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 © Broom
 by Abi Stubbs

---- Events for all the family ----

Bugs and Beasties August 2007

Events listing >> | Past Events >> |  St George Strollers >>

Coming Soon! We aim to promote awareness and interest in Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve and its varied flora and fauna - and to have fun! Come and join us.

Events at Troopers Hill are organised by Friends of Troopers Hill in conjunction with Bristol Parks who also provide insurance cover. Events are free and open to all but we do ask for donations to cover costs. For our guided walks and some other events we require advance booking, details are shown in the the event details below.

There is no on-site parking and limited parking in local residential streets. Please park with consideration for local residents. Details of bus services can be found on our 'How to get to Troopers Hill' sheet.

Autumn 2018

Tuesdays 11th Sept to 23rd Oct 10.30am to 12 noon - Natural Learners Wild Play
more...


Thur 20th Sep - Conservation Work Party with ParkWork - more...
Fri 21st Sep - St George Strollers Walk - more...
Sat 29th Sept 11am-2pm - Natural Learners Free drop-in event for families - more...

Thur 4th Oct - Friends of Troopers Hill Meeting - more...
Sat 6th Oct - Conservation Work Party - more...
Mon 8th Oct - St George Strollers Walk - more...
Thur 18th Oct - Conservation Work Party with ParkWork - more...
Tue 23rd Oct - St George Strollers Walk - more...
Mon 29th Oct 11am-2pm - Natural Learners Free drop-in event for families - more...

Sat 3rd Nov - Conservation Work Party - more...
Wed 14th Nov - St George Strollers Walk - more...
Thur 15th Nov - Conservation Work Party with ParkWork - more...
Thur 29th Nov - St George Strollers Walk - more...

Natural Learners
Tuesdays 10.30am-12noon - Wild Play

The Wild Play toddler group sessions now run every Tuesday until 23rd October.

Spaces are limited so booking is essential

BOOK HERE >>

Find out more about Natural Learners >>

Conservation Work Parties with ParkWork
Third Thursday of each month
20th September, 18th October, 15th November 10am - 12noon

Work parties on Thursdays are part of a project where ParkWork are working in green spaces across St George and anyone is welcome to volunteer to join them.

Meet at the entrance to the Hill from Troopers Hill Field, near the slide.
Walk diagonally across the Field from the Summerhill Terrace entrance at BS5 8HX
More directions and bus details >>

See our Work Parties page for more details.

Natural Learners Free drop-in events for families

Fun, wildlife, exploration, crafts and more!

Bring a picnic.

• Saturday 29th September 11-2pm
• Monday 29th October 11-2pm (October half term)

Find out more about Natural Learners >>

St George Strollers Walks - September

Thursday 6th Sept - Bath Botanic Garden

A linear walk around Victoria Park and the Great Dell culminating in a short visit to the Botanic Gardens before moving on to Bath bus station via the Railway Path.

Leader: Peter with Liz (BM) & Richard

Fri 21st Sept - Harbourside

Meet: Cascade Steps City Centre 10.30am

A circular walk around the Harbour starting at the Cascade Steps passing various points of interest including the Underfall Yard, SS Great Britain and M Shed.

Leader: Liz with Pat (BM) & Peter

More info - www.troopers-hill.org.uk/strollers >>
Listing & photos of earlier St George Strollers Walks >>

Conservation Work Parties - First Saturday of each month
6th October, 3rd November 10am - 12noon

Have fun and get fit helping us maintain Troopers Hill.

Afterwards join us for a chat over coffee or tea and biscuits.

We hold conservation work parties on the first Saturday of each month (second Saturday in January).

Meet at the entrance to the Hill from Troopers Hill Field, near the slide.
Walk diagonally across the Field from the Summerhill Terrace entrance at BS5 8HX
More directions and bus details >>

See our Work Parties page for more details.

Thursday 4th October 7.15 - 9.00pm - Meeting

See our Meetings page for more details - at Summerhill Methodist Church

St George Strollers Walks - October

Monday 8th October - Waters Meet

Meet: Maypole Pub Hanham BS15 3DP 10.00 am

A linear walk following the sound of the Strad Brook down to the Avon past a new wildlife pond. The walk continues beside the Avon, leaving to visit a little known part of Avonview Cemetery before ending at Church Road, St George, close to the junction with Chalks Road.

Leader: Susan with Pat (BM) & Richard

Tuesday 23rd October - The Dings & Victoria Park

Meet: Lidl Car Park Lawrence Hill 10.30 am

A linear walk, mainly on footpaths that will explore The Dings then continue to Temple Meads. Walkers may choose to leave the walk here (1.6 miles) or continue to Victoria Park, finishing at Windmill Hill City Farm. Cafes and pubs are in nearby Bedminster Parade where frequent buses leave for the Centre & Broadmead.

Leader: Andy with Anne (BM) & Peter

More info - www.troopers-hill.org.uk/strollers >>
Listing & photos of earlier St George Strollers Walks >>

St George Strollers Walks - November

Wed 14th Nov - Old Market To Redfield

Meet: Old Market Island Bus Stop (West Bound) 10.30 am

A linear walk alongside the River Avon taking in Sparke Evans & Netham Parks, ending at Church Road, Redfield. Mostly flat & surfaced.

Leader: Peter with Ray (BM) & Alan

Thursday 29th Nov - Southmead to Westbury-on-Trym

Meet: Croydon Street Bus Stop Lawrence Hill 10.14 am

No. 506 Bristol Community Transport

Repeat of a very popular walk. From Southmead Hospital we will follow the River Trym through beautiful Badocks Wood and visit Canford Park before ending at Westbury-on-Trym’s war memorial.

Return to central Bristol by nos. 1 or 77 bus (very frequent).

Leader: June with Liz (BM) & Andy

More info - www.troopers-hill.org.uk/strollers >>
Listing & photos of earlier St George Strollers Walks >>

Winter 2018/19

Sat 1st Dec - Conservation Work Party - more...
Thur 6th Dec - Friends of Troopers Hill Meeting (AGM) - more...
Fri 14th Dec - St George Strollers Walk - more...
Thur 20th Dec - Conservation Work Party with ParkWork - more...

Events for 2019 will be published as they are confirmed.

Conservation Work Parties - First Saturday of each month
1st December 10am - 12noon

Have fun and get fit helping us maintain Troopers Hill.

Afterwards join us for a chat over coffee or tea and biscuits.

We hold conservation work parties on the first Saturday of each month (second Saturday in January).

Meet at the entrance to the Hill from Troopers Hill Field, near the slide.
Walk diagonally across the Field from the Summerhill Terrace entrance at BS5 8HX
More directions and bus details >>

See our Work Parties page for more details.

Thursday 6th December 7.15 - 9.00pm - Meeting (AGM)

See our Meetings page for more details - at Summerhill Methodist Church

Conservation Work Parties with ParkWork
Third Thursday of each month
20th December 10am - 12noon

Work parties on Thursdays are part of a project where ParkWork are working in green spaces across St George and anyone is welcome to volunteer to join them.

Meet at the entrance to the Hill from Troopers Hill Field, near the slide.
Walk diagonally across the Field from the Summerhill Terrace entrance at BS5 8HX
More directions and bus details >>

See our Work Parties page for more details.

St George Strollers Walk - December

Friday 14th Dec - Xmas Stroll to Old Market

Meet: Bethesda Church Corner of Church Rd/Avonvale Rd 10.15 am

A linear walk from Bethesda Church to Historic Old Market. A few uneven surfaces, such as cobbles.

Return by bus to Bethesda Church for our Christmas get together.

Bring along Christmas snacks to share, but most of all, come to the meeting even if you cannot make the walk.

Food can be left at the Church before the walk.

Leader: Liz with Alan (BM) & Richard

St George Strollers walks will continue in 2019, details for the next three months will appear here after the planning meeting.

More info - www.troopers-hill.org.uk/strollers >>
Listing & photos of earlier St George Strollers Walks >>


Past Events

To give you an impression of some of the events we have organised in the past, details are given below, together with links to photographs.

St George Strollers past walks >>


Event


Photos

Bugs & Beasties
Saturday 11th August 2018

We were due to be hunting for bugs & beasties again with Dawn & Rupert Higgins from Wessex Ecological Consultancy; unfortunately after a long hot and dry spell, the afternoon was cloudly with drizzle that became heavier rain before the scheduled start at 4pm, so this year's hunt had to be cancelled.

Fortunately Natural Learners were also with us to run one of their free drop-in events; so the families that braved the rain were able to enjoy making some clay bugs in the shelter of one of the trees on the Field.

There was also too much cloud cover for the planned Bristol Astronomical Society solar observation and the wind and rain prevented any balloons flying from the Balloon Fiesta at Ashton Court in the evening, although they had given us a spectaular display in the morning.

 

Sunday 27th May 2018 - Avon Valley Walk

Our annual walk around the Avon Valley including Brislington Brook, Eastwood Farm LNR and Dundridge Park stopping for lunch at Beese's.

We took bookings for this year's walk through Eventbrite and all 25 places were taken with some people on the waiting list. Unfortunately there was a very heavy thunderstorm in the half-hour before the walk was due to start, so although the rain had actually stopped by the time we set off the turnout was much reduced.

Those who braved the storm enjoyed an increasingly warm and sunny day with no further rain, so that we were gradually able to dry out as the walk went on.

Thank you to the Avon Stories website for posting a fantastic blog and photos - see link below:

Avon Stories - The Avon Valley walk around rivers of east Bristol >>

Old photos taken in the Avon Valley >>

More about the Avon Valley and the walk route >>


This walk was part of Bristol Walk Fest 2018
www.bristolwalkfest.com

Photos

Sat 24th March 2018 - Dawn Chorus Walk

The rain stopped just as bird expert & broadcaster Ed Drewitt joined us for a 5.30am start. The blackbirds were singing as we walked around the Field and on to the hill, soon joined by robins & wrens.

As the light gradually increased on what remained a cloudy morning, we walked around the edge of the hill following the path down towards Greendown and then alongside Troopers Hill Road. The range of birds we heard and saw gradually increased with house sparrows, great tits, blue tits, song thrush, dunnocks and a redwing. Overhead wood pigeons were leaving their over night roosts by the river looking for food, There was a meadow pipit and a flyby of three geese.

Ed pointed out that being above the trees on the roadside gave us a much better chance of spotting the birds as we were able to look down on them, rather than having to look up and spot them against the sky. Back up the hill and then into the woodland more robins and wrens and a brief view of a heron from the heronry at Eastwood Farm.

Returning to the Field we heard a green finch, a bird whose numbers Ed told us were in decline in the UK. The highlight though was right at the end of the walk as a male sparrowhawk flew low and right over our heads.

Many thanks to the Fountain Café for providing breakfast at the end of the walk.

Full list of birds heard or seen: Blackbird, Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Woodpigeon, Feral pigeon, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Meadow pipit, Redwing, Magpie, Crow, Grey heron, Song thrush, Lesser back-backed gull, Herring gull, Sparrowhawk & Green woodpecker

Listen to Ed talking about the birds of Troopers Hill as part of our Audio Trail.

Listen to the 2008 dawn chorus recorded on Troopers Hill >>

Photos

Star Gazing - 22nd February 2018

Dark Sky Discovery SiteOur fifth star gazing event with Bristol Astronomical Society was a great success.

Evening cloud cover meant we had to wait until the Thursday of our selected week, but though there was some cloud during the day it cleared as forecast just before dark. It left us with a clear but cold evening with a light easterly wind.

With five telescopes and one set of powerful binoculars set up in time for a 7.30pm start there was plenty of time for everyone to look at the crescent moon and a range of stars and star clusters, including the Beehive cluster in the Cancer constellation. We were also able to look at the double star Mizar second from the end of the "handle" of the Plough constellation and the Pinwheel cluster (M36) twinkled at us from the Auriga constellation. The evening had started with Fiona of BAS giving a us a guided tour around the sky showing us where the major constellations could be found.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening. Many thanks to Troopers Hill volunteers, Shelley, Oscar, Jon and Rob & Susan for coming to help carry the equipment onto the Hill and of course the BAS volunteers who brought their telescopes. This was the first event for which we used Eventbrite to organise bookings and it seemed to work well.

Visit www.bristolastrosoc.org.uk for other opportunities to join them and learn more about the night sky.

Stargazing 2014 Video >>

Dark Sky Discovery Site page >>

 

Fungi Foray - Sunday 5th November 2017

John and Doreen Bailey from the North Somerset and Bristol Fungus Group joined us to lead another foray on the hill and give us a report on the fungi we found.

This was the second foray led by John & Doreen and continues the work to record fungi on the Hill carried out by Justin Smith before his untimely death in 2014. John and Doreen have led several forays for the National Trust at Tyntesfield and were recomended to us by several members of the Bristol Naturalists Society.

Susan, chair of Friends of Troopers Hill, had planned out our route having sought out the best locations the previous day.

There was a good range of wax caps as well as earthballs and puffballs; the fly agaric was past its best. Some of the species found are unique to acid grassland and John spoke about the increasing rarity and importance of 'unimproved' grassland such as that at Troopers Hill for fungi. The application of fertiliser to improve grass growth prevents fungi from appearing and even a single application can have an impact for 50 or more years.

A collection was made for the Justin Smith Foundation. John & Doreen are also donating their fee to the Foundation.

The reports from this and earlier forays can be seen here. You can hear Justin talking about fungi and lichens as part of our Audio Trail; see our Troopers Trails page.

Photos

Bugs & Beasties
Saturday 12th August 2017

Our annual hunt to find & record the Hill's smallest inhabitants with Dawn & Rupert Higgins from Wessex Ecological Consultancy helping indentify your finds and explain why they find Troopers Hill such a great place to live.

It was a breezy afternoon and unfortunately the wind was still too strong in the evening for any balloons to fly.

As last year the RSPB also joined in the fun, many thanks to Michael & Emily.

Bristol Astronomical Society joined us agian with their solar telescopes. Although there were initially some breaks to allow a view of the sun, unfortunately the breeze brought cloud in from Wales in the later part of the afternoon.

Temporary toilet facilities funded by Friends of Troopers Hill and provided by Mendip Toilet Hire

Photos

Sun 21st May 2017 - Avon Valley Walk

A lot of sunshine for this year's walk around the Avon Valley including Brislington Brook, Eastwood Farm LNR and Dundridge Park stopping for lunch at Beese's.

We were pleased that a lot of the group were new to the area and that some had joined having come on the 'Wander the Waterways' walk on the Friday.

Avon Valley Walk 21st May Photos >>

Old photos taken in the Avon Valley >>

More about the Avon Valley and the walk route >>

Other Walk Fest 2017 walks

Friends of Troopers Hill also worked with Paula Spiers of the Avon Frome Partnership to lead the 'Wander the Waterways' walk from Temple Meads through St Philips to St Anne's & Crews Hole on Friday 19th May.

'Wander the Waterways' Walk Photos >> | Route Map >>

The St George Strollers Walk 'From Water to Windmill' on Thursday 25th May was also part of WalkFest.

More info - www.troopers-hill.org.uk/strollers >>

Listing & photos of all St George Strollers Walks >>

Friday 19th May 2017 - Moth Night

The threatened showers stayed away, but it was breezy and cool as we helped Ray Barnett of the Bristol and District Moth Group to set up two light traps on the hill ready for a 9.30pm start.

It wasn't an ideal night for moths, but as darkness fell the traps attracted a steady flow of flying visitors. 31 different spieces of moths were recorded "nothing earth-shattering but respectable given the cool breeze".

Thank you to Pei-Ling Liao for the close-up photos of the moths.

Report with list of moths recorded:
Bristol Moth Group Field Meeting report - 19th May 2017

Reports from previous moth nights and other invertebrate surveys on the hill can be seen on our Moths & Invertebrates page.

Photos

Star Gazing - 13 March 2017

Dark Sky Discovery SiteThis was our fourth year of working with Bristol Astronomical Society to organise a star gazing event on Troopers Hill Dark Sky Discovery Site.

After bad weather rulled out all the dates we had scheduled for February, we were hoping for better luck in March. The forecast looked promising but sadly stubborn low cloud hid all but a few glimpses of stars and a slightly longer showing of the moon, but there was still interesting information to be shared.

Discussions ranged over many subjects - the distance to the nearest star after the sun - the sun is just over 8 minutes away and Proxima Centauri (part of the Alpha Centauri sytem) is over 4 light years away.

Myths played a part including the story of the Milky Way being a river that separates two lovers, with the Swan (Cygnus) constellation acting as a bridge.

We also heard about double stars, some that can be seen with the naked eye as double stars but when a telescope is used, reveal themselves as more - Mizar and Alcor in the Plough can be seen, if you have really good eyesight as a double star, but with a telescope you will find more.

We packed up a little before 9pm. Many thanks to Troopers Hill volunteers, Shelley, Norman, Oscar, Jon and Susan for coming to help carry the equipment onto the Hill. Shelley sent us the photo.

Visit www.bristolastrosoc.org.uk for other opportunities to join them and learn more about the night sky.

Stargazing 2014 Video >>

Dark Sky Discovery Site page >>

Photo

Saturday 22nd October 2016 - Play Area Celebration

The official celebration event for the new play area on Troopers Hill Field was held on Saturday 22nd October, including a procession from Troopers Hill Chimney led by Avon Glen Pipes and Drums.

www.troopers-hill.org.uk/play

Photos

Sunday 16th October 2016 - Geology Walk

On a sunny, if breezy afternoon we were joined by expert Andrew Mathieson to explore the geology of Troopers Hill.

Unfortunately due to the work in progress on the chimney we were unable to examine its Pennant sandstone closely but we were able to look at the many natural outcrops of the sandstone and the exposed faces of the quarry as we walked down the hill.

Andrew explained how the nature of the rock changed as we moved down the hill and we saw siltstones and mudstones. At the bottom of the hill stands the second chimney and here Andrew described the different depths at which coal seams had been recorded.

Moving back up on to the hill we heard about the fireclay mining before returning to the chimney to look at the view and talk about the geological history of Bristol as a whole.

You can find out more about the geology of Troopers Hill on our Geology Page. For more about geolgy in the Bristol area visit the Avon RIGS Group website.

Photos

Bugs & Beasties
Saturday 13th August 2016

We again held our annual hunt to find some of the Hill's smallest inhabitants on the Saturday of the Balloon Fiesta.

Rupert Higgins & Dawn were on hand to indentify your finds and explain why they find Troopers Hill such a great place to live.

As it was so popular last year, Bristol Astronomical Society joined us to do some more solar observations.

RSPB's Charly was also there with additional nets and ID charts.

It was a breezy afternoon but thankfully in the evening the wind finally dropped giving those who stayed on after the event a wonderful view of the balloons as they flew south of the Hill.

Temporary toilet facilities funded by Friends of Troopers Hill and provided by Mendip Toilet Hire

Photos

Bristol Walk Fest 2016

www.bristolwalkingfestival.co.uk

Friends of Troopers Hill & St George Strollers helped organise several walks as part of this year's walking festival, we were also promoting the Discover East Bristol Map

Sun 22nd May 2016 - Avon Valley Walk

A good turnout for a walk around the Avon Valley including Brislington Brook, Eastwood Farm LNR and Dundridge Park stopping for lunch at Beese's. We had a heavy shower while we were in St Anne's Woods but otherwise it was dry and even warm at times in the sunshine.

 Avon Valley Walk 22nd May Photos >>

Old photos taken in the Avon Valley >>

More about the Avon Valley and the walk route >>

St George Strollers Walks

The two St George Strollers walks in May were included in the Festival programme.

 'Golden Green Spaces' - 9th May >>

 'These Boots are Made for Walking' - 26th May >>

More info - www.troopers-hill.org.uk/strollers >>
Listing & photos of all St George Strollers Walks >>

Other Walk Fest 2016 walks

 'Wander the Waterways of St Philips, Brislington and Crews Hole' - 6th May - Photos >> | Route Map >>

 'Discover East Bristol - Hills, Views & Rivers' - 13th May - Photos >> | Route Map >>

 WalkFest Launch Event - Compass Walk - 29th April

Sat 23rd April 2016 - Dawn Chorus Walk

A wonderful morning with the full moon still shining brightly as over 20 of us joined Bristol's local bird expert & broadcaster Ed Drewitt for a 5am start. The blackbirds were soon in full song with the chorus raching its peak as we moved on to the hill.

As we moved round the hill and then into the woods we were able to pick out wrens, great tits, a couple of blackcaps and some chiffchaffs - two of which gave us a wonderful mating display in a tree above Troopers Hill Road.

As well as gulls and crows we saw two majestic herons flying over from the heronry at Eastwood Farm. On the ground we also caught sight of two foxes enjoying the early morning sunshine. At the end of the walk we moved back on to the hill to admire the view over Bristol.

Many thanks to the Fountain Café for providing breakfast at the end of the walk.

Listen to Ed talking about the birds of Troopers Hill as part of our Audio Trail.

Listen to the 2008 dawn chorus recorded on Troopers Hill >>

Photos

Tree Planting on Troopers Hill Field
16 February 2016

Tree PlantingSeven extra trees were planted in Troopers Hill Field at a tree planting event organised by One Tree per Child Bristol on Tues 16th February 2016.

There are six wild cherry trees to infill the wide gaps between the existing ones and a hornbeam tree to complete the double avenue of trees along the east side of the field. Pupils from Air Balloon Hill Primary School helped with the planting.

There was an opportunity for local people to sponsor these trees so that larger trees could be planted, two trees were sponsored under this scheme. Friends of Troopers Hill were especially pleased that one of these was planted in memory of Pete Harris - a great friend of Troopers Hill.

Troopers Hill Field Page >>

Photos

Star Gazing - 2 February 2016

Dark Sky Discovery SiteWe had amazing weather for our third year of star gazing on Troopers Hill - and were able to run the event on the second of the possible evenings. This event was the first we have held since Troopers Hill was officially designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site

Friends of Troopers Hill are very grateful to the volunteers from the Bristol Astronomical Society (BAS) for sharing their knowledge of the stars and planets and the use of their telescopes.

We started with an introduction to the night sky, learning how to find the North Star and work our way round past the Great Square of Pegasus, Cassiopeia, the Pleiades, Aldebaran, the fiery eye of Taurus, Orion, Gemini and back to the Plough (Ursa Major).

Then we were able to walk round the telescopes set up by the Bristol Astronomical Society and take a closer look, including a view of comet Catalina (C/2013 US10).

Towards the end of the evening Jupiter had risen so all telescopes turned in the direction so we could see Jupiter's moons. A wonderful evening.

Visit www.bristolastrosoc.org.uk for other opportunities to join them and learn more about the night sky.

Stargazing 2014 Video >>

Dark Sky Discovery Site page >>

Photos

Geology Walk - Sunday 29th November 2015
Cancelled

With the high winds and rain forecast we decided to cancel the planned geology walk.

We hope expert Andrew Mathieson will be able to join us to explore the geology of Troopers Hill at some time next year instead.

You can find out more about the geology of Troopers Hill on our Geology Page. For more about geolgy in the Bristol area visit the Avon RIGS Group website.

Supported by the St George Neighbourhood Partnership Bristol Green Capital Fund

Other walks & events in St George in 2015 (pdf) >>

Listing of Autumn Walks on Bristol's Local Nature Reserves >>

 

Fungi Foray - Sunday 1st November 2015

We were pleased that John and Doreen Bailey from the North Somerset and Bristol Fungus Group could join us to lead our foray and give us a report on the fungi we found.

This continues the work to record fungi on the Hill carried out by Justin Smith before his untimely death last year. John and Doreen have led several forays for the National Trust at Tyntesfield and were recomended to us by several members of the Bristol Naturalists Society.

The morning fog lifted to give a sunny and warm walk and Troopers Hill provided a good range of fungi including several different wax caps. A new find was two types of earth tongues. Also seen were fly agaric and brown roll rim. The start of the walk in Troopers Hill Field had shown what a large range of fungi could be found on the felled sections of trees.

A collection was made for the Justin Smith Foundation which we were pleased to be able to pass to Lucy and Wilf who joined us on the walk. John & Doreen are also donating their fee to the Foundation.

The report on what was found on this foray, together with Justin Smith's reports from earlier forays can be seen here. You can hear Justin talking about fungi and lichens as part of our Audio Trail; see our Troopers Trails page.

Supported by the St George Neighbourhood Partnership Bristol Green Capital Fund

Other walks & events in St George in 2015 (pdf) >>

Listing of Autumn Walks on Bristol's Local Nature Reserves >>

Photos

Family Fun Dog Show
Sunday 11th October 2015

After a break for a couple of years we were pleased to be able to organise another Fun Dog Show on Troopers Hill Field for 2015. On a breezy but dry Sunday afternoon we had a great turnout of both people and dogs. As well as our own display we were joined by HEART Pet Rescue, RSPCA, Protect a Pup & Highcroft Vets - who very kindly also provided the judges and extra prizes in all the classes.

Friends of Troopers Hill would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helps to look after the Hill while walking their dogs, not only by clearing up after their own dogs but by also picking up other people's rubbish.

This event is funded by the St George Neighbourhood Partnership Wellbeing Fund.

Temporary toilet facilities provided by Mendip Toilet Hire

Photos

Looking at Lichen
Sunday 4th October 2015

To celebrate our Local Nature Reserves in Bristol's year as European Green Capital a series of walks are being organised this autumn.

On Troopers Hill we were joined by expert David Hill to look at an important aspect of the Hill's ecology that is often overlooked - Lichens.

This was a rare chance to find out more about something that everyone will have seen but few take the time to look at in detail. Lichens are symbiotic relationships between fungi and cyanobacterium/green algae and seen close-up these have an amazing range of colours and textures.

There are links to photographs of lichens on the Hill and a report produced in 2009 by Justin Smith on our Wildlife Page

Listing of Autumn Walks on Bristol's Local Nature Reserves >>

Photos

Exploring Green Spaces of St George
Sunday 6th September 2015

As part of Bristol's year as European Green Capital Friends of Troopers Hill led a walk to explore some of the less well known green spaces in St George. We were lucky enough to get a wonderfully sunny late summer day.

The route was planned using the knowledge of the paths and backways in St George that has been built up by the walk leaders for St George Strollers.

We visited Hudds Vale, Plummers Hill, Meadow Vale, Rodney Road, Primrose Lane & Colebrook Road Open Spaces.

Plummers Hill, Meadow Vale & Primrose Lane have urban meadsows funded by St George Neighbourhood Partnership. With us was wildlife expert Rupert Higgins who was able to explain the importance of the trees and plants in these spaces for wildlife, we also discussed ways that the management of the spaces could be improved for wildlife in the future.

Short report by Rupert Higgins on the wildlife potential for these spaces >>

Supported by the St George Neighbourhood Partnership Bristol Green Capital Fund

Other walks & events in St George in 2015 (pdf) >>

Photos

Bugs & Beasties and other things
Saturday 8th August 2015

On the Saturday of the Balloon Fiesta we held what has become an annual hunt to find some of the Hill's smallest inhabitants.

Rupert Higgins & Dawn were again on hand to indentify your finds and explain why they find Troopers Hill such a great place to live.

As an extra bonus this year Bristol Astronomical Society joined us to do some solar observations.

We were also joined by the one day : Day One resilience dome which is visiting various sites arounnd Bristol during Green Capital Year.

Afterwards we were treated to the wonderful sight of the balloons flying past from the Balloon Fiesta at Ashton Court. With near perfect weather and stories of traffic jams on the approach to Ashton Court this was the largest crowd of people we have ever seen on Troopers Hill.

See video filmed on the day from a drone >>

 

Supported by the St George Neighbourhood Partnership Bristol Green Capital Fund

Other walks & events in St George in 2015 (pdf) >>

Temporary toilet facilities funded by Friends of Troopers Hill and provided by Mendip Toilet Hire

Photos

St George In Bloom Open Day
Saturday 18th July 2015

Friends of Troopers Hill took part in this year's St George in Bloom Open Day to celebrate the work done by volunteers throughout St George to improve the appearance of the area.

We had a gazebo and displays on top of the Hill and to show some of the work we do at our regular work parties to help manage the Hill for both wildlife and people.

Other sites taking part in St George as part of th Open Day included St George Park, Kensington Road, East Bristol Allotments Association & Meadowvale Community Centre.

Other walks & events in St George in 2015 (pdf) >>

Photos on Facebook

Heathland Walk - Thursday 16th July 2015

We were joined by expert Rupert Higgins on a warm summer evening walk on Troopers Hill looking at the heathland and the creatures it supports. Rupert explained the importance of the hill's unique mix of habitats in both a local and national context.

Crickets and grasshoppers were abundant, including the first recorded sighting of Roesel’s bush cricket on the Hill. There were also 24-spot ladybirds and a harlequin larve, bugs, moths, butterflies and many bees.

Supported by the St George Neighbourhood Partnership Bristol Green Capital Fund

Other walks & events in St George in 2015 (pdf) >>

Photos &
more detailed report

Music on the Hill - Saturday 27th June 2015

We were pleased to welcome the 'Fantasy Orchestra' to Troopers Hill for this year's Music on the Hill and they brought some good weather with them!

There was a great turnout and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Highlights were perhaps a special version of Happy Birthday to mark 20 years since Troopers Hill was designated as a Local Nature Reserve and 'Troopers Hill Field for ever..'

The Fantasy Orchestra is a community project based in Bristol and also in Paris. With a motto ‘more is more’, this unique ethos brings together 40 + musicians from all backgrounds to create an electric atmosphere.

See and hear the orchestra on their website www.fantasyorchestra.org

At this event we also announced the reults of our consultation into providing an improved play area on Troopers Hill Field.

Temporary toilet facilities were provided by Mendip Toilet Hire

Photos & Videos

Avon Valley Walk - Sunday 17th May 2015

A sunny morning, though with a cold wind, for a walk from Troopers Hill exploring the woodland and looking at the river and its wildlife before returning to Troopers Hill via Conham and Dundridge Park. We also visited the eighteenth centuary 'Bath House' in the woods.

Rob Acton-Campbell described some of the history of the area and we were also joined by Harriet Alvis from the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART) who told us something about her project.

This walk was part of the Bristol Walking Festival.

Supported by the St George Neighbourhood Partnership Bristol Green Capital Fund<

Other walks & events in St George in 2015 (pdf) >>

Bristol Walking Festival
www.bristolwalkingfestival.co.uk

Photos

Dawn Chorus at Dundridge Park - 18 April 2015

Thank you to Friends of Dundridge Park for booking Ed Drewitt to lead a fascinating walk. 24 of us walked around Dundridge Park including part of the recently repaired deer path.

First calls we heard were blackbirds and wrens, then robins. Wood pigeons created a background of hooting sounds. Great tits starting making their bicycle pump call and later we heard sounds like stones cracking together, the alarm call of the black cap. There was a brief call from a goldfinch.

We heard the special "tsk, tsk" call of the female blue tit which is her call to tell the male to feed her. A heron and cormorant flew overhead as we crossed the football pitches. A really special treat was to hear a tree creeper.

As we neard the end of our walk we found Gary, the local postie, with his peregrine, waiting to meet Ed for a signnature in his copy of Ed's book "Urban Peregrines".

Many thanks to Paul of Nicholas Wanderers JFC for opening up the pavillion to serve us very warming coffees and teas.

Listen to Ed talking about the birds of Troopers Hill as part of our Audio Trail.

Listen to the 2008 dawn chorus recorded on Troopers Hill >>

Photos

Good Friday Service - 3 April 2015

A service has been held on Troopers Hill on Good Friday for many decades.

This year's event was organised by Churches Together in East Bristol and included the traditional procession from Summerhill Methodist Church to the Hill.

Photos

Star Gazing - 26 March 2015

Following the popularity of last year's event we were keen to hold another star gazing evening Troopers Hill in 2015. Star gazing is best near a new moon and of course requires clear skies, unfortunately the weather was against us for our possible dates in February and early March so we were pleased to have a glorious clear evening as the Bristol Astronomical Society (BAS) set up their telescopes on the last Thursday of March.

There was a good turnout and after a brief introduction and guide to what was where in the night sky everyone was able take a turn at each of the telescopes.

Some of the photographs have been annotated with names of the stars and constellations.

Visit www.bristolastrosoc.org.uk for other opportunities to join them and learn more about the night sky.

Stargazing 2014 Video >>

Photos

Sunday 5th October 2014 - Falcons on the Field

An 'awesome' afternoon with Westcountry Falconry who brought a variety of Raptors for us to meet. Stunning flying displays were accompanied by commentary explaining, amongst other things, how plants, herbivores and predators interact - often illustrated as "food chains or pyramids".

During the break between the two flying displays some of the birds were on display to allow people to get a closer look.

Paula Spiers was also with us getting our younger vistors putting together their own 'food web'; while thanks to our grant from the St George West Community First Panel which had funded the event, Friends of Troopers Hill were able to supply free tea & coffee and some other treats.

This was one of the best attended events we have held and we were especially pleased that most of the audience were local - as someone commented on facebook 'Really enjoyed it and right on our doorstep - thank you!!!'

These are our photographs, but there are also some wonderful shots on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Temporary toilet facilities were provided by Mendip Toilet Hire

The Community First Neighbourhood Matched Fund programme is administered by the Community Development Foundation (CDF) for the Office for Civil Society.

Photos

Photo competition winner

Sunday 21st September 2014 - History Walk

A walk in the sunshine with local historian, Rob Acton-Campbell learning more of the history of the Hill and the surrounding area.

Read more about the history of Troopers Hill on our History and Memories pages.

Photos

Saturday 9th August 2014 - Bugs & Beasties Hunt

A very enjoyable afternoon on the Hill with lots of children catching a range of bugs and taking them to Rupert Higgins and Dawn Lawrence to be indentified.

Although the approaching storm from the south west prevented the balloons from flying, the showers stayed away until after our event was finished.

Finds included five different species of crickets and three different grasshoppers.

Temporary toilet facilities were provided by Mendip Toilet Hire

Photos

Friday 18th July 2014 - Moth Night

A perfect evening with the Bristol and District Moth Group to finding out more about these beautiful and often colourful creatures. We met at 9.30pm and an increasing range of moths visited the trap as darkness fell.

The Moth Group (led by Ray Barnett and Rupert Higgins) would have happily stayed until well into the early hours of the morning, but just before mid-night we had to call a halt when we felt the first drops of rain of the approaching thunder storms.

Over 60 species of moths were recorded, a full list can be seen via the link below.

 Bristol Moth Group Field Meeting report - 18th July 2014

Photos

Sat 21st June 2014 - Music on the Hill

A wonderful summer evening of music with the fabulously pink Ambling Band. Enjoying the views over Bristol while listening to some great music.

After having to cancel this event due to the weather in 2012 & 2013 we were really pleased to get perfect weather and an excellent turnout with everyone clearly enjoying themselves. Many thanks to The Ambling Band for a great show.



Find out more about one of Bristol's favourite bands at www.theamblingband.co.uk

Temporary toilet facilities provided by Mendip Toilet Hire

Photos

Sun 18th May 2014 - Wild Flowers Walk

On a glorious sunny Spring morning we were joined by naturalist, Tony Smith, for a walk to learn more about the plants that thrive on the acidic soils on Troopers Hill. We also learnt something about the invertebrates that depend on them.

This walk was part of the Bristol Walking Festival 2014
www.bristolwalkingfestival.co.uk

Photos

Sun 6th April 2014 - Dawn Chorus Walk

Twenty five early risers joined Bristol's local bird expert & broadcaster Ed Drewitt for a very enjoyable and informative stroll around the Hill and back through the woodland. Starting at 5.45 gave us a chance to hear the dawn chorus at full volume from the top of the hill. Then as we moved round we were able to pick out individual birds more clearly.

The blackbird was the dominant voice at the start but it was soon joined by robins, wrens, blue tits, great tits and some chiffchaffs. We also heard a gold crest and a willow warbler which was passing through the area. Overhead there was a heron flying majestically down the line of the river and three cormorants flying west. Gulls and magpies were also around and we spotted a crow on its nest.

Many thanks to the Fountain Café for opening early to provide breakfast at the end of the walk.

Listen to Ed talking about the birds of Troopers Hill as part of our Audio Trail.

Listen to the 2008 dawn chorus recorded on Troopers Hill >>

Photos

Star Gazing - 11 March 2014

Due to the disappointing extent of cloud cover at our event in February, we held a second evening of star gazing on Troopers Hill with the Bristol Astronomical Society (BAS).

This time the cloud cleared as forecast just before the event started at 7.30pm to give us a clear if rather hazy night.

We looked at Jupiter's moons, the Orion Nebula, the double star Almach (Andromeda Gamma), the moon itself and much more. Some concern was voiced about the expected supernova of Betelgeuse, a mere 640 light years away, which may in fact already have happened or may not happen for a 1,000 years. We were taught to find our way across the sky using different reference points, such as Orion's sword. An entertaining and educational evening with BAS volunteers giving us a great deal more of their time than advertised.

Given the popularity of these events we will be inviting BAS back next year. In the meantime checkout www.bristolastrosoc.org.uk for other oportunities to join them and learn more about the night sky.

Stargazing Video >>

Star Gazing - 10 February 2014

Friends of Troopers Hill were joined by the Bristol Astronomical Society for an evening of star gazing on Troopers Hill.

There was a clear evening forecast before the next Atlantic storm and there were plenty of stars visible as the telescopes were being set up. Unfortunately some cloud then spread in, not clearing until about an hour later, when only the most hardy souls were still there on what was a cold evening.

After the cloud had cleared, we did see some of Jupiter's moons, the Pleiades and the Andromeda Galaxy. We had an amazing view of Cabot tower by telescope when the cloud was too thick for for stars.

We have ran another session in March, see above.

 

Avon Valley Walk - 08 December 2013

A change of route this year; since Beese's is not open in December we stayed on our side of the river and included some of the ruins in Conham as well as the Bath House (many thanks to its owners); Dundridge Park and Troopers Hill.

The weather was kind to us on a cloudy but mild day, there were even some glimpses of the sun. As we walked Rob talked about the history of the area and showed some of the old photographs we have collected, including some of those kindly donated to Friends of Troopers Hill by George Elliott.

You can find out more about the history of the area on our History and Memories pages.

Click here to see some old photos taken in the Avon Valley.

Click here to see more about the Avon Valley and the walk route.

Photos

Sun 3rd November 2013 - Fungi Foray

A showery morning with a brisk wind, but we missed the worst of the showers, and Troopers Hill produced another good crop of some 40 or so fungi.

As in previous year's Justin Smith was our expert. Susan had planned the route having checked the Hill the previous day (and taken some photos, see facebook link below). Again there was a good range of waxcaps in the grassland and the popular fly agaric was found amonst some low level bramble near a silver birch.

At the end of the walk, we also looked at the range of fungi on the log climbing structure in the Field.

There are also some close up photos of the fungi on our facebook page here

Justin's report on what we found. Links to Justin's reports from previous years can be seen here.

If you would like to learn more about fungi visit Justin's website at www.bristolfungi.org.uk.

This event is funded by our Stepping Forward Sustainability Grant, through the BIG Lottery Community Spaces Programme

Photos

Saturday 10th August 2013 - Family Fun Picnic

A Bugs and Beasties Hunt with expert Rupert Higgins identifying lots of finds (see photos page for list)

There was also a fun Craft Tent where Tim Floyd was helping with the creation of more wonderful creatures.

Afterwards there was a great display from the Balloon Fiesta hot air balloons.

The bugs & beasties hunt was funded by our Stepping Forward Sustainability Grant, through the BIG Lottery Community Spaces Programme

Temporary toilet facilities provided by Mendip Toilet Hire.

Fun Picnic
Photos

Balloon Photos

Sat 22nd June 2013 - Music on the Hill

We had been looking forward to an appearance on the Hill by Bristol's 'pinking marvellous' Ambling Band for some 'fun on the edge of madness'. Unfortunately, due to the forecast of very strong winds and showers we decided on the day before that we had to cancel the event.

We are hoping to book the Ambling Band for next year instead.

Many thanks to the Ambling Band for agreeing not to charge us despite the late notice cancellation.

 

Sun 26th May 2013 - Bristol 99 Mini Bio-Blitz

A sunny but breezy afternoon for a Mini Bio-Blitz as part of the Bristol 99 Project.

Bristol 99 is organised by Bristol Natural History Consortium to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Festival of Nature; this events based project, is running throughout Bristol for a 6 week period between May 3rd and June 16th.
 

This was a great chance for everybody to have fun exploring Troopers Hill and learning more about this unique heathland habitat and the many creatures that live here. During a Bio-Blitz event scientists and members of the public work together to survey a natural space; seeking, identifying and recording as many species as possible.

We had three expert naturalists on site to help indentify what was found - Tony Smith, Ray Barnet and Matt Postles from the BNHC. Volunteers from both Friends of Troopers Hill and BNHC were also on site to help record the finds.

This event was sponsored by Western Power Distribution

Photos

Sun 26th May 2013 - Tree Gazing Walk

A warm sunny morning as Tony Titchen took us through Troopers Hill Woods stopping and looking at trees. As always Tony was very informative with much discussion about which were native trees and which were 'denizens' - trees that moved to the UK after the formation of the English Channel.

As part of our 2013 Stepping Forward project, some of the trees have been labelled by Tony and we will soon be launching a Troopers Hill Tree Trail with information sheets to download - watch this space! Tony will also feature on our Audio Trail which will also be launched later in the year.

This is Freinds of Troopers Hill's 100th event and along with the afternoon Mini-Bioblitz was part of the Bristol 99 Project - Troopers Hill 100 Bristol99.

This event was funded by our Stepping Forward Sustainability Grant, through the BIG Lottery Community Spaces Programme

Photos

Fri 29th March 2013 - Good Friday Service

The annual Good Friday Service is organised by local churches and is supported by Friends of Troopers Hill.

Normally there is a procession starting from Summerhill Methodist Church, followed by an ecumenical service on Troopers Hill. This year due to the very cold weather the Churches had to cancel the procession and instead held an indoor service at Summerhill Methodist Church. We are hoping for warmer weather next year.

 

Sun 17th March 2013 - Dawn Chorus Walk

As always Bristol's local bird expert & broadcaster Ed Drewitt gave us a very enjoyable and informative early morning walk around the Hill.

This walk was earlier in the year than our past walks. It was a damp morning with some light rain and mist in the river valley but it didn't stop the birds singing.

Four cormorants flew over as we were assembling in the Field and later we heard one of the resident green woodpeckers, though this year we didn't see it. Amongst the loud singing of the wrens, crows, robbins, dunnocks and great tits Ed picked out the song of the chiffchaff, which was the first he had heard this year.

Listen to the 2008 dawn chorus recorded on Troopers Hill >>

Report and Audio Slide Show from last year's walk on 'This is Bristol' >>

This event was funded by our Stepping Forward Sustainability Grant, through the BIG Lottery Community Spaces Programme

Photos

Sun 3rd February 2013 - Geology Walk

A very informative and enjoyable morning (despite the cold wind) with expert Andrew Mathieson exploring the geology of Troopers Hill. Looking across Bristol Andrew explained how the hills surrounding the City had been formed and how the rocks on Troopers Hill fitted into the geoplogical history of the area.

On the Hill we examined the sandstone with the fossil evidence of long gone forests and the traces of coal. In other areas mudstone is exposed. We also spoke about how the geology had impacted on the Hill's history.

You can find out more about the geology of Troopers Hill on our Geology Page. For more about geolgy in the Bristol area visit the Avon RIGS Group website.

Rob read the story of the accident in coal diggings on the Hill in 1913, this is taken from the Memories of Troopers Hill, Crews Hole, Conham & Hanham by Tom Fry (3MB). Andrew knew Tom when he worked at the museum.

Following the walk Andrew wrote up his notes of the Rocks of Troopers Hill, this can be downloaded from the link below:

 The Rocks of Troopers Hill by Andrew Mathieson

This event was funded by our Stepping Forward Sustainability Grant, through the BIG Lottery Community Spaces Programme

Photos

Details of earlier Events  >>

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