Conservation Work Parties
This was a special Conservation Day with some of our Young Rangers. On the previous day we had given our new recruits a guided tour of the Hill and today they got stuck in and did some work for us.
The task was to complete the clearing of broom and gorse from heather above the eroded area.
Cloud cover made it a little less warm than some previous days.
Most of the group did some more work on the area of heather on the slopes above the nursery, this time clearing saplings and one area of bramble nearer to the path.
A couple of our volunteers, including our youngest, did a litter pick over the Hill and into the woods, while two others pulled a small area of Himalayan Balsam which had reappeared in an area where we had previously seen it in 2016.
Later the main group moved to clearing broom from the other side of the path in the heather above the eroded area.
For this month's visit from ParkWork we carried out work in compartment 6 to clear soil and growth from the face of the steps.
Another very warm Saturday morning.
Today we focused on removing broom scrub from the wonderful bank of heather on the slopes above the nursery on Crews Hole Road.
This was ideal timing as it had finished flowering but the seed pods had not yet popped.
Joe worked with the strimmer on the area by the path to the lower chimney where a lot of cherry saplings have appeared in the past. This is an area Parkwork have been visiting regularly and it is good to see that a range of flowers are now appearing here.
The rest of the group concentrated on saplings, bramble, broom and gorse regrowth in the heathland areas at the top of the steps from entrance E.
We were rewarded by a visit from a marbled white butterfly and finding some caterpillars of the 6-spot burnet moth on some birds foot trefoil.
On a very warm morning we focused on the bracken in compartment 10, above the steps from Troopers Hill Road.
One of the aims of the management plan is to reduce the areas of bracken by cutting it in June and then again in August, this forces it to grow three times in the season weakening the rhizome and will eventually eradicate it.
Bristol City Council strim the larger areas of bracken, but we remove it where it is growing amonst heather or in other areas where it can't be strimmed.
We were very pleased to welcome a team of ten from Lloyds Bank to Troopers Hill for the day, we had a range of tasks planned and we were impressed by their enthusiasm which enabled us to get through the whole list.
We started with a walk to the chimney and a brief talk about the history of the hill and its importance for wildlife.
The proper work then started; tasks for the morning included removing the rotten wooden top from a bench in Troopers Hill Field which we had installed in January 2010. There are standard park benches under the wooden tops of these benches so that they can still be used.
At the same time, on the Hill, one group did some work to clean off the steps on the path up from Greendown while others carried out a sapling hunt to remove saplings (mainly oak) from the grassland. Rejoined by their colleagues who had been working in the Field this group finished the morning by removing some bracken from areas in the gully where it was spreading into the heather.
The showers that had threatened during the morning held off allowing a pinic lunch on Tropers Hill Field. We did not need to take up the kind offer from Summerhill Methodist Church for the use of the church for lunch had it been raining, but the team did use their toilet facilities. In the meantime volunteers from the Street Goat Project collected some of the saplings that had been cut to feed to the goats.
In the afternoon, we split into two groups, with one completing the work on the bracken, while the other removed some broom from the sides of the gully, it was ideal timing for this since the broom had finished flowering but the seed pods were not yet ready to pop.
The final task of the day was clearing some bramble and saplings as well as bracken alongside the steps up from Troopers Hill Road.
ParkWork carried out some work on the steps in the Woodland at a special session for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
On a sunny morning we completed the work in the two areas we started last month, clearing areas of heather of saplings and gorse. We also cleared some saplings from the rock face at the end of the gully to leave more rock face exposed.
Parkwork were unable to join us on the 18th, but they will came for an extra session on the following week (25th) instead.
Sat 6th April 2019
Nine volunteers spent time cutting back brambles and saplings from the heather and picking litter.
Work focused on clearing bramble, scrub and saplings at the top of the Hill.
We were pleased to be joined by three students from the University of Bristol as well as our own volunteers and those from ParkWork.
Sat 2nd March 2019
The new Management Plan produced as part of our Ways to Nature Project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund has highlighted that we need to remove broom on parts of the Hill to protect the heathland and this was one of the areas that was considered to be of high priority.
We stacked the broom near the access gate for Bristol Parks to collect during the week - having arranged this with them in advance.
Also as part of our Ways to Nature Project the wooden fencing along Troopers Hill is going to be replaced, with the work due to start in mid-March.
Thurs 21st Feb 2019
We returned to Sally's Glade to push back the scrub at the south-western edge. Some of the bramble here had been cleared by ParkWork with their strimmer last month allowing us to access the thicker scrub. In accordance with the new management plan we left a few isolated broom plants.
Some of the group also carried out a litter pick before we all were able to enjoy coffee and biscuits looking at the view over Bristol.
Sat 2nd Feb 2019
The snow from the day before was still on the ground and although the morning was sunny it was very frosty and slippery underfoot. As a result we had to cancel today's work party.
Having filled three large builder's sacks with material for composting, we moved over to Sally's Glade to clear some saplings and bramble from the areas at the edges of the glade.
Our work here added to the work done as part of conservation work being carried out by contractors as part of our Ways to Nature Project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund which has removed a lot of broom. An adjacent area has also been cleared by Bristol Parks as part of their regular winter works schedule.
Sat 5th Jan 2019
We started by looking at the conservation work being carried out by contractors as part of our Ways to Nature Project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund - with Susan explaing reasons why that work and the work we do on these work parties is so important in managing the Hill for wildlife and in particular the invertebrates that live here.
With a good turn out we were able to remove saplings and broom from a large area of the heathland.
A small group also did a litter pick over the whole Hill, collecting various items including the remains from New Year fireworks. While any litter is frustrating we know that it is less of a problem on Troopers Hill than on some other sites in Bristol - thank you to everyone who takes their litter home and especially to those dog walkers and others who also regularly pick up other people's rubbish.
Note - work activities now recorded against the new 2019 Management Plan.
Before completing the work in compartment 4 that started in November, there were another couple of tasks to complete. First we excavated some channels to drain the puddles on the track alongside the Field and then we re-fixed the geology interpretation board near the chimney on a new backing board.
At the same time conservation work was being carried out by contractors further down the Hill (on the boundary of compartments 9 & 10) as part of our Ways to Nature Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This work included clearing bramble and young trees and unfortunately revealed a lot of litter that had built up over the years and had to be removed.
Sat 1st Dec 2018
We cleared bramble and some broom from the right-hand side of the path leading up from the lower chimney.
As we worked we found some heather plants that had become completely over-shadowed by the broom illustrating that this area had recently been heathland and showing how this valuable habitat is being lost in some areas. We also uncovered some fungi.
Today ParkWork focused on the scrub and bramble at the western end of compartment 4 adjacent to the path down from the chimney.
Sat 3rd Nov 2018
We continued the work that we had started on the 18th October to remove bramble, saplings and some of the broom from the area above Sally's Glade. The aim is to stop the spread of the scrub and maximise the area of the acid grassland available for the bees - who we are sure would thank us if they could.
Bring bonefire weekend we also did a litter pick, and came back to do another on Sunday morning, but most of the litter was already in the bins - thank you to everyoone who helps keep Troopers Hill clear of litter everyday, not just at our work parties.
We were working in Sally's Glade clearing bramble and saplings but also some of the broom. In accordance with the Management Plan we want to preserve some areas of broom on the Hill but we have received advice that in this area it needs to be reduced to restore areas of grassland that have been lost in recent years.
The recordings were broadcast on Emma's BBC Radio Bristol breakfast show on Wednesday 24th October at approx 6.50, 7.50 & 8.50am
Use the links below to hear the interviews:
Sat 6th Oct 2018
After a dry week a band of rain crossed Bristol at just the wrong time for us meaning that the work party had to be cancelled.
We worked in two area, one below the chimney and the other in Sally's Glade.
Sat 1st Sept 2018
The Saturday Work Party in September had to be cancelled due to holidays and other commitments.
Due to holidays, ParkWork weren't due to join us today and, as it turned out, they chose a good day to miss as early morning rain made it too wet for our planned conservation work.
ParkWork had though paid us an extra visit during the previous week to strim some of the bracken at the end of the gully, where we had cleared it from the heather on 7th July.
Sat 4th Aug 2018
On a very hot and sunny morning we focused on bracken and cleared the area to the left of the steps up from the second entrance up Troopers Hill Road - the other side of the path to the area that ParkWork had cleared with their strimmer last month.
Our efforts over the years have weakened the bracken here and there was alot of grass and heather amongst it, so clearing by hand rather than strimming meant these plants could be left to thrive.
The bracken is now likely to start regrowing - this will weaken the rhizomes as at this time of year the plant would normally be storing energy for next year.
Today the ParkWork team were busy with their strimmer, they returned to the area by the path to the lower chimney to again take out the regrowth of cherry saplings.
They then cleared an area of bracken to the right of the steps leading up from the next entrance up Troopers Hill Rd.
Sat 7th July 2018
One of our number came from our friends next door, Street Goat. So she was set to cut invasive holm oaks, which can be eaten by goats, but not as 100% of their diet. The rest of us pulled and cut bracken, where it was invading into and choking the heather. Bristol Parks will visit with machinery soon to cut the larger stands of bracken, without damaging the heather. Where bramble was found this was cut and put into another bag for the goats.
End result - 2 large bags of food for goats and an area of bracken prepared to machinery work can be done without damaging heather. By cutting and pulling the bracken its rhizomes will be weakened and we hope to eventually eradicate or at the very least, substantially reduce the amount of bracken, in line with the conservation management plan for the site.
While the ParkWork team rebuilt some of the steps on the 'Doe' path down into the woodland from the Field, a small group of us cleared some saplings from the side of the gully.
Sat 2nd June 2018
From our meeting point at the top of the hill we walked down the path to first tackle some bramble in the grassland below the chimney. A second group then went further down the path to remove some saplings of oak, birch, sycamore and hawthorn from amongst the heather on the slopes above the nursery. Once the bramble had been removed the first group went on to remove some hawthorn saplings from the grassland at the very top of the Hill.
The recent warm weather following on from a damp spring has led to some very strong grass growth this year, so it was often difficult to see the smaller saplings, or at times our volunteers.
As on previous Saturday work parties the cuttings were taken to be fed to the goats in the adjacent allotments.
ParkWork revisited the area cleared in November by the path to the lower chimney. Using their strimmer they removed the spring regrowth of bramble and cherry saplings.
Once this was complete they did some more work on the steps.
Sat 5th May 2018
A morning clearing bramble and saplings from the edge of the broom areas above Sally's Glade. Some of the bramble was taken to be fed to the Streetgoat goats.
TheParkWork team have certainly experienced extremes of weather on the Hill, today was very hot and sunny.
Work included adding some stone fill to the steps above the nursery, enlarging the cage to one of the trees on the Field and a general litter pick.
Sat 7th April 2018
The overnight rain cleared away just in time for our start at 10am but the ground was still too wet and slippery for our planned conservation work.
Instead we carried out a litter pick over the site and in the woodland. This included removal of 83 cans from one spot in the woodland.
Snow on 1st & 2nd March led to this work party being cancelled.
Thurs 15th February 2018
It worked well and we may use it again to clear some areas where we want to remove bramble and take the arisings away.
At the same time Bristol Parks were on site with their 'Scag' starting the winter works.
Sat 3rd February 2018
Given the weather we were surprised and pleased to have one of our largest groups for a while, many thanks to everyone.
After the work party some of the holm oak we had cut at this and the previous work party was taken to feed the goats living in the adjacent allotments as part of the Street Goat Project.
Another sunny morning with the ParkWork team.
We split into two groups with one removing holm oak saplings in the area between the path and the allotment fence and the other clearing the steps in the middle of the hill.
Sat 6th January 2018
A very cold cloudy morning was not very inspiring for our first work party of 2018. We carried out a litter pick and a sapling hunt focusing on the northern part of the site.
The hot coffee was very welcome afterwards.
Thur 21st December 2017
Due to Christmas, ParkWork were unable to join us for this session. A small group did a litter pick on the hill and in the woodland. We also removed some ivy from an oak tree near Greendown, the extent of the ivy was causing a risk of branches being broken off in strong winds.
The early morning drizzle cleared to leave a dry but cold morning. We continued the work started by ParkWork last month, clearing bramble and a lot of saplings.
After two wet sessions the sun shone on the ParkWork team this morning as they worked to clear scrub & saplings from the right of the path up from the lower chimney, of particular concern in this area are the number of cherry saplings.
As a trial ParkWork used a hedge cutter to clear the bramble which was very successful.
Sat 4th November 2017
We removed a lot of birch, oak and hawthorn saplings as well as bramble as we continue to try and prevent the spread of woodland and scrub into the heathland.
Two of our group also cleared the remains of some of the fireworks that had been let off on the hill last night. We also cut down a dead ash tree on Troopers Hill Field and cleared litter from the play area.
Another wet morning but, with help from two of our volunteers, the ParkWork team worked through the rain to clear an area of scrub & saplings below the chimney. There was a mixture of broom, birch & oak together with a lot of bramble to clear to return this area to grassland.
Sat 7th October 2017
Wet weather meant that our planned scrub clearance couldn't go ahead because the ground was too slippery. We did a short litter pick and were hoping the rain would clear but soon gave up - partly because there wasn't much litter!
On a wet morning ParkWork carried out some pruning of a goat willow over hanging one of the paths. They then returned as the weather improved in the afternoon to start tidying up the entrance at Greendown by removing the log retaining structure installed some years ago which is now no longer required.
Sat 2nd September 2017
We also removed a branch from the goat willow that had cracked and cleared up the area at the base of the tree where there had been a small fire.
Afterwards we enjoyed the banana cake we were given with our coffee.
For this ParkWork visit we cleared some saplings and broom from the heather area to the south of the gully. From this point it is a long drag to dispose of the cuttings, so it is an area we have been reluctant to tackle on our Saturday Work Parties.
Sat 5th August 2017
The main task was to clear bracken from amongst the heather at the edges of an area at the end of the gully where Bristol Parks had strimmed a large area of bracken earlier in the week. Cutting the bracken at this time of year weakens it as it has to regrow rather than taking in energy to store for next year.
Once the area was clear, we moved on up the gully removing saplings and bramble so that they do not gow and over-shadow the heather - which was looking at its best in the sunshine. We also picked up litter, mostly plastic bottles that had been thrown over the edge of the gully.
The bracken, saplings & bramble were taken in large bags to the gate at Greendown for Bristol Parks to remove later in the week. This was a great example of how we are able to work with Bristol Parks to maintain the site. We hope that this partnership working will continue in future years, but this is under threat due to the impact of Government cuts on the Council's budget.
On the second of our regular visits from ParkWork the focus was on continuing the work started on 1st July to clear broom in the area above Sally's Glade and the path down towards the woods.
Sat 1st July 2017
A small group worked in the area above Sally's Glade clearing the regrowth of broom from an area where a lot of broom was removed last year folowing advice that this is now spreading too far up the hill.
This was the first of what will be regular work parties on Thursdays as part of a new project where ParkWork are working in green spaces across St George and anyone is welcome to volunteer to join them.
Sat 3rd June 2017
Something new for us this month, a group of friends decided that joining us for a work party on the hill would be a good way to start a Hen Weekend to celebrate Maria's forthcoming wedding. Eleven of them joined us and helped clear some gorse where is was spreading into the heathland.
Sat 27th May 2017 - Himalayan Balsam Bash - Troopers Hill Woodland
The invasive weed, Himalayan Balsam, had been found in Troopers Hill Woodland, so we organised an additional work party to remove the plants & stop them spreading.
Sat 6th May 2017
Two volunteers, who have been trained by Bristol Parks, were also busy with a strimmer clearing low lying bramble in Sally's Glade having first cleared the steps from the Field into the Woodland.
Sat 1st April 2017
At the same time our chair, who has been trained by Bristol Parks to use a strimmer, was busy clearing low lying bramble in Sally's Glade.
Sat 4th March 2017
On a sunny Spring morning, after a wet Friday, we tackled two separate areas. First we removed some bramble and saplings, including some holm oaks from the area near where the route of the duct from the chimney meets the path.
Bizarrely, we also found some rice that had been tipped on Troopers Hill Field.
Sat 4th February 2017
On a dry morning with some sunshine we tackled an area that had been listed as a priority in last year's Photo Survey.
This was an area above the nursery where broom and bramble were invading an area of heather. Community Payback had done some work on this area in October but it took 8 of us a good 2 hours of work to clear the remaining broom and bramble, including carrying the cuttings away.
Sat 7th January 2017
We cleared some broom and gorse from the heather around the eroded area on the south facing slopes of the hill. We also took down some saplings at the edge of the heather. This work had been indentified as a priority in the report on last year's Photo Survey.
There were four 'first timers' on this work party - it is good to see more people joining us to help maintain this important site.
Sat 3rd December 2016
For the first time we also did some work with a strimmer lent by Bristol Parks after two of our members went on a training course earlier in the year. Having tried this out we have decided in future that this is done on separate days so that at work parties we can all work together.
Sat 5th November 2016
A cold but sunny morning found us working in the area above Sally's Glade continuing from the great start made by Community Payback last month.
Being bonfire weekend we also carried out a litter pick over the hill to pick up some of the remnants of the night before.
Two of us then did another litter pick on the Sunday morning and collected four bags of firework remains and other litter left on Saturday night.
Sat 1st October 2016
We were very lucky to get a break in the showers which allowed us to remove some saplings and bramble from the northern corner of compartment 9. Part of the area we were clearing is where the red & white fungi 'fly agaric' has grown in recent years, so we hope it will appear later in the month.
Sat 3rd September 2016
Rain was forecast 'from lunchtime' but unfortunately it arrived early ahead of what became a very wet afternoon. However, a good turnout meant that we were able to achieve most of what we set out to do before we had to curtail the work party just after 11am.
Sat 6th August 2016
A warm and sunny morning with the heather looking at its best. We worked on the slope above the nursery clearing saplings and also removing some broom.
Sun 17th July 2016
We completed the clearance of the bracken where it was encroaching into the heather in the area we worked on at the last work party - and then also cleared some saplings and bramble from the area of heathland to the left of the steps.
Sat 2nd July 2016
This was an area where Bristol Parks had cleared a large area of bracken with strimmers last month. Cutting the bracken at this time of year weakens it as it has to regrow rather than taking in energy to store for next year.
19 Jun 2016
Unfortunately the weather let us down on the first of our two summer Sunday afternoon work parties for this year.
With the ground already wet and more rain forecast we abandoned our plans to cut bracken and instead did a litter pick over the Hill and some of the woodland. We were pleased to find that there was in fact very little litter - a big thank you to all those local dog walkers and other who regularly pick up litter as they walk round.
4 Jun 2016
A warm but cloudy morning. A change of scene this month as we moved to the area next to the path leading from the lower chimney to remove some bramble and also some cherry tree saplings.
More work in Sally's Galade on one of the first really warm days of the year.
After a grey start the sun came out as we continued the work in Sally's Glade that we started last month.
The early morning drizzle cleared to give a grey morning with occasional glimpses of sunshine, though with a very cold wind.
We were pleased to be able to get a full two hours done without any rain for the first time this year. Our work focused on removing bramble from the broom at the edge of Sally's Glade.
We also put up a new 'Welcome to Troopers Hill' flag to repace the Bristol Green Capital 2015 flag that had become rather tatty.
6 & 21 February 2016
A very wet & windy morning meant that we had to cancel the Saturday morning work party on 6th February. Unfortunately it was also wet on the afternoon of 21st February when we had hoped to run the first of three Sunday Conservation Work Parties this year.
A break in the morning showers allowed us to do some work removing brambles and saplings in Sally's Glade.
With the rain from storm 'Desmond' staying well north of us it was a dry but windy morning. We concentrated on the gorse that was spreading into the heather and saplings in the area of broom at the top of the steps from Troopers Hill Road.
This was where Bristol Parks and Community Payback had done some work to clear a large area of bramble and gorse as the first phase of the winter works. As shown on facebook here.
7 November 2015
Due to the wet & windy weather our planned conservation work party on 7th November was cancelled.
3 October 2015
A misty morning after a dry and sunny week.
5 September 2015
A good turn out today, with two new faces.
Sunday 16 August 2015
A very enjoyable Sunday afternoon where we were joined by lots of young helpers to clear some bracken from beside the steps leading up from Troopers Hill Road.
1 August 2015
A small group met to clear bracken where it is spreading into the heather at the end of the gully. Bristol Parks had strimmed the large areas of bracken here during the previous week so that we were able to concentrate on areas where it need to be pulled or cut by hand since attempting to strim it would also damage the heather. We also removed saplings from the area.
Cutting bracken in the summer causes it to regrow at a time when it should be collecting energy by photosynthesis. This weakens the root stock and if repeated over several years will eventally kill off the bracken. Areas of bracken have a much lower biodiversity than the important heathland and grassland habitats on the Hill that we are aiming to protect and the Management Plan has eradication of bracken as one of its aims.
Sunday 19 July 2015
This was the first of two Sunday afternoon work parties planned this year.
Despite a low turn out on a warm sunny afternoon, we were able to clear a significant number of saplings from the grassland near Sally's Glade.
4 July 2015
We focused on clearing saplings from the north side of the gully in two areas. Many of these were small holm oaks which are a particular problem as they are evergreen. Removing these saplings ensures that the heather and acid grassland is able to thrive and provide home and food sources for the many bees and other invertebrates that live on the Hill. While we were working a bee survey was being carried out as part of a Natural History Museum led project.
We also removed some low branches that were overhanging a path on the other side of the Hill.
6 June 2015
As a change from our usual battle with bramble and saplings the task for part of the group this morning was to remove grass from the edge of the wheelchair path leading to the chimney. This was in part to investigate the condition of the path edges and establish whether the edges of the whole path should be cleared.
Meanwhile we also did some more work in Sally's Glade
Update: Following our initial work on the path edges we were able to arrange through the Neighbourhood Partnership and Bristol Parks to get the rest of the path completed by offenders on the Community Payback scheme on 29th & 30th August.
2 May 2015
A spring morning with the broom in flower found us working in Sally's Glade clearing bramble and holm oak saplings.
4 April 2015
It was good to welcome two new recruits on a cold cloudy morning, which had started for some of us with a Dawn Chorus Walk at St George Park, part of a series of walks Exploring St George's Green Spaces.
We fouused on the area of broom above the steps leading up from Trooopers Hill Road (entrance E) and cleared a lot of bramble and a few saplings that were threatening to overwhelm it.
7 March 2015
Friends of Troopers Hill had to split our resources this morning with some of us running our stand at St George Community Fair, so we were pleased to welcome extra help from a group of young people taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) Action Day.
A glorious sunny spring morning saw us split into two groups both working in the area above the nursery. While one group cleared some of the broom from the more gentle slopes to prevent it taking over completly from the heather, the others were clearing holm oak and other scrub & saplings from the steeper slopes.
7 February 2015
A cold and frosty morning found us working near Sally's Glade clearing bramble and a lot of holm oak saplings.
Holm oak are evergreen oaks which are native to the Mediterranean area are a particular problem because they over shadow other species. One of the aims of the Management Plan is to eradicate them from the site, in the winter they are easy to spot.
10 January 2015
A very windy morning, but we avoided the showers and it was good to see several new faces.
We again worked on clearing bramble and saplings from the area to the right of the path up from the lower chimney.
06 December 2014
For our last work party of 2014, we continued to work in the area we started last month clearing bramble and saplings in glorious sunshine.
01 November 2014
A very mild morning for November with sunshine making it seem more like spring than autumn, especially since there were yellow flowers on some of the broom. We cleared bramble and saplings from the area to the right of the path up from the lower chimney.
04 October 2014
Due to the rain and very wet ground we decided we had to cancel this month's work party. Frustratingly the rain then cleared to give a bright and sunny afternoon.
01 October 2014 - Lloyds Bank
Thank you to 17 volunteers from Lloyds Bank who gave their time to help make a difference on Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve.
A full report and photographs can be seen here.
06 Sept 2014
We have spent many hours on work parties cutting back bramble to allow areas of broom scrub to thrive on the Hill, however, there are some areas where we need to control the spread of broom into the heathland. An example of this is in the gully and so on a morning that started with light rain we cleared most of a large patch of broom that had grown on the south facing side of the gully over the last couple of years.
The broom is much easier to cut than bramble, so we found we had more cuttings than we thought we we came to gather it all together. We had to do a bit of overtime to collect all the cuttings and drag them to the gate at Greendown for Bristol Parks to collect.
20 August 2014
A cooler evening but having cleared another 100+ small saplings of mostly oak, hawthorn and holm oak from the gully (and done a quick litter pick) we enjoyed some wine sitting on top of the Hill watching a magnificent sunset.
02 Aug 2014
With rain falling at 10am and the ground very wet, a small group of us spent the morning in a garage cleaning and sharpening our loppers ready for future work parties.
23 July 2014
A very warm evening after a hot summer's day, fortunately the evening storms missed us. A small group cleared tree saplings from an area in the gully before relaxing in the area we had cleared with a couple of bottles of wine.
05 July 2014
The early morning light rain had mostly cleared by the time we started and by 11am it was very hot in the sunshine.
We split into two groups with the larger group tackling bracken where it is is spreading into areas of heather both at the end of the gully and above the steps from entrance E. The larger areas of bracken are strimmed by our Park Keeper. Cutting bracken at this time of year means that it regrows and this weakens the roots tubers resulting in less vigorous growth next year.
This group also removed gorse where it had appeared amongst the heather on the south facing slopes, without contol the gorse and bracken would spread and shade out the heather.
Meantime three of us pruned the hedge and tidied the raised bed at entrance C. This hedge has grown very well this year so that the view of the entrance had been obscured from the road and the entrance path was overshadowed.
Both groups came together for well earned coffee & biscuits after the session.
07 June 2014
The forecast thunderstorms mostly missed St George this morning but the ground was wet and slippery after overnight rain, so instead of our planned attack on the bracken a small group walked over the Hill clearing saplings from some of the flater areas of grassland.
22 May 2014
A huge thank you to 10 volunteers from Lloyds Bank who came to Troopers Hill for a volunteer work day on Thursday 22nd May.
A full report and photographs can be seen here.
03 May 2014
We continued the work we started last month in Sally's Glade.
05 April 2014
Cloudy but only one light shower as we cleared some of the bramble and saplings from Sally's Glade.
As we were finishing Good Gym Bristol arrived to give us a helping hand, so we were able to hand over our tools to them and watch them work as we had our well earned coffee and biscuits.
01 March 2014
After all the rain and wind of the last three months it was wonderful to be out on the hill in some spring sunshine.
While two people did some pruning of the hedge at the Greendown entrance the others followed the path parallel to Troopers Hill Rd taking out saplings and bramble from the heather and broom on the side of the path away from the road.
Most of the work was concentrated in the area about the steps up from entrance E. The cuttings were left in two yellow bags for our park keeper to take away later in the week.
With the work finished we sat in the sun enjoying our coffee and biscuits.
01 February 2014
With very wet ground and showers forecast we canceled this month's work party. In fact the showers failed to materialise, though there was a very cold wind, so a small group of us did a litter pick and also cleared some drainage channels to try and reduce the amount of mud on some of the paths.
04 January 2014
Due to the rain and very wet ground we decided we had to cancel this month's work party.
07 December 2013
As we assembled on a relatively mild morning, we were pleased to see balloons tied to the gate at our meeting point to mark 10 years since Friends of Troopers Hill was formed in December 2003.
Our task today was to complete the clearance of bramble and saplings from the area that we started on last month.
Having completed this area there was a real sense of achievement as we sat down for well earned coffee and biscuits.
02 November 2013
A breezy morning but only a couple of light showers so we were able to clear a lot of bramble and saplings from the area of broom to the left of the path up from the lower chimney.
05 October 2013
On a mild autumn morning with dry weather after a wet week we continued working in the areas that we started last month.
07 September 2013
While much of our work has been aimed at maintaining areas of broom scrub and preventing it from being over run by bramble; there are some areas of the Hill where we need to control the spread of broom into the heathland. It was one of these areas that we tackled at this mornings work party in compartment 8. The broom, bramble and saplings that we removed were placed in large bags for collection later by Bristol Parks. We also removed some saplings from the slopes above the nursery in compartment 9.
03 August 2013
On a sunny morning we started by putting up our new Green Flag, this followed the presentation of the 2013/14 award earlier in the week. You can read more on our Green Flag Page.
The main work focused on the areas of bracken at the Troopers Hill Rd end of the Gully. We cleared the bracken from the heather at the edges of the bracken patch, so that our 'Parkie' can follow up by strimming the main patch. We also cut several saplings and some bramble from the heather and bagged them up for Bristol Parks to collect. Two of our group also cleared the path edges on some of the paths through the woods.
17 July 2013
A very warm evening after a hot summers day. A small group cleared tree saplings from an area in the gully before relaxing on top of the Hill with a couple of bottles of wine.
06 July 2013
More work in Sally's Glade on a very hot and sunny day. For the first time for a long time we had to retreat to the more shaded areas.
01 Jun 2013
Back to Sally's Glade on a glorious warm sunny morning. Troopers Hill was looking at its best with the broom and hawthorn in full flower. We cleared a lot of bramble and saplings to help preserve this wonderful glade that is so important for the invertebrates that live on the Hill.
04 May 2013
Our regular May session in Sally's Glade clearing some of the bramble and saplings. The cold spring has delayed the broom from coming into flower this year but it was good to see that it is now coming out.
06 April 2013
After a very cold month it was relatively warm in the sunshine. We were again working along the path from the lower chimney, though avoiding the denser areas of scrub because of the possibility of nesting birds. We also cleared some rubbish from the bottom of the slope down to the nursery.
We were again pleased to welcome Good Gym Bristol to give us a boost towards the end of the session. As we were drinking coffee and eating biscuits after the hard work, the Good Gym members ran to the top of the Hill to look at the chimney before running back to their meeting point at Temple Meads.
02 March 2013
Back in the area we visited last month, we cleared some more bramble and from the other side of the path we removed a holm oak. At the same time a small group did a litter pick over the Hill and through the woods.
While we were working away a group from Good Gym Bristol ran to Troopers Hill from Temple Meads and then joined in to give us an extra boost or the last half hour or so. They cleared some bramble and cherry saplings from the right of the path.
The Good Gym team also moved some cut broom from the slopes above the nursery. This had been cut earlier in the week by the Woodland and Wildlife team from the Council, a task that they will continue this week.
While we were finishing our coffee and biscuits, the Good Gym gang ran off up the Hill to return to the centre of Bristol; a big thank you to them for their help.
02 February 2013
A sunny morning on Troopers Hill. The area in Compartment 9 (left of the steps leading up from the square chimney) has recovered well from the fire there in July 2010. Our Community Park Keeper did a lot of strimming of bramble there last week which allowed the volunteers to follow up his good work and get in amongst the new grown broom to cut out bramble and saplings.
05 January 2013
A cloudy but mild and dry morning and a relatively dry week had allowed the ground to dry out a bit so it was ideal conditions for continuing the work we started last month in Sally's Glade.
We were especially pleased to welcome three 'first timers'.
01 December 2012
On a sunny but frosty morning we were pleased to see as we assembled at Greendown that Bristol Parks had cut the hedge that we planted in January 2006. In previous years we have pruned the hedge at work parties but it has now reached a size where mechanical cutting is needed.
There were fantastic views from the top of the Hill as we walked over to Sally's Glade to clear some bramble and saplings. Our work here has been helped by a visit from Community Payback a couple of weeks before as part of our Stepping Forward Project. Their work included cutting some paths through the broom, this enabled us to get to some of the saplings in the middle of the area and will also act as firebreaks. The work meant removing some of the broom, but this was necessary to enable the rest of the broom to be protected.
03 November 2012
We were very lucky with the weather, the forecast showers all missed Bristol.
This was a work party of two parts, first we cleared some more gorse in the area we worked on last month. Then we moved to remove some bramble and saplings near the 'Goat Willow' waymarker.
The morning's activities were videoed by some second year students on a degree course at UWE.
06 October 2012
A glorious sunny October morning - the chocolate biscuits melted!
The morning's work focused on the gorse near the centre of the Hill. A large area of gorse was cleared by Community Payback in March and this is now regenerating well. Our task today was to remove new gorse plants (and one or two older ones that were left in March) that were growing around the edge of this area in the heather of the heathland.
The cut gorse was bagged and stacked to be removed by Bristol Parks on Monday.
01 September 2012
Ideal weather, dry with some bursts of sunshine. We continued the work in the broom above Sally's Glade and also removed some saplings from the grassland nearby. As we worked buzzards were circling overhead making their distinctive calls.
22 August 2012
Given that this has been a very wet summer we were very lucky to have another dry and sunny evening for our second evening work party. We cleared a lot of bramble and saplings (silver birch, oak & hawthorn) from the area of broom above Sally's Glade.
Once the tools were put away we enjoyed a chat and a few glasses of wine or beer.
04 August 2012
We were fortunate to miss the showers and even to have some sunshine. Work focused on the gully, removing saplings and bracken from the areas of heathland.
At the same time 'Trail Markers' were being installed in the woodland on 4th August by offenders on the ‘Community Payback’ scheme as part of our Stepping Forward Project.
25 July 2012
Three tasks for a very warm and sunny evening.
First we put up our new Green Flag.
Next we cleared some bracken from the heather at the entrance to the gully. This will allow our 'Parkie' Julian to avoid the heather when he next strims the bracken.
Lastly, having put the tools away we enjoyed some beer and wine sitting in the evening sunshine near the top of the Hill.
07 July 2012
Due to the very wet weather we had to cancel July's Saturday work party, but don't forget there is an evening work party planned on Wed 25th July at 7pm.
02 June 2012
Saturday of the Jubilee weekend saw us attacking the bracken at the top of the steps from entrance E. This is an area where the broom is doing very well after past efforts to clear bramble and bracken. We cleared the bracken from around the broom, leaving the larger areas for Jules, our park keeper, to strim next week. This work party was just at the right time – the bracken had grown quickly and plants underneath were still alive, like heath bedstraw, heather, broom and the the grasses that help make Troopers Hill so special.
05 May 2012
A smaller group than usual due to some of our regulars being on holiday (including Susan - whose coffee and tea making skills were sadly missed). With the broom giving a good show of its yellow flowers we were back in Sally's Glade clearing some of the bramble.
16 Apr 2012 - DEFRA Biodiversity Team
We were pleased to welcome volunteers from from the Biodiversity team at DEFRA who helped cut some saplings that were growing in the grassland and heathland. We also gave them a brief tour of the hill and talked about the site's history during a well deserved lunch break. A full report can be seen here.
07 Apr 2012
A cloudy but dry morning found us working at the west end of Sally's Glade. This is the area where the Community Payback team did some work last month.
There are some wonderfully shaped willow trees here, but around them lots of saplings had grown and were spreading into the broom along with bramble. Our aim is to let the broom establish itself in this area.
03 Mar 2012
Some early spring sunshine after some overnight rain and we were lucky enough to avoid the showers with the hail arriving just after we had enjoyed our coffee and biscuits.
We were pleased to welcome two new faces as we cleared bramble and saplings from the slope above the steps from entrance E. This is an area where broom is re-establishing itself after we have removed a lot of bramble over the last few years. The cuttings will be removed during the week using the gate that the payback team fitted last month.
At the same time a team of offenders on the ‘Community Payback’ scheme were clearing saplings and bamble from the west end of Sally's Glade near the top of the steps down into the woodland. This work is funded by the Big Lottery as pert of our Stepping Forward Project. Over the next two days the team will be removing some of the gorse above entrance E.
04 Feb 2012
After a very cold week, we were lucky to get this work party completed before the afternoon snow arrived. We cleared bramble and saplings from the edge of the heathland near Greendown. At the same time one of our members did a litter pick over the hill - as she does regularly between work parties.
While we were working near Greendown a team of offenders on the ‘Community Payback’ scheme installed a new gate post at the second entrance up the hill on Troopers Hill Rd. This gate will allow our park keeper easier access with tools and will also make it easier to remove cut bramble etc from the hill. This work is funded by the Big Lottery as pert of our Stepping Forward Project.
07 January 2012
After storms during the week, we were pleased to have a sunny spring like morning to prune the Greendown hedge that we planted in January 2006. There was a good turnout and we produced many more cuttings than last year for Bristol Parks to collect later in the week. One of our members also carried out a litter pick over the hill.
07 Dec 2011
A 'nice sunny morn' after a wet night. It was also mild, even feeling warm in the sunshine - a complete contrast to this time last year. We returned to complete the work we started last month, with a particular focus being the removal of some cherry saplings.
05 Nov 2011
After a wet couple of days it was good to see a dry and bright morning, it was also very mild. Today we tackled bramble and saplings in the area above the lower chimney that got burnt in Spriing 2010. There are a lot of new broom plants growing here and we hope to keep the bramble at bay to give them a chance to establish. A litter pick by a couple of the group found surprisingly few firework remains, but unfortunately we did recover the molten remains of another wheelie-bin.
01 Oct 2011
Bright sunshine on the warmest Saturday morning for a work party of the year had at least one of our regulars wishing for cloud and drizzle. We again spent the morning in Sally's Glade with two of our members completing a litter pick concentrating on Troopers Hill Field.
03 Sept 2011
Another morning working in Sally's Glade clearing bramble. We were very pleased to see two more new faces. We also cleared some isolated gorse that had appeared in the main area of bell heather on the south facing slopes and a small amount of litter from the top of the hill.
During coffee and biscuits we presented Oscar with a card for his tenth birthday and a certificate to thank him for completing 25 hours of work for us on Saturday mornings.
06 Aug 2011
A cloudy morning but dry apart from the occasional spot of rain. We continued the work in Sally's Glade that we were doing last month and also cleared saplings from the grassland area to the east of the glade. This is an area where trees were cleared in 2007 to recover an area of lost grassland.
02 July 2011
A hot sunny morning in Sally's Glade with the shaded areas being the most popular spaces to work. We cleared a lot of hawthorn saplings and low lying bramble. Two of the group also went on a sapling hunt in the grassland over the top of the hill.
4 June 2011
The weather was very sunny for the majority of the work party, an excellent start for the two new members. We cleared saplings and bramble from Sally's Glade which will allow the broom to spread and grow. Meanwhile two of the party were clearing bracken and brambles at the top of the steps which lead from Troopers Hill Road.
The showers began at 11.45 which signalled the end of the work party, however we spent the last few minutes tidying up and disposing of waste, this was followed by a well earned cup of tea on the flat section by the Green Flag.
26 May 2011
Following the loss of the work party on 7th May we agreed at our meeting that week to try an evening work party. Unfortunately the weather again wasn't great but the showers cleared so 8 of our regulars braved the wind and cleared some saplings from various parts of the hill.
Afterwards we relaxed in a sheltered hollow with a couple of glasses of wine.
07 May 2011
After over a month of almost unbroken dry weather in one of the driest springs on record, heavy rain on Saturday morning meant that unfortunately this work party had to be cancelled.
02 April 2011
The morning showers cleared in time for a small group to clear some scrub from the side of Sally's Glade. There are lots of green shoots but but with the sapplings not yet fully in leaf we were able to ensure that we did not disturb and nesting birds. We also completed a litter pick through the gully but had to leave the burnt remains of a wheelie bin for our park-keeper to remove next week. Our thanks to the residents that called the fire service and prevented this fire from spreading further.
05 March 2011
A dry morning with the occasional glimpse of the sun but a cold wind. With the dry ground we were able to work on the steep slopes above the steps from entrance E where the rain prevented us from working last month. A few years ago the bramble on these slopes had choked the broom but since we started regularly clearing the bramble the broom has regenerated.
We also removed bramble from the grassland around the area to the west of here leaving the thicker bramble to be cleared by our 'parkie'. Meanwhile two of the group cut some large saplings in the area of bracken towards the bottom of the slope and tackled bramble in another area of broom.
The coffee and biscuits afterwards were very welcome!
05 February 2011
A very blustery and showery day with the ground being very wet after overnight rain. The slippery ground conditions meant that we had to change our plans and work in a relatively flat area; so we cut back some of the bramble from the 'ant hill' area at the top of the hill between the path and the allotment fence.
08 January 2011
The hedge that we planted in January 2006 grew very well this year so we were pleased to have our best turnout for several months to help with the annual pruning. As in previous years the cuttings were placed in bags by the gate for our Park Keeper to take away next week. It was a cloudy start to the morning but the sun came out in time for well deserved coffe and biscuits at the end of the session.
04 December 2010
A low turnout on a cold morning with the threat of showers after a very cold week. We managed to clear a small amount of bramble and saplings from Sally's Glade before a heavy shower meant calling an early close.
06 November 2010
We were again lucky with a dry Saturday after a wet Friday. The rain had reduced the number of people celebrating the night before so there was less fireworks litter to collect than we expected. We cleared yet more bramble and saplings from the area of broom above Sally's Glade. Some of the group also helped Gynormous Rawkus set up for their kite making event.
02 October 2010
On a dry morning following a very wet Friday and before more rain forecast for Sunday we returned to clear more bramble from the area of broom above Sally's Glade. Two of the team repaired one of the steps on the 'DOE' path in Troopers Hill Woods before joining us in the bramble.
04 September 2010
The main focus for the day was bramble and saplings at the top of the area of broom above Sally's Glade. We also cleared some litter as we walked up over the hill, much of it from a party last night.
07 August 2010
A heavy shower at 10am reduced the turnout this morning and meant a late start but the rain stopped to allow five of our regulars to fix the new Green Flag to the flag pole. With the new flag flying we turned our attention to some saplings in the grassland and also cleared the small quantity of litter from the area of the hill around the chimney and adjacent to the allotments.
When Friends of Troopers Hill first started we spent a lot of time litter picking. Thanks to the help of our 'parkie' Julian; dog walkers who regularly clear litter in the mornings and everyone who uses the hill and takes their litter home, our litter pickers now have much less to do. The morning finished with coffee and biscuits on one of the benches near the chimney.
03 July 2010
Another warm summer morning, the main focus for today was bracken where it is spreading into areas of heather and broom. The bulk of the bracken is strimmed by our 'parkie' working for Bristol Parks, but we can remove the growth at the edges amongst the heather and broom. If the bracken is cut regularly during the growing season the root stock is weakened so that eventually it does not regrow. We also cut some saplings in the gully and cleared some litter from the hill and Troopers Hill Field.
05 June 2010
On a very warm morning the day's task was a sapling hunt. Working across the grassland starting from entrance E we cleared many oak and hawthorn saplings from the south west section of the hill. If these saplings are allowed to grow unchecked the grassland and heathland which is the most important habitat on Troopers Hill will be lost.
01 May 2010
It has become a tradition that for the May work party we head for Sally's Glade where the broom always looks good at this time of year with its yellow flowers. This year we removed lots of bramble and also some quite large saplings. There is more to do here so we may well return in June.
03 April 2010
Following Friday's morning rain that led to the Good Friday service being moved to the church we were pleased to be able to complete this work party before the rain came down again - the coffee and biscuits were served sitting in a car. We cleared lots of bramble from the area of broom by the steps from the lower chimney.
06 March 2010
Some welcome Spring sunshine but with a cold wind. We kept ourselves warm by clearing bramble from the steep slopes near the gorse at the top of the steps from entrance E. This is an area where a lot of bramble has been cleared by the Bristol Parks team over the last few weeks. We concentrated on clearing bramble from amongst the broom. The bramble was left in large bags by the fence for Bristol Parks to collect next week.
06 February 2010
The main focus for today was the pruning of the Greendown hedge that we had planted in January 2006. There is plenty of last year's mulch left and the thicker hedge is discouraging weed growth so we have decided that there is no need to mulch the hedge this year. After so many work parties over the last few months being impacted by the weather it was good to have a dry day, though there was a cold wind.
09 January 2010
This work party was cancelled due to the snow and ice.
05 December 2009
Something different for this month. We took part in a tree planting record attempt as part of the official opening of the new play area on Troopers Hill Field.
07 November 2009
This work party became a dash to get some daffodil and crocus bulbs planted on Troopers Hill Field before the forecast heavy showers arrived. The bulbs were planted on the bank alongside the track that leads across the Field either side of the red bench by the path into the woods. We were just planting the last of the bulbs when the first shower arrived at 10.45.
03 October 2009
Although five of our regulars braved the wet weather, further rain meant that we had to call a halt after only an hour of clearing saplings.
05 September 2009
In some morning sunshine we cleared several saplings from an area of grassland near Sally's Glade. We were fortunate to see a common lizard on some heather at the edge of the broom and there was also a green frog hopping around.
01 August 2009
Despite the forecast rain a small group turned up and took advantage of a dry spell to clear some bracken and saplings in the gully.
04 July 2009
This work party focused on areas of bracken where it was growing amongst the heather. Our resident parkie, Julian, has been cutting some of the large areas regularly and we are able to do our bit by covering areas where it needs to be cut or pulled by hand.
06 June 2009
Due to the morning's heavy rain this work party had to be cancelled.
02 May 2009
With the broom looking magnificent with its yellow flowers the main group, including our DoE pupils, did some more work in Sally's Glade. We also removed some cherry saplings from near the path to the lower stack and did a litter pick.
04 April 2009
Under warm spring sunshine we cleared some bramble and saplings in Sally's Glade. Our DoE pupils also carried out further work on the steps on the 'Doe' path on Good Friday and on the evening of 22 April.
07 March 2009
Having pruned the hedge last month, the main task for today was weeding and mulching. We also cut down a large holm oak sapling and cleared some bramble and other small saplings from near the path parallel to Troopers Hill Rd.
21 February 2009
This work party was postponed from the 7th February due to the snow and ice (see photos here). Two weeks later the contrast was amazing with a warm spring like day. Our main task was to prune the Greendown hedge which we had planted three years earlier.
10 January 2009
This was another very frosty morning at the end of a long spell of very cold weather. We completed the work we started last month clearing bramble from the area of broom.
06 December 2008
A cold but sunny morning, most of the group concentrated on the area of broom to the left of the path up from the lower chimney. We have worked in this area several times and have prevented it from becoming and area of just bramble. We also removed the old sign at the entrance from the Field following the installation of the new sign in October and cleared some bramble from the ant hill area at the top of the hill while we were there.
01 November 2008
A very cold but dry morning with the rain again holding off until we had finished. We continued clearing the bramble and some saplings from the area above the steps from Troopers Hill Road that we worked on last month. Our resident 'parkie' Julian had also cleared the large area of bracken here since last month.
04 October 2008
This Work Party marked exactly five years since our first litter pick which was organised by Sally Oldfield in October 2003.
06 September 2008
Although the rain stopped and there was even a brief burst of sunshine just before 10am the heavy overnight rain had left the hill too wet for us to work safely and therefore the Work Party was cancelled.
21 August 2008
A lovely evening – we sat on top of the hill setting the world to rights drinking coffee after doing a good bit of work tackling encroaching bramble and saplings from an area of ant-hills near the top.
02 August 2008
A cloudy morning but at least the showers had passed before our 10am start. Our first task was to put up the new 2008/9 Green Flag. We then moved into the gully to again cut bracken from the edges of areas where it is spreading into the heather and grassland and to cut some of the small saplings and bramble in the grassland areas.
17 July 2008
An enjoyable evening was spent first pruning the Greendown Hedge which has grown really well this year. Once this was complete we moved to the area of grassland near Sally's Glade.
05 July 2008
The forecast showers kept away and we even had some welcome sunshine. We split into two groups - the first removed ivy from the rock faces in the gully and then cleared some saplings, bracken and bramble from the surrounding area. Meanwhile the second group worked in Sally's Glade and the nearby grassland again clearing bramble and saplings.
25 June 2008
While Susan & Kit were working with the Scouts to prepare for the Trooping the Hill event on Saturday a group of us removed several small saplings and some bramble from the grassland and heathland below the chimney. We also cut a small channel at the side of the path to help reduce the erosion of the path that has been happening after heavy rain.
07 June 2008
A warm and sunny morning. One group cut bracken from the edges of two areas where it is spreading into the heather and grassland. Meanwhile a second group was clearing saplings including cherry and oak from beside the path from the lower chimney.
20 May 2008
A small group on this evening work party removed lots of small seedlings of holm oak, oak and silver birch from the sides of the gully.
03 May 2008
As has become traditional for our May Work Party the work focused on bramble and hawthorn scrub in Sally's Glade. There were also several Holm Oak saplings to remove. We were again joined by two students from UWE who got to explore the hill while doing a litter pick.
20 April 2008
A rather grey day for our second Sunday work party this year - but at least it was dry. This work party saw the conclusion of our Duke of Edinburgh's Award project to build steps on the path through Troopers Hill Woods.
The rest of the group cleared some bramble from the grassland near the entrance from Troopers Hill Field and then moved to the steep slopes above the nursery where we cleared some more Holm Oak and other saplings.
05 April 2008
While our DoE volunteers from John Cabot Academy continued their project to build steps on the path into Troopers Hill Woods; the rest of the group cut saplings and bramble from various areas on the hill. The areas cleared included the steep slopes above the nursery where there were many holm oak saplings. Since we are now in the bird nesting season we were careful to avoid dense areas of bramble.
01 March 2008
While our young DoE volunteers continued their project by building two steps on the path; the rest of the group started the session by spreading mulch along the Greendown hedge. As in previous years the mulch had been delivered on the previous day by Bristol Parks.
17 February 2008
This was the first of two Sunday afternoon work parties we have planned for this Spring. Most of us concentrated our efforts on the area of broom to the left of the path from the lower chimney that we had worked on in January. We also cut down a holm oak from the other side of the path and cleared some bramble from the stonecrop. The stonecrop is home to a small fly Phytomyza sedi and Troopers Hill is the only place in the UK that this fly has been found. Meanwhile the DoE project to clear the path from Troopers Hill Field to Troopers Hill Woods continued. Our young volunteers were lucky enough to be visted by a deer that came to see what they were doing.
2 February 2008
We were very pleased to be joined by two year-10 pupils from John Cabot Academy who are taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme and by two students from UWE. The main group concentrated on pruning and weeding the hedge at Greendown, we also planted some new holly and hawthorn to fill a gap that had appeared. At the top end of the hedge there was a lot of bramble to cut back.
12 January 2008
A bright and frosty morning after a very wet Friday. We started with the prize giving for our photo competition. We were very pleased that our young winners Harry and Amy were then able to join us on the work party. We concentrated our efforts on the area of broom to the left of the path from the lower chimney, this area is relatively flat so the wet ground wasn't so much of a problem.
01 December 2007Heavy showers after a lot of overnight rain meant that this month's work party had to be cancelled.
03 November 2007
Warm or even hot sunshine on a fabulous November morning. Two of the group did a quick check over the hill for litter before joining in with the rest of us in clearing the bramble re-growth from the area at the top of the steps leading from Entrance E. This is an area with old broom that had become completely choked with bramble. It was pleasing to see our efforts of last year being rewarded with new broom plants growing. As well as the bramble some oak saplings were also removed.
06 October 2007
With lots of our regulars (including our Chair) suffering from the various bugs that are going around there was only a small group this month, though it was pleasing to welcome a new face. We concentrated our efforts on clearing the bracken at the entrance to the Gully. Much of this bracken had been cut by Julian of Bristol Contract Services on his regular visits to the site with his strimmer. We were able to clear the remaining areas where the bracken was mixed with the heather using loppers. Now that the edge of the heather can be seen we hope to be able to keep next year's regrowth in check and to eventually eradicate the braken all together in accordance with the Management Plan.
01 September 2007
On a cloudy but warm morning we returned to Sally's glade to clear some more bramble and scrub. This time we concentrated on the lower part of the glade below the path.
04 & 16 August 2007
For both these work parties we returned again to work on bramble, hawthorn and oak scrub in Sally's Glade.
07 July 2007
A dry and sunny day after a very wet June saw us working in three areas. One group first flattened some bracken before moving on to remove some saplings including several holm oaks from the steep slopes above the nursery. Meanwhile a second group was clearing bramble and saplings including cherry from beside the path from the lower chimney. A particular aim of this group was to clear the stonecrop which is home to the small fly recorded as a 'first for GB' in last year's invertebrate report.
21 June 2007
A small group of us managed to miss the showers on a cloudy summer evening and clear some saplings from the north side of the gully.
02 June 2007
A warm sunny June morning meant that we were very grateful for the shade of the broom as we cut the regrowth of bramble from the area we cleared in the winter.
Mon 14 & 21 May 2007
Two evening work parties, the first bashing down some of the bracken in compartment 5 at the top of the steps from entrance E and the second cutting more bracken and saplings from areas of heathland.
Sat 05 May 2007
A smaller group than recently due to the clash with the Bank Holiday weekend but we were pleased to welcome two new faces. Over 60 people have now taken part in our Work Parties over the past three years, our thanks to all of you.
The work focused on bramble and hawthorn scrub in Sally's Glade which is in compartments 10 and 11 in the Management Plan. This is a wonderful spot to work at this time of year with the broom in flower.
Thur 26 April 2007
This was a trial to guage interest in evening work parties. We had a very enjoyable evening cutting bramble from wherre it was encroaching into an area of grassland with lots of anthills on the left of the path from Troopers Hill Field in Compartment 1.
14 April 2007
This month's work party was delayed by a week because of Easter. In previous Aprils we have carried out a 'Spring Clean'. We were very pleased that this was not necessary this year. A small group did some litter picking, but apart from a large duvet only two bags of rubbish were recovered. This is a real indication of the success of Friends of Troopers Hill and our friends in Bristol Parks in making Troopers Hill look more cared for and encouraging people to treat the site with the respect it deserves. Many thanks to every one who as helped especially all those dog walkers who pick up cans and bottles on their morning walks.
These photos show a second group cutting the bramble regrowth in the area we cleared over the winter. We also moved some of the bramble we cut previously so that Bristol Parks could remove it later.
A third group covered the site cutting holm oak saplings, they were pursued by a BBC film crew - watch out for 'Nature in Britain' in the autumn.
The photos also show the lizard we found and the whole group sitting in the unusually hot Spring sunshine enjoying coffee and biscuits afterwards.
Thanks must also go to Zoe from BTCV who came along to audit our Health & Safety procedures to ensure that we were working safely and in accordance with Bristol City Council's requirements.
The area where we cut the bramble is part of the area designated in the 2007 Management Plan as Compartment 5. The work we have done during the winter to remove bramble and saplings in this area is in accordance with the 'Work Guidelines' (section 7.1) for this compartment to remove competition with the heathland flora and to prevent scrub from maturing into woodland. These Work Guidlines summarise the work needed to achieve the Aims and Objectives for the site set out in section 7.2 of the plan. In particular our work helps to achieve aim 7.2.2 to conserve and where possible enhance the extent and quality of acidic grassland and heath habitats. The plan sets out objectives that will help to achieve the aims.
So that everyone can see how our work relates to the Management Plan we shall list the compartments where we have worked and the objectives that we have focused on under the reports for this and future work parties.
We were pleased to welcome 3 new faces on a bright sunny morning after very heavy overnight rain
03 Feb 2007
We continued with the work we were doing last week in both locations. At Gillian's Glade we have now cut a path through the bramble to connect with the paths in the wood - though it needs a bit more work to make it easily passable.
27 Jan 2007
As in December we split between two sites. On Troopers Hill Field more of "Gillian's" glade was cleared in front of one of the new benches funded through Akzo Nobel's Global Community Programme. Alan led the way with the slasher and loppers.
13 Jan 2007
The work party on 6th Jan was cancelled due to rain but we made up for it by holding an extra session on the following week.
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