Residents Association Report No 96
Dear Friends and Neighbours,
We understand from Winterbourne Parish Council (WPC) that all the final agreements are now in place for the Voluntary Village Green and Nature Reserve to be handed over to the Parish. The end of a very long and winding road, going right back to the previous RUG campaign nearly 10 years ago, when FRA made sure that the 20 acres of green space came to the village in perpetuity. When completion takes place I think everyone involved will be seen dancing around the new space whatever the weather, such will be the relief at delivering this legacy for everyone who fought so hard for so long to preserve this wonderful space.
It is also incredible to see the change in mind-set from 2013 due to so much concern about the Climate Emergency and environmental priorities changing so dramatically.
So those whom we fought for the space to save it from development are now offering assistance and massive donations of trees and plants to enhance the biodiversity. By the time you read this we expect to be planning the planting of over 500 tree whips and plants donated by the NHS and Woodland Trust. It really feels as if we are succeeding in making this space one to be proud of now that we can plan ahead for future generations.
WPC has now also launched its Local Nature Action Plan (LNAP) which will prioritise projects such as enhancing the biodiversity in Tuckett Field, where a specific WECA Bee-Bold Pollinator grant has been applied for by WPC who own and maintain this land.
Much more to follow on this, all local interest groups will have the opportunity to support this project leading up to the Centenary of its gifting to Frenchay Residents by the Tuckett family which falls in 2028.
We are conscious that with Covid problems still evident, getting everyone crammed into the Village Hall to sit down together might still not be considered ideal. Consequently, we are looking for a venue with more space and height. We also feel that after nearly three years an ‘open evening’ for FRA and other Frenchay interest groups like the Preservation Society and Tuckett Society for example, would be better to give residents the chance to catch up with what we are all doing collectively for Frenchay. This is particularly important for new Frenchay Park residents and residents new to Frenchay.
We have been offered the new school hall for such an evening and are working currently on a suitable date as the new school settles in. We are hoping that this can take place before the end of November and will confirm the details as soon as possible.
Christmas Carols on the Common
We have set a date for Monday 19th December starting at 6.30pm, same format as last year with us all gathering on the common opposite the Parish Church. This year we feel it is safe to try and offer some refreshments and festive offerings to keep everyone warm and happy, so if you are involved with or know of local voluntary groups that would like to provide refreshments at reasonable cost please contact us. We are thinking of hot drinks, soup, cake and mince pies for example. These can help local groups to raise funds for their own activities and we would very much like to support our local community in this way.
Nature Reserve Pond
At the moment we are waiting for BAM to add more clay to the upper slopes and help provide the structures around the pond so it is safe and available to be used by the new school. Understandably, BAM have been distracted as they race to get the new school open, but we have their pledge to see this project to completion.
A shout out for more help on the ground with this project from residents and DofE students will be coming out very soon, it has been so enjoyable getting hands dirty together.
Work to tidy up before the winter was undertaken by our dedicated team of volunteers on Sunday 23 October, we are now planning the power supply and aeration system as described in October’s FCN update.
The really good news, after some tenacious persuasion, is that Wessex Water have confirmed their Watermark Grant of £500 to the project, a presentation will happen soon.
Unfortunately the turmoil of Covid has led to delays in pulling this all together, but great deeds are wrought not by strength, but by perseverance!
New Path to School
Considerable pressure has been put on our SGC councillors to get this underway ASAP, some planning notes on the SGC portal suggest Redrow plan to complete this by Easter. As the new school is open this is simply not good enough now that the wall work is complete.
There are a number of issues on which it is very important that SGC makes, and implements, certain decisions. Above all, the development of some form of health and social care facility on the dedicated 6 acres of land next to BIRU. Other matters include use of the vacated former primary school site, hopefully, to include a much needed nursery, and other local amenities, removal of the Beckspool Road build outs and the Hambrook traffic light system.
We very much hope that SGC will find time to deal with these matters in the near future, thus demonstrating that these issues really matter to them for Frenchay residents?
Saturday 8th October saw the successful introduction of 400 ‘plug plants’ into the Frenchay Hill embankment, this is an existing ‘wild no mow’ area and the plants are specifically chosen for that steep shallow soil bank to compliment DofE student work done in summer 2021. This work extended to some of the area by the new village hall wall and disabled access gate, where crocus bulb planting and grass/wild flower mix seeding has now taken place. For the bulb planting this is being done as part of a weekly community service bronze project by one of our DofE students with their parents. Many thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers who have got their hands dirty with us on these projects.
As part of all of this community activity, FRA are setting up a specific parent contact group for DofE students as we now have a growing group of students where projects can provide community service opportunities. If you wish to register for this group with your children/young adults please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been asked by some residents about our police support locally where non emergency contact is needed with local police support is needed, something Jackie and her team used to undertake before services were reorganised.
So at Winterbourne Police Offices we have PCSO Sam Norster:
Tel 07545 649602
We understand that PCSO Bianca Rotariu does Frenchay Village duties:
From a recently attended Community Engagement Forum meeting FRA understand that Bianca is now re-establishing a cohesive Neighbourhood Watch group for Frenchay.
Thank you all for your engagement and continuing support in Frenchay’s Best Interests.
Adrian Collins (Chair - FRA)