New Entrances for St Anne’s Wood and Nightingale Valley

After many months hard work the designs for the exciting new entrances to St Anne’s Wood and Nightingale Valley are finally ready to unveil. Earlier this year Discover Brislington Brook and Bristol City Council secured funding to improve paths, entrances and access to the two parks. We ran workshops with local schools and community members to come up with inspiring ideas and images to be incorporated into the designs. These have now been worked up by artist blacksmith Paul Gulati and are ready to view!

For more info have a look at the page on this website entitled Brook Trail

And feel free to comment!


About brookbabbler

Discover Brislington Brook Coordinator Lover of nature fascinated by our living history people person fun and adventurous
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6 Responses to New Entrances for St Anne’s Wood and Nightingale Valley

  1. John Eccles says:

    Looking good, But what about the entrance at wick road between the Health centre and the New school, as there is going to be a new green lane when the temp school move out. Please don’t forget this entrance John Eccles

    • brookbabbler says:

      Hi John, glad you like them! At the moment the school developer has to provide the green lane as part of their contract. I’m not sure what else they are doing but there was talk of improving the steps down into the woods as well. I will check this out and get back to you. Thanks for the comment, Rowan

  2. Chris Bloor says:

    These are excellent plans and will really put St Anne’s Wood and Nightingale Valley on the map as a Gateway Site within the Forest of Avon. The Brislington Brook Corridor is an important component in the Ramblers’ South Bristol Circular and the Victory Route off the Community Forest Path, which link the Brook to Stockwood Open Space and the countryside beyond.
    The other important component is the footbridge over the Avon that links St Anne’s to Troopers Hill and St George’s Park and thence by green links to Purdown, Horfield Common and beyond.

  3. BS4 resident says:

    Why is so much vegetation being removed?

    The woods are being changed from a natural enviroment to one that is strictly man managed. Plants such as ferns have been decimated, some species have almost totally been removed.
    Houses and skyline are now clearly visible through aread that were once dense woodland.

    The damage done to a natural enviroment is shocking.

    • brookbabbler says:

      Hello BS4 resident,
      Thank you for your message and your concern for our green spaces.
      Firstly allow me to apologise for the delay in replying – I’ve only recently had access to use this website.
      – I don’t profess to be a wildlife expert, but I’m sure I can help and there are probably good reasons for any management of the woodland. I’m not exactly sure where you are referring to, so can you be more specific about the areas you’ve mentioned please? Is this in Nightingale Valley, St. Anne’s Wood, or both, and is there a specific site or place in the woods you’ve noticed vegetation removed?
      – In the meantime I can provide a couple of examples which may answer your question:
      1) Himalayan Balsam. If you’ve seen piles of a plant with shallow roots, a hollow stem with some red streaks, green leaves, and purple / pink flowers, this is Himalayan Balsam. It is a non-native invasive weed, which has been taking over water courses, and out-competing our native wildlife. Over the past couple of years there have been a number of ‘pulls’ to rid Nightingale Valley and St. Anne’s Wood of Himalyan Balsam. I can supply you with further information about the problems it causes if you are interested.
      2) Coppicing. So far there has been only one small session of coppicing, confined to one area. I remember at the time thinking it seems strange to chop down trees, but once the experts explained why I could appreciate the logic. The benefits are that other trees are allowed to grow to maturity, and their aging bark can then provide more homes for insects and small mammals. The coppiced trees are only cut back, so they will grow back. The brash the coppicing creates can either be used for poles, fencing etc, or left in piles to again provide excellent homes for insects and small mammals. The opening of the canopy then creates more light, which in turn helps ground flora and fauna to flourish, and will increase the amount and diversity of native plant life.
      – The main idea with woodland management is to create and increase bio-diversity, so within an area you have different sections to attract a range of wildlife. For instance: a coppiced area, a thicket area, an area of heavy woodland, an area of brambles, a pond or lake, and a wildflower meadow.
      – The thing to remember about Nightingale Valley is that it only became woodland fairly recently. If you look at old maps you’ll see that there were some ancient trees as boundary markers, but right up until after WWII it was open fields, with some smallholdings and lots of alotments.
      I hope this all goes some way in helping your question. If not feel free to come back if there are any specific concerns, as I mentioned in my questions above.

      • Tony Carey says:

        Hi BS4 Resident and Brookbabbler,
        I did a small survey in Nightingale Valley recently and have recorded a significant regeneration of some species of fern in the area of coppicing that was carried out last year. I didn’t think they would regenerate so quickly but it shows that the plants were (are) already there, they just need a little more light and air to flourish.
        As for the Himalyan Balsam, I did think when we carried out the last two pulls that we left it looking untidy. I think this was because we had left the ‘weeding’ too late in the year and the ensuing mess was for this reason.
        However, as you all know, we are all volunteers working under the guidance of ‘experts’ from Bristol City Council and Bristol Zoo. We have not carried out any action that has not been advised or recommended. The reason for the delay is that, being volunteers, our time and resources are extremely limited and we can only work when there are enough people available to make our effort worth while.
        So, while we do try to improve the vista for all and as Brookbabbler says, to improve bio-diversity, unfortunately there are occasions when we fail on this front, for which I apologise and we will try to do better in future.
        Tony Carey
        Chair, friends Of Brislington Brook

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