Monday, 24 December 2012


Its has been a whole year since i last visited you.
Its a bit wetter than last year! I hope your all dry and have a great Xmas

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Winter Festival

Its that time of year again time to go down the Mill and get creative.

Join us on Sunday 9th  1pm to 3pm

making table decorations, xmas wreaths and enjoy a mince pie and something mulled while your at it!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

AGM 29th November

Its that time of year again.
The AGM will be held on 29th November, 7.30pm at the Stapleton Baptist Church Hall.
Come along to get updates on whats been going on this year and what the plans are for next year.
Members of the committee will be voted in and our constitution confirmed.
If you have a wish to become a member of the committee, stand for Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary or feel that you can help please come along and if possible email us beforehand.
Apart from the formality which we will keep to a minimum it is a good oportunity for our supporters to find out what has been going on behind the scenes and help to influence what the group does next year.
See you all there
Winter Festival will be on the Sunday 9th December for Xmas creativity (new post to follow)

Saturday, 13 October 2012


Thanks to the Avon Wildlife Trust and all of you who came along today to make lanterns and hedgehogs and then walk through the valley listen for bats and then the odd spooky story! I thoroughly enjoyed myself and from what i saw so did the masses that turned up check out the photos of the event in the photos album found on our facebook page

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Spooky nature event - Sat 13 Oct 5.00-7.30pm

As Halloween approaches don't be afraid of the dark and join us for a celebration of the spookier side of Snuff Mills with this early evening event.

Join us at the Mill between 5-6pm to make lanterns to light up the valley during our torchlight procession at 6pm (bring a clean empty jam jar to make your lantern, if you have one).  You can also get your face painted as a creature of the night to help ward of any evil spirits that may be lurking in the woods!

There will be a bat walk from 6.30pm where you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these elusive and magical creatures with the help of experts from Avon Bat Group.  Paul Gollege of the Hawk and Owl Trust will also be on hand to enable you meet an owl close up.  You will be amazed at how beautiful they are.

At 7pm there will be ghost stories at a secret location somewhere in the woods - will any of the valley's ghosts join us - who knows?

The event is FREE and everyone is welcome.  This event has is funded by the BIG Lottery's Awards for All fund and organised by Avon Wildlife Trust.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Double Winners at the South West In Bloom Awards

The Snuff Mills Action Groups hard work has been recognised twice at the South West In Bloom Awards. The gardening group entered for the second year running the Royal Horticultural Societies "Its Your Neighbourhood" Award scheme.
For the second year running the Judges have awarded the top category "Outstanding" to the group.
A great achievement and a testament to all the hard work put in by the gardeners - Well done all.
Unbeknown to the group the Judges also put forward Snuff Mills Action Group for the Serco Cup an award for the Best Community Initiative in the South West. Against some tough competition we Won!
We have yet to receive the Cup due to a technical hitch at the Awards ceremony but we are assured its on its way.
This is a huge achievement and all the volunteers who have helped in all our events, campaigns and organisation should give themselves a huge pat on the back.
As soon as we have the Cup we will update everyone and of course bring it along to our next AGM.
Thank you to all our volunteers and supporters for enabling the group to receive such an award, we should all be very proud of our achievement

Monday, 20 August 2012

Kingfishers in Grove Wood.

The Kingfishers living along the banks of the River Frome in Grove Wood have produced a bumper brood of fledglings this year. This is despite the floods and bad weather that have caused havoc for them, drowning their first nest in April. These young ones are pretty healthy but the parents have had to help by catching them fish from the currently muddy water. There are five in all so expect to see more flashes of blue along the river this year!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

SMAG Gardeners Help Bristol with the Entente Florale Europe Competition

Today Gardeners from SMAG went down to the MSHED to help Bristol in its bid to win the Entente Florale Europe Competition. The Judges from all over Europe, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Slovakia to name a few were very pleased to hear how successful SMAG has been in both the garden and in the wider community. We thank the Bristol In Bloom Committee and BCC for inviting us to show our European visitors what we in Bristol can do if determined and it was well received by the Judges. We wish Brsitol all the best in this competition amongst no doubt some very stiff competition.

info on the competition can be found here

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Green Flag Community Award Winners!

Snuff Mills Action Group’s transformation of the gardens at Snuff Mills, Stapleton has been awarded a prestigious Green Flag Award - the national award for public and community parks and green spaces - along with a record breaking 1424 places across the UK.

The Green Flag Community Award is a national award that recognises high quality green spaces in the UK that are managed by voluntary and community groups

The group will be thanking everyone that has been involved with an official Green Flag unveiling at Snuff Mills gardens on Sunday 22nd July at 12.00.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Fossil Walk with Steve England now on Saturday 21st

A walk along the Valley with Steve England takes place Saturday 21st July at 2pm. This was rescheduled due to relentless rain last Thursday.
Meet in the Gardens. Steve will take you on a tour of Snuff Mills taking about the Fossils he has found and hoping to find some more!
The event is free but donations always welcome

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

New Schools Project

Thanks to the BIG Lottery's Awards for All fund we have started another project to encourage more children and young people to visit and enjoy Snuff Mills.  Pupils from Glenfrome Primary School have been visiting the valley over the last few weeks to discover the wildlife and history of the area.

This week pupils from Bristol Metropolitan Academy (pictured) are visiting the valley to help develop ideas for a new Snuff Mills website and some simple interpretation boards to help show visitors what there is to enjoy in the area.

We hope that the boards and website will be completed by the Autumn and there will be a special schools event in the valley soon too.

Update: The pupils have given all their thoughts and we will now be designing the interpretation boards and website incorporating their ideas.  In the meantime, here's Hammad and Tyreke's own website about Snuff Mills that they made: 

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Fun had by all at Fun Dog show!

Well it turned out to be a lovely day down at Snuff Mills even if a bit damp under foot!
We had a great turnout and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
Thanks to DAWG for judging and all the other helpers, but most importantly to all the dogs and owners who turned up to make today a success.

Best In Show was one by a very cute dog indeed.

I have posted all the photos of the day on our facebook page for all to see
Thanks again for a wonderful Sunday afternoon

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Fun Dog Show

Proceeds to Dog Action Welfare Group (DAWG)
   and Snuff Mills Action Group (SMAG) 

Registration from 1pm Judging commences 2pm


 £1 per class to enter
1     Best Puppy (Under 1 year old)
2    King of the Valley
3    Queen of the Valley
4    Best Rescue
5    Best Veteran (7 years and over)
6    Waggiest tail
7    Best child handler
8    Most resembling owner
9    Best condition
10    Dog the Judge would most like to take home

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Botany Walk in Snuff Mills

On Tuesday evening whilst most of Bristol seemed to be watching something called the Olympic Flame a few took a walk through Snuff Mills with Botanists Rupert Higgins and Dawn Lawrence. An enjoyable 2 hours were spent wondering along the valley identifying some of the many wildflowers and plants. Here is a list that Rupert and Dawn identified along the valley Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes)
Ivy-leaved toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis)
Jack-By-The-Hedge (Alliaria petiolata)
Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)
Herb Bennet (Geum urbanum)
Dog's mercury (Mercurialis perennis )
Broad Buckler Fern (Dryopteris dilatata)
Soft Shield Fern (Polystichum setiferum)
Wood Millet (Milium effusum)
Hart's-tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium)
Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum)
Hemlock Water Dropwort (Oenanthe crocata)
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Pendulous sedge (Carex pendula )
Wood Speedwell (Veronica montana)
Red Campion (Silene dioica)
Lesser Burdock (Arctium minus)
Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)
Greater Wood Rush (Luzula syvatica)
Small Leaved Lime (Tilia cordata)
Yellow Archangel (Lamium galeobdolon)
Lady's Smock (Cardamine Pratensis)
Small Teasel (Dipsacus Pilosus)
Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
Narrow-leaved Bitter-cress (Cardamine impatiens)
Wild Angelica (Angelica sylvestris)
Germander Speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys)
Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea)
Enchanter's nightshade (Circaea lutetiana)
Greater burdock (Arctium lappa)
Wall lettuce (Lactuca muralis)

Some being a bit more unusual than others but just goes to show how many wonderful plants can be seen when you take the time!

Thanks to Rupert and Dawn for their enthusiasm and knowledge and we look forward to next year!

All the photos of the different plants can be found on our facebook page so see if you can identify them next time you are having a stroll.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Birdsong walk a treat for the early riser

This morning's birdsong walk led by Ed Drewitt was a real treat.  Among the highlights were the sound of the stock dove near Laundry Field - declining in numbers so good to know it's here in the valley, and a great spotted woodpeckers' nest with noisy fledglings in residence.  Other sightings/hearings included green woodpecker, chiff chaff, house sparrows, goldcrest, wood pigeon, grey wagtail, moorhen, mallard duck, wrens and robins aplenty, magpies, thrushes song and missle, black cap, great blue and long tail tits, blackbird, jay, grey heron, collar dove, lesser black back gull over Laundry Field, and of course the lovely kingfisher which obliged with a fly past or two as we walked along by the river.  Grove Wood was full of the bustle of birds foraging for their young and announcing their territorial rights.  It was a still, overcast morning, great for being able to hear what was going on.  Thanks to Ed for a really fascinating walk.
Don't miss Tuesday's Botany walk for an opportunity to find out about the plants in the valley - another fascinating event.  Meet in the garden at 6.30.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Sign the Laundry Field Petition

Bristol City Council have said that they would like to see the whole of Laundry Field, between Manor Rd, Blackberry Hill Hospital and Grove Wood, developed for housing as part of the redevelopment of the whole of the Blackberry Hill Hospital site.

Help us get the field taken out of their plans and designated as important open space by signing our petition

Petition closes on May 24th, so hurry!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Grove Wood Celebrations

Lord Stapleton and Lady Fishponds were delighted to be joined by over 60 fellow residents of their neighbourhoods for the grand opening and perambulation of Grove Wood Town Green today. They were joined by special guests including Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest, various animals including Andy the Kingfisher, Hilary the badger, Annette the fox, Chris the hedgehog and Cheryl the dormouse.

The April Fools day theme was added to by Councillor Lesley Alexander dressed as a clown and we were protected from any malevolent forces that might have stopped us enjoying our Town Green by Leo the Transformer.

It was a fabulous afternoon with warm spring sunshine, beautiful spring flowers and the wood was full of people who really appreciate this very special place.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our celebration, especially those people who have worked so hard to protect the woods over the last four years.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Grove Wood Celebration - April 1st

To celebrate Grove Wood becoming a Town Green, Lord Stapleton* and Lady Fishponds* would like to invite you to the grand opening of the Town Green from 2pm on Sunday 1st April. Meet in the Snuff Mills car park and join us to cut the ribbon to open our new Town Green and then indulge in 'lawful sports and past-times' there. The Lord and Lady would especially welcome people dressed for the spirit of the occasion or for their favourite Grove Wood leisure activity. Please do join us for a fun April Fools Day celebration of what we have all achieved.

*The tiles of Lord Stapleton and Lady Fishponds may be pseudonyms and they are unrelated to any other 'Lords' known to the area. The photo is of 'Lords and Ladies', a plant that grows in Grove Wood.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Grove Wood to be registered as a Town Green

Members of the Public Rights of Way Committee have just voted unanimously to register Grove Wood as a Town Village Green. Many locals spoke at the meeting as did the Ms Lady Katrina Jafari, on behalf of the landowner.

In his summing up, Peter Abraham, Chair of the Committee commended the behaviour of locals and Snuff Mills Action Group in the light of some quite extreme allegations made by Ms Jafari, John Mair and Rhino Group, while another Councillor described the behaviour of the landowner and those that support him as 'regrettable'.

The land will be registered in the next few weeks. This will mean no one can stop the people of Stapleton and Fishponds from using the land for recreation and it cannot be developed in any way that would spoil its value as a Town Green.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Council Officer recommends Town Green

The Officer's report for the Public rights of Way Committee recommends that they follow the Inspector's report and register Grove Wood a Town Green.

Read the full report, including Inspector's findings following last year's hearing here

Go to agenda item about Grove Wood in blue and click on to view

See the post below to find out how you can help make sure the Council register the woods as a Town Green.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Help Make Grove Wood a Town Green

We need you to send in a statement to the Council's Public Rights of Way Committee to help persuade them to follow an Inspector's recommendation to register Grove Wood as a Town Green. These are the woods on the other side of the river from Snuff Mills under Blackberry Hill Hospital. Town Green registration would protect your rights to enjoy these woods for recreation, forever.

Remember 2008?
Back in 2008, the new landowner of Grove Wood, self styled Lord Jafari:
* Cut down trees without permission, breaking the rules in a Conservation Area
* Bulldozed part of Grove Wood making a mess and disturbing wildlife along the riverbank
* Employed a 'park-keeper' known as Rick to frighten people out of the woods
* Erected a container at the entrance to the woods, breaking planning rules
* Put up ugly metal fencing to try to stop people using Grove Wood
* Applied to cut down the trees in Grove Wood next to Blackberry Hill

Since then, Jafari's attempts to ruin Grove Wood have been successfully stopped thanks to the support of hundreds of people. Together we have:
* Persuaded the Council to place a Woodland Tree Preservation Order on Grove Wood, protecting every tree, big or small
* Campaigned so that Jafari's permitted development rights have been removed (preventing new containers or fencing going up in the woods)

Once last job to do
Now we need to do one last thing to protect Grove Wood - protect our rights to enjoy it by encouraging the Council to register it as a Town Green.

Last year a hearing took place to work out whether Grove Wood qualifies as a Town Green. The Inspector at the hearing has recommended that it should be registered as a Town Green and the Council's Public Rights of Way Committee will consider this recommendation at a meeting on Thursday 15th March from 2pm at the Council House. You can help us by sending a statement to the Committee, joining us at a demonstration outside the Council House before the meeting and speaking at the meeting yourself.

Your statement
Send a statement to by noon on 14th March. Please title your email: FAO PROW Committee 15th March: Grove Wood Town Green Statement
Please just tell the committee what having Grove Wood as a Town Green would mean to you. You could talk about the uses you make of it, how long you have used it and how you would feel if you lost access to it. We will post examples of other people's statements here to inspire you, so please send a copy of your statement to us at - we will post it anonymously if you wish.

If you want to speak at the meeting, please make this clear in your statement.

One last demonstration?
We had planned to hold one last protest outside the Council House on College Green at 1.30pm on Thursday 15th March, but because they have been recommended to register Grove Wood as a Town Green m we are not doing this now.
Speaking at the meeting

You can speak at the meeting provided you have put in a statement. You can just summarise your statement in front of the Committee. The meeting starts from 2pm in the Council House.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Bristol Magazine walk of the month

Take yourself on an eight mile walk around Snuff Mills, Oldbury Court and Stoke Park courtesy of this month's Bristol Magazine. You can pick up a copy free from all sorts of places, or view it online by searching, 'The Bristol Magazine'. The article wisely recommends stopping for a drink at the Snuff Mills cafe.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Inspector recommends Grove Wood to be Town Green

After a 6 day inquiry held in April and August last year, the Inspector appointed by Bristol City Council has produced his more than 100 page report about whether Grove Wood should become a Town Green.

In the report he makes it clear that Grove Wood passes all of the legal tests set out in Town Green legislation and so he recommends that the land should be registered as a Town or Village Green. In the report he makes positive comments on the quality of the evidence provided by Snuff Mills Action Group and the many other residents who sent in statements or appeared to give evidence at the inquiry.

On the other hand the Inspector had little regard for Mr Jafari's evidence. He states that, “I did not find Mr. Jafari a reliable witness. His evidence as to fencing and notices varied in its content when put under pressure, and was inconsistent within itself. At critical moments he gave the impression of seeking to persuade, rather than to state facts”.

During the inquiry Mr Mair (Jafari's agent) was questioned about a document he produced for Bristol City Council in 2008 stating that, ‘the public have taken to walking across the land via any route they please’. This was a crucial piece of evidence in favour of the Town Green. During the hearing Mr Mair sought to retract this statement, but the Inspector was not convinced. He described Mr Mair’s evidence as, “…not reliable. In giving his evidence Mr. Mair’s demeanour was that of the advocate, not the witness.”

The Inspector's report will go before Bristol City Council's Rights of Way Committee soon and it is anticipated that Grove Wood will be designated a Town Green by the spring.

Legally, if Grove Wood is given Town Green status it will mean that residents from the neighbourhoods of Stapleton and Fishponds can enjoy the woods for 'sports and pastimes' - walking, rambling, orienteering, mountain biking and so on.

This, we believe, is how Grove Wood always has been enjoyed and always should be.