We heard a story about a giant dragonfly called Tony Oscar, who then appeared over the cliff edge. Some Scouts crashed in on the event when their balloon failed to reach Brownsea Island and then various animals appeared to pass on secrets about the hill - which we collected for this website.
Our adventure ended with a fantastic Strawberry Feast - the first on the hill for over 100 years and inspired by the account of a strawberry feast written by Elizabeth Emra in 1831. Everyone who was there enjoyed what was a real community event and we hope that everyone now feels they have closer links to the hill and their local area.
Martin, Ruth & Julie of Avon Wildlife Trust, Sally Oldfield and Kit & Susan from Friends of Troopers Hill worked with St Aidan's Beavers, Cubs & Scouts throughout June to develop the performance.
The project started with a visit to Troopers Hill to look at its geology, history and wildlife. Our storyteller came along to start the children thinking about ideas for the event inspired by this wonderful location. Then work began on making masks, instruments, giant stawberries, jurassic dragonflies and streamers...not to mention learning all the actions to all the songs as they were developed. There was also an interview with Radio Bristol on the day before the event.
This four weeks of preparation was really the most important part of the project with the success of the event itself being a bonus. At the start no-one knew exactly what form the event would take and the whole thing developed from the Beavers, Cubs & Scouts own ideas and interpretation of what they were learning about the hill. We are sure that the children who participated in this project now enjoy a better connection with their local environment as well as a greater interest in local history and more confidence in outdoor play and in creative work. The children also gained a sense of achievement through displaying their artwork at the community event.
One of the aims of Friends of Troopers Hill has always been to involve younger members of the community in our activities and to introduce them to the hill, its wildlife and its history -
thanks to funding from Awards for All and the Nature in the City Project Trooping the Hill has helped us to achieve that aim.
Many thanks to all those who made Trooping the Hill happen: Awards for All; Sally Oldfield from Bristol Parks' Nature in the City Project; Martin Maudsley - (Story Soup); Ruth & Julie from Avon Wildlife Trust; Kit and Susan from Friends of Troopers Hill and 159th Bristol (St Aidan's) Scout Group for their enthusiastic participation which helped make the whole event one of the most enjoyable and successful we have held.