Open Spaces in Downend and Bromley Heath
The Open Spaces in our Parish are owned by South Gloucestershire Council but the Parish Council works very hard to support local people to enable them to share in the management of these spaces. The Parish Council has responsibility for parks, footpaths, dog bins and litter bins.
The Skate Park at Bromley Heath Playing Field
- The Skate Park was set up in 2004 through the hard work of a group of local young people called the Bromley Heath Recreational Action Group (BHRAG). They worked with South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and the Parish Council and raised grants to install the equipment. The site can be accessed from the playing fields off Queensholm Crescent in Bromley Heath or from the cycle track alongside the A4174 Ring Road.
- The Parish Council leases this site from SGC and pay for maintenance and to have the equipment safety checked. It was painted in the summer of 2008 and 2018 and has had an extra litter bin installed to try to reduce the litter problem at the site.
- It is generally a very well used resource, well positioned and much enjoyed.
- Bromley Heath Park, off Queensholm Crescent, has an active Friends Group. The playing fields and pavilion are owned by South Gloucestershire Council but managed and maintained under a Licence and Lease by Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council.
- The previous Friends Group helped to get the play equipment improved and is to be congratulated on raising money for the new kick about football area. It has been well used from the day it was put in. Some trees have also been planted around the Children’s Play Area.
- The Friends have improved accessibility of the park from the cycle track by putting in a sloping path to replace the steep steps. This was funded by a Lottery Grant.
- A survey was carried out by the Friends group to see what residents would like in the area. As a result, a picnic table has been funded by the Parish Council and installed near the play area. A concrete table tennis table has also been funded by D&BH PC. Two signs, again paid for by the Parish Council, have been installed showing the entrance into the playing fields, which was also a feature in the survey. The Parish Council has recently paid for repairs to the footpath through the park, including an additional path from the car park to the childrens play area.
- Some new combined litter/dog bins have been installed by D&BH PC including a recycling unit at car park entrance.
- Leap Valley is a hidden Open Space off Badminton Road. There is a Children’s Play Area which was installed in 2013 with funding from the Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Council. It s particularly suitable for under 7 year olds.
- The best ways to access the valley are by the footpath off Badminton Road just beyond the Methodist Church, from Aintree Drive or Beverley Avenue on the David Wilson Estate or from Fouracre Crescent via Bury Hill View.
- It is a Site of Special Conservation Interest. There is woodland, grassland, a stream, a pond and a wetland. It is owned by South Gloucestershire Council and managed with the help of the Friends of Leap Valley. The Friends have workdays and can often be seen on a Monday morning busy with maintenance tasks.
- The Friends published a Nature Journal some years ago and this has a map of the site. It can be found at http://www.simplesite.com/friendsofleapvalley . The Nature Journal also gives information about the habitats and wildlife to be found there through the seasons and lots of activities for children to get involved with. Several schools use the site regularly for Forest Schools type work.
- Wildlife includes otters, foxes, badgers and 100 different types of bird have been recorded in or flying over the valley. In the summer it is alive with bees, butterflies and dragonflies.
- In Autumn 2018 Bristol Buglife and South Glos. Council arranged for a large area on the Bury Hill view side to be rotivated and sown with a wild flower mix. Spring and summer 2019 saw a mass of colour from wildflowers and a very obvious buzzing from bees and fluttering of butterflies. As the years go on more perennial wildflowers should also establish themselves.
- The wildflower meadow sits below the Community Orchard. This was planted some years ago by children from Bromley Heath Junior School and has been added to by the Friends and by the Bromley Heath Cider Consortium. There are now over 30 fruit trees there and in the valley.
- For more information visit the website www.simplesite/friendsofleapvalley or contact Mary Lewis email@example.com or check out the noticeboard on site.
Lincombe Barn Park and Woods
- This open space can be accessed from Lincombe Barn car park off Rockland Road.
- There is an enthusiastic Friends Group helping to manage this site – visit their website, Facebook or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- They have held Bat Walks attended by 50 people and the bats turned up on cue! They have had an Autumn Clean and a Spring Clean and spent a morning clearing brambles and planting young hazel whips. They have also held a Dawn Chorus Walk and 2 Fungus Forays.
- They are working on access issues and had a new path put in to get down to the board walk. They have high hopes of further access work. They have also installed 3 seats.
- They have a Management Plan produced for the woods, giving guidance for future maintenance of the area to enhance it for the benefit of wildlife and local people.
- The Parish Council put in a notice board at Lincombe Barn which can be used by the Friends, the Barn and the Parish Council.
- The children’s play area was replaced in 2011 as part of the second year of the SGC Playbuilder Government Grant after working with local children and parents on what they would like to see there.
- The Mud Pie Explorers, a fun environment group for children, meets in the woods once a month. For further information, contact Nickie on 07753 636705 or visit their website www.mud-pies.co.uk. Click here to see forthcoming events with the Explorers.
- Five years hard work and patience by The Friends of Lincombe Barn Park & Woods was finally realised when the official opening of the Jubilee Walkway through the woods to Frenchay Bridge took place. The work was funded by South Gloucestershire Council and Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council.
- The Friends Group now have a website and a Facebook page.
King George V Playing Field & Badminton Road Playing Field
- These playing fields which lie between Westerleigh Road and Sutherland Avenue are owned by South Gloucestershire Council but maintained under Licence by the Parish Council. The Parish Council is responsible for all the mowing and maintaining the pitches for football and cricket, for the Pavilion at the Sutherland Avenue entrance and for the litter/dog bins. South Glos. Council are responsible for the maintenance of the play and exercise equipment and all trees.
- Both playing fields are very well used for sport, recreation, play and dog walking.
- The Friends of George V and Badminton Road Playing Fields work with and support the Parish Council. They have a Facebook page and can also be contacted by email email@example.com.
- The fenced Play area is designated as a Queen Elizabeth Field in Trust. The Friends and Parish Council have raised money in recent years for new play equipment, especially accessible play equipment such as the roundabout and wooden climbing frame. Trampolines and other equipment are also very popular. There is further play equipment at the Westerleigh Road end which includes a zip wire, basket swing, table tennis table, monkey bars etc.
- The Friends worked hard during 2017-19 on their Trees for the Future Project and, with the help of the Parish Council and South Glos. Council, they raised money to plant 50 new trees in the park. Some of the old trees there date from when the playing fields were part of the Cleeve Lodge Estate and so it is important to plant for the future. The new trees include lots with interesting spring blossom and autumn colour. The Friends have also planted lots of bulbs so that there is colour from daffodils and crocus in the Spring and planted wildflower beds for summer colour.
- The Parish Council has put in signs at all of the parks entrances. They have installed some new seats and have replaced all the litter and dog bins with uniform new dual use ones. There are also recycling bins at the main entrances.
- The ongoing major project is the replacement of the Sports Pavilion with a new one. This is a huge and exciting undertaking which will replace very outdated facilities with modern ones.For more information about the Friends of George V, check their Facebook page for further updates or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hill House Park
This park is the old playing field that belonged to Downend Lower School site situated off Hill House Road, behind the Willow Surgery. An access gate has been installed and a line of trees have been planted with a view to the future when the present row of trees become old and diseased. A Friends Group has been formed who are working with D&BH Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Council on future plans for the park.
For those of you who have never visited this South Gloucestershire Council open space you can access it using a kissing gate from the cycle track on Bromley Heath Road at the Ring Road roundabout. In consultation with the local residents, South Gloucestershire Council cleared the quarry area and installed some steps to make it easier for dog walkers to use a sloping path in muddy weather. It is a well used open space and leads down to the River Frome. You cannot access the Frome Valley Walkway from this side of the river but if you carry on along the Ring Road, over the bridge in the direction of the Hambrook traffic lights, you will find a steep stepped path on your left hand side leading down to the walkway. If you would like to take a longer walk from Bromley Heath on the Frome Valley Walkway have a look at the Community Walks section of this website (Bromley Heath Walk). There are five walks from other open spaces in the Parish too.
Over recent years, Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council has been focusing on paths not recorded on the Definitive Map nor on the List of Streets within this area and have been putting together applications to get these added, so they will not be lost.
In June 2009, the long process began to add the first path, Farm Road to George V, to the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way for South Gloucestershire. The application made was based on both user and documentary evidence. Thirteen user evidence forms were sent to the District Council stating frequent use spanning from 1960 to the present day. This is now on the Definitive Map.
Applications have also been processed for the footpath between Oakdale Court and Heath Court, Four Acre Avenue to Badminton Road, Baugh Gardens to Fouracre Crescent, Croomes Hill to Overndale Road through Britannia Woods and Sutherland Avenue through to Westerleigh Road via Kimberley Close.
We have succeeded in getting the resurfacing of some paths, such as the ones between Badminton Road and Oakdale Court and between Badminton Road and Fouracre Crescent.
The bridle path is monitored by the Parish Council and also local residents using this thoroughfare.
Under the new South Gloucestershire Council Localism arrangements, Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council has chosen to continue to maintain all the dog bins in the parish. Dog waste can be put into dog bins, litter bins or black wheeled bins at home so some rationalisation has taken place to ensure that all dog bins are being used well enough to merit the ongoing maintenance cost.
A dual purpose dog/litter bin has been placed in Christchurch Lane, which can be accessed by children coming out of Christchurch School, in addition to users of the Medical Centre and anyone else passing. The installation of the bin has been very much appreciated and will help considerably with litter and dog waste. The bin was requested by local residents and the Parish Council facilitated all the arrangements for its installation.
- At the request of local residents we have put bins at the end of Oakdale Walk, on the path between Badminton Road and Fouracre Crescent and on the path from Queensholm Crescent to the Cycle track. We continue to maintain other bins at Quakers Road, Fouracre Road, Co-Op car park and North Street.
- Several other locations are being monitored and we welcome suggestions from members of the public about where bins are needed. However it does cost over £400 to install a litter bin and £160 a year to have it emptied!
The Litter Busters team of volunteers was established in May 2012. We have had many successful litter picks in the Parish and enjoy regular meet-ups. If you are passionate about picking up litter and would like to join our group, then please contact the Parish Clerk. All equipment is provided.
Downend & Bromley Heath In Bloom
A band of volunteers plant up the various containers throughout Downend & Bromley Heath, in addition to all the hanging baskets and generally any floral displays you see in Downend or Bromley Heath! Donations are provided annually by the Parish Council, who are very grateful for the help and co-operation received from the shop keepers and businesses in Downend.
Easy Access Trails
The Easy Access Trails booklet, part two, is available to download from the South Gloucestershire Council website. This includes circular walks around Alveston, Charfield, Downend & Bromley Heath, Marshfield, Pilning & Severn Beach, Siston, Stoke Gifford, Thornbury, Wick & Abson and Wickwar.
The Parish Access Trails have been brought about by a publicly funded project through which Parish Councils were given the opportunity to create an easily accessible circular walk in their parish that reflects the character and heritage of the area. The main focus of the trails is to remove physical barriers such as stiles and replace them with kissing gates and hand gates to allow a larger user group to enjoy the countryside.
To view the walk through Downend & Bromley Heath, click on the link below.