks going across the grass and then onto the track chewing up the geotextile separator.
* Just before you get to the ramp roots and debris has been dumped into the edge of the brambles.
* When you eventually get to the woodland and ramp area things are not being done in accordance with the arboricultural development statement. It categorically excludes the use of herras fencing with rubber feet and also states a wooden kick board should be used at its base.
* The Group 2 trees are supposed to be fenced and this has not been done.

We have constantly expressed our concerns over the potential damage to the Glen during construction and we were assured that the Glen would not be damaged. Of course Wickham Glen can recover from a lot of the damage, although it probably will never have the same special feel that it had before. But even so, how long will that recovery take if the work is not being done with enough care and attention?

We will be meeting the Council next week to discuss the situation.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Grove Wood Town Green Hearing

A hearing will be held in April to help decide whether Grove Wood should become a Town Green. If this was to happen, the rights of local people to enjoy Grove Wood would be protected. An Inspector has been appointed and he will hear evidence from those in favour of this (Snuff Mills Action Group and the people who use Grove Wood) and those against the idea (that's the landowner and his related companies). The Inspector will then decide whether to recommend that Grove Wood should become a Town Green and write a report for the Council.

Please contact us if you can provide photos showing people using Grove Wood or would be prepared to write a statement or take part in the hearing itself. Email We can then explain how you can help in more detail.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Big Save Our Parks Petition

The Big Save Our Parks Petition
Lead Petitioner : Mark Weston

“We, the undersigned, call on Bristol City Council to reconsider the proposed land sales as part of the Parks & Area Green Spaces Strategy. We consider the consultation process undertaken by the Cabinet to be flawed and by signing this petition, we want the Cabinet Councillors and officers to hear our concerns. Neighbourhood Partnerships should decide on any green space disposals in their area - making sure local people are involved in the decision making, unlike the decisions taken so far by Cabinet. We support continued investment in green spaces but not at the price of selling off the green lungs of our City.

We understand that, under new rules, petitions with 3,500 or more signatures will be debated at Full Council. The 20-year green space strategy is so important to Bristol and will affect communities for many years to come, so we believe it is right for all Councillors and the public to have their say at a meeting of the Council."

Background Information
Under recently adopted rules governing petitions, the Authority is obliged to bring a matter to Full Council where an issue attracts 3,500 signatures from people who live, work or study in the city.

Once this trigger point is reached, petition organisers can advise Council Officers that they wish to take up this opportunity for debate at the next available meeting.

We hope that by getting enough signatures from across the city that we can call for a debate at the March Council meeting and SAVE OUR PARKS.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Wickham Glen - work about to start

Work to create the new cycle ramp in Wickham Glen is about to start. Over the next few days contractors will begin to remove a number of trees along the route of the new ramp and then construction will commence. The contractors will bring materials through Wickham Glen itself and so the area is likely to be very muddy for a while. Once the ramp is built the Council will resurface the footpath with a no more than 2.2m wide 'dust and stone' path. This should improve access for everyone, but keep the natural feel of the area in tact.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Cold winters

Apparently December 2010 was the coldest one on record, but these photos show it could have been a lot worse. The top picture shows that the River Frome was so frozen over in 1963 that people could skate on it. The lower picture shows massive icicles hanging off the old quarry faces in 1947 - another exceptionally cold winter.

Photos courtesy of Sheila Hill. If you have old photos of the area, we'd love to see them - send them to