Troopers Hill Field

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 © Long-tailed tit
 by Abi Stubbs

Troopers Hill Field is at the top of Troopers Hill and is shown on the map below.

On this page:
Stepping Forward-2012 | Tree Planting-2011 | New Play Area-2009Name?New View-2006New Gates-2004 |

View in Google Maps

Stepping Forward - 2012

Work is being carried out on The Field as part of our Stepping Forward Project.

One of the most significant items has been the installation of some land-drains to dry out the area near the slide which becomes very muddy in wet weather. This work has been carried out by Classic Landscapes Ltd who are also doing the work to the steps on the hill itself. While work is in progress there are some materials stored near the Malvern Rd entrance.

The project includes the installation of a new sign board near the Summerhill Terrace entrance and a seat at the top of the steps leading down into the wood below one of the red benches. A seat in this location was requested by a wheelchair user who wanted somewhere for her daughter to sit while she admired the view through the trees. There will also be a new sign with information for disabled people about access to the hill fixed to the fence at the end of Malvern Rd.

You can read more about the Stepping Forward Project via the link below.

Stepping Forward Project Main Page >>

Community Tree Planting 2011 - 20 January 2011

On a wonderful sunny winter's day TreeBristol organised a tree planting day on Troopers Hill Field.

Friends of Troopers Hill were there to help along with a team from Sky Blue, but most of the work was done by children from three local schools - Summerhill, Air Balloon and Two Mile Hill. As well as the trees, we also planted more daffodils on the bank sloping down to the woodland. Click on the links below for more photographs.

 Summerhill School   Air Balloon School   Two Mile Hill School

We also made a short video of the day:

 Video - all schools

The planting layout can be seen below. The hornbeams are in locations that trees were proposed in the plans produced for the play area in 2009. The ash trees were selected because their relatively light canopy will not hinder views. The cherry trees should produce a good display of spring blossom once they are more mature, they have been planted 5m from the hedge to allow a path to be installed in the future. Three of the trees are 'memorial' trees and members of the families who sponsored the trees were also there on the day.

The original plan produced by TreeBristol was revised (following comments at our AGM) to leave gaps in the row of ash trees at the bench locations and maintain the view line (this revised plan was included in our Newsletter). The plan was then tweaked further (as below) to move the cherry tree at the entrance further from the houses in response to further comments.

Most of the trees are 'standards' six or seven years old. Six of the hornbeam are smaller 'whips' but still protected by a steel cage. TreeBristol will monitor these to see how their growth over the years compares to the larger trees.

This project was carried out as part of TreeBristol's aim to plant 10,000 trees across Bristolís parks, open spaces, public housing areas, highway verges and streets. Bristol City Council's aim is to achieve a 30% citywide tree canopy cover, up from the current c.13%.

Visit the TreeBristol website for more details of this and other tree planting schemes throughout Bristol. There is also a chance to sponsor a tree. More tree sponsors mean more trees planted.

Tree Bristol can be contacted at

New Play Area - 2009

Work was completed on new play facilities on Troopers Hill Field in 2009.

Play area information and progress photographs >>

The play area in Feb 2009It was very clear from the 2005 survey that the Play Area was the aspect of Troopers Hill Field that most people wanted to see improved. The current play area then consisted of a frame for swings - with no swings - and a slide; by Feb 2009 there was only the slide! There is no fencing to keep out dogs. Many people also suggested that the play area should be relocated. Some wanted it removed altogether.

To get things moving the Friends of Troopers Hill organised a meeting on 28th July 2005 (notes of the meeting) followed by a meeting on Troopers Hill Field with Bristol Park's Play Officer to discuss the options. Unfortunately a later meeting to discuss the way forward had a very disapointing turn out. The situation was discussed at the Friends of Troopers Hill AGM in December 2005 and it was decided that as a group we would take no further action at that time although we were still keen to see the play area replaced.

In 2008 Bristol Parks won £2.65m from the governmentís Play Pathfinder programme to improve childrenís play spaces in Bristolís parks, particularly for children aged 8 - 13 years. Friends of Troopers Hill were delighted to learn that Troopers Hill Field was to be included in the sites for the second year of the project. Following consultation through the summer; work to construct the new play area started on 5 October 2009 and was officially opened on 5th December.

We are still keen to see more facilities for very young children, please contact us if you are interested in helping make this happen.

Play area information and progress photographs >>

Troopers Hill Field or Malvern Road Open Space?

Most local people have always considered the area to be part of Troopers Hill and didn't refer to it by any other name, but until recently it was known by Bristol City Council as 'Malvern Road Open Space'. It was this name that was used in the Management Plan.

Friends of Troopers Hill carried out a survey in the Spring of 2005 to get people's views on the future of Troopers Hill Field, click here to see the results.

In the survey we found that those who did differentiate had several names that they used including 'Troopers Hill Park'; 'Top of the Tump'; 'Troopers Hill Flat' and many more. The most popular names though were 'Troopers Hill Field' or simply 'The Field'. The use of Troopers Hill in the name is also historically correct since the area was part of Troopers Hill Farm; it was purchased by Bristol City Council on 24th March 1932 for use as allotments.

It was agreed at our 2005 AGM that we would use the name Troopers Hill Field from then on. Friends of Troopers Hill were therefore particularly pleased in April 2007 to be told that the new sign at the entrance to the Field would be as shown here. Bristol Parks also now use Troopers Hill Field as the official name for the site.

Restoring a View - 2006

Provision of benches was the second most requested improvement in the 2005 survey and two concrete foundations existed from previous benches. Provision of benches is also included in the Action Plan for Year 3. Following discussions at our meetings it was agreed that if benches were to be installed, then we should also try to re-establish a view.

As recently as the early 1980s it was possible to see across Bristol from Troopers Hill Field and it was a popular spot to watch the balloons. Since then trees have grown up and you have to walk on to Troopers Hill to get a view.

We agreed with Bristol Parks that we could cut down a small number of the trees in Crews Hole Woodland to create a sight line. The trees were cut down in June 2006, having been checked for nesting birds in accordance with the Council's protocol. An area of bramble was cleared at our Work Parties in Dec 06 & Jan 07 to create a new glade in the edge of the woodland. On the day of our September meeting a new bench was installed looking towards this area fixed to existing foundation. A second bench was also installed further down the field, again on an existing foundation. A path through the glade into the Woods was created during 2008, click here for details.

This project has been funded by donations received from a local resident and Cromadex, part of Akzo Nobel. See Friends' Funds for details. Bristol Parks paid for the installation of the benches and organised it through their contractors.

New Gates - 2004

At the beginning of 2004 there was no restriction on access on to Troopers Hill Field by motorbikes. On occasions they had then been able to get on to the Hill itself. One of the priorities of the Action Plan was therefore to get gates and fences installed to prevent this.

The photos below are before and after shots to show the results. The gates are designed to allow pushchairs through and can also be opened by key to allow whelchair access. All the work was funded by Bristol Parks and installed by their contractors.

Up to:
Stepping Forward-2012 | Tree Planting-2011 | New Play Area-2009Name?New View-2006New Gates-2004 |

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