Bishop’s Knoll Volunteer (Covid) Newsletter 59 July 2020
Having had over 4 inches of rain in June our concerns that some of our newer apple trees in the beehive area were under stress are now over. Everything is looking very green and healthy. Our leaflets continue to fly out of the boxes – 315 information leaflets and 105 membership leaflets were taken in June compared with 135 and 10 in June 2018. Thanks to Jenny, Peter and David for keeping the boxes topped up. This increase in footfall seems to have been experienced in other WT woods. Fortunately, even with many of the WT HQ staff on furlough getting new stocks of leaflets went very smoothly though we will soon need more!
Some of you will know that the long awaited grant application for restoration of the hard structures in the wood got put in by the Trust last year and was successful. This is very fortunate since all Woodland Trust budgets have recently been cut which would have restricted Joe’s planned programme of work for Bishop’s Knoll. As it is Nick, who has did some excellent work earlier this year, is now back restoring more of the retaining walls on Terrace 4/5.
Some of Nick’s earlier work (Stonesthrow – http://stonesthrow.eu/)
This is an area we hope to open to the public, if not this year then early next year.
More history comes to light
The remarkable new photographs provided by Andy Lewis recently, one of which was included in last month’s Newsletter have revealed a “new” block we didn’t know about built on Terrace 4 below the Gardener’s Cottage. This could have been added when the house became the BAC Apprentice School or might have been part of the changes made accommodate some aspect of the Preliminary Nursing School’s
when the Bristol and Weston Health Authority took over ownership in 1948 as it was not there in 1946. The planning applications granted by the Bristol Planning Office do not include any new buildings but record the following in 1948
Extension & conversion of outhouses to provide sleeping accommodation”
Ref 48/ 00120/U_U;
Alterations to outhouses Ref 48/00232/U_U;
New drainage system Ref 48/ 00232/U_U.
The “For Sale” sign in the picture above is where Chris had been working recently and to the right of this is the section is the wall Nick is working on at the moment i.e. behind the single story building. The gate post on the extreme left of the picture is where we now have our padlocked gate to the upper terraces. This picture also shows that the Gazebo once had castellations and also the design of the now ruined steps behind it.
Sadly a few bags of poop have recently appeared– perhaps a sign of new dog walkers who have not visited us before!
The Bridleway leaflet box has again suffered and has been replaced. This time it was due to wear and tear rather than vandalism. Some of our original volunteers will remember that in the early days, during an interregnum when we had no local Woodland Trust Officer, your committee decided to produce their own leaflets and leaflet boxes there being neither in the wood at this time. In due course the Trust produced the present leaflet based on what we had put together but our own wooden boxes were condemned and most were replaced by the present plastic ones. One box though escaped this cull and continues to give good service on the tunnel gate!
Vandalism 2018 … Wear and tear 2020…… and still going strong!
It looks as if we might be getting our BK bronze badger and WW1 crutches soon!
The usual early summer strimming has been carried out by the contractors. It has been expertly done and none of the new trees have been damaged. There are one or two empty tree guards but the rest are growing very well, particularly the Field Maples some of which are now over 2 metres tall!
The Bramble Lane entrance post strimming
News from the Botanic Garden
A lime tree in the Botanic Garden has been removed and carefully destroyed having been a rare example of an infestation by the Acute Oak Decline bacterium.
The garden has also recently taken delivery of a Sorbus X robertsonii. This hybrid is one of 16 found only in the Gorge and was displaced and recovered by the Garden after a rockfall near the bottom of Bridge Valley Road. When this is soundly established they hope to propagate it by layering and then plant some of these in safe places in the Gorge. It occcurs to your Committee that as we have an arboretum, as yet with a complete absence of any Bristol Whitebeams, we might try to acquire one of these and maybe the more common Sorbus Bristoliensis
Future Working Parties
We still do not know when working parties will be resumed by the Trust but will let you know as soon as they are.
Thank you to Chris for this news letter.
since writing the news letter the Woodland trust has made the decision:-
We have received confirmation that we should not be putting leaflets out in our woods.
The guidance is that we shouldn’t have any paper handling at all which is unsupervised and controlled in some way