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.