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Website reveals fascinating history of the Stokes

Posted on Saturday 21st April 2018 at 10:06 pm by Laura Mortimore

The Green, Stoke Gifford.

Local resident Adrian Kerton has created a website documenting the history of Stoke Gifford and surrounding areas. The wide variety of information on his website offers readers a glimpse into the past, with some of the documents available to view dating as far back as the 13th century.

Photo of Adrian Kerton.

When Adrian moved to Stoke Gifford in 1985 to work for Hewlett-Packard at Wallscourt Farm, he was intrigued by the farmhouse and outbuildings. Having always been interested in historical buildings, he began to look into the history of Wallscourt Farm and discovered that it was previously called Starve-All-Farm. Delving into the history of Wallscourt piqued Adrian’s interest and marked the beginning of his journey into discovering the history of Stoke Gifford.

Describing how his interest in local history grew, Adrian said:

“When I retired I had some spare time to research the history of the farm and of Stoke Gifford where I lived. The research revealed histories written by Ros Broomhead, the daughter of one of the vicars of St Michaels, and the Rev D Evans, keen local historians. I was also very lucky to be introduced to Sharon Ubank who had created the Stokes Standard, a series of booklets documenting much of the history with residents’ interviews. It was then that I decided to create a website so the history of the village could be easily accessible.”

As Adrian furthered his research into the history of the local area, he went on air with Radio Bristol which led to a meeting with Mike Stanbrook who had studied Stoke Gifford for his master’s degree at UWE. He kindly let Adrian have a copy of his documents which helped to develop the website. Adrian then got in touch with residents living in the older properties within the village and was given plenty of family histories and old photographs to include on the website.

More: Origins of the place name ‘Stoke Gifford’ »

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Herd of goats helping to increase butterfly population

Posted on Thursday 5th April 2018 at 6:53 pm by Laura Mortimore

The seven goats grazing near Parkway station.

South Gloucestershire Council has teamed up with local community group Street Goat to enhance an area of grassland and encourage wildlife to flourish. The site, which is located behind the Park and Ride car park on Hunts Ground Road, near Bristol Parkway Station, is normally covered with brambles but is now being cleared as the goats eat their way through it.

Four goats were introduced to the patch of land in January and have been working their way through the brambles and shrubs in order to encourage more wildflowers to grow. The purpose of this project is to increase the population of the small blue butterfly (Cupido minimus), an insect which has been declining over recent years and is classified as a ‘priority species’ in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. This species of butterfly feeds solely on a wildflower called kidney vetch which grows at the site near the car park. With the goats clearing the brambles and shrubs, this makes way for more kidney vetch to grow which will then hopefully increase the numbers of small blue butterflies.

Kidney vetch is easily recognisable as clusters of small yellow flowers sitting atop little woolly cushions and the council will be able to see if the project has worked when the plants flower between June and September. To help speed up the process, four more goats have now been introduced onto the land, however, a female goat fell pregnant so she has been moved to join a herd of milking goats.  In total there are currently seven goats grazing in the area and creating space for the growth of the kidney vetch.

The goats are very friendly and members of the public are more than welcome to visit and feed them. If you would like to do so, it is asked that food given is placed in a bucket and not on the ground. They like to eat greens, such as:

  • Outer cabbage leaves
  • Kale
  • Brussels stalks
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot tops

More: Project follows similar one at Wick Golden Valley Nature Reserve »

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Lidl set to open in Stoke Gifford on 5th April

Posted on Tuesday 3rd April 2018 at 9:22 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the soon-to-open Lidl store.

Discount retailer Lidl has announced that it plans to open its new Stoke Gifford store this Thursday, 5th April.

Located within part of the former B&Q building at Fox Den Road [BS34 8SP], the store occupies a unit that sits between The Range and Poundstretcher.

Customers are invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8am and will be offered the chance to sample some of Lidl’s award winning products throughout the day, along with exclusive deals and offers on selected products for the first week of opening.

The new supermarket forms part of the company’s ongoing expansion and regeneration plans in the UK and has created 40 new jobs for the local community. The store features an in-store bakery, longer-style tills with dual packing, a customer toilet, baby changing facilities and ample parking for both cars and bicycles.

Lidl UK’s regional head of property, Glen Stidever, commented:

“We would like to thank all those who have played a part in bringing this new Lidl store to Stoke Gifford. It is great for us to be able to create more jobs and investment opportunities in the area, and we can’t wait to start serving our multi-award winning products to the local community.”

The prospect of a Lidl supermarket opening at the Fox Den Road site was first revealed by the Journal in September 2016, after the firm commissioned a report that was included with a planning application for subdivision of the former B&Q building.

More: New store expected to draw trade from Asda and Sainsbury’s »

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Stoke Gifford news round-up (March 2018)

Posted on Wednesday 28th March 2018 at 11:30 pm by Laura Mortimore

Stoke Gifford news round-up.

Heavy snow has caused disruption and school closures all across the Stokes this month but there are finally some signs that spring has sprung with bright yellow daffodils being spotted in gardens and public parks. See below for key dates throughout the school holidays and the rest of April.

St Michael’s Church

The church have been extremely busy this month, organising a range of activities for the local community, including; clay pigeon shooting, a board games evening and a Dad’s breakfast. The dedicated members of the church are continuing to organise events throughout April and May, please find details of these events below.

Next month’s Saturday breakfast is being held on 14th April in the Old School Rooms between 8.30am and 10am. For a suggested donation of £2 per person, you will receive a full English breakfast, along with toast, preserves, tea, coffee and orange juice. There will also be a guest speaker to give a short talk.

Also on the 14th April, a film quiz night has been organised at 7.30pm in The Old School Rooms. There will be film themed food along with popcorn, hot dogs and nachos, please take your own drinks. For this occasion, men are being asked to pay a £5 entrance fee, but the ladies are free. If you would like to attend, please let Rob know at

The City of Bristol Brass Band are performing a concert at the St Michael’s Centre on Saturday 19th May from 7pm-9pm, performing a mix of classical and modern music. Tickets are £8 per adult, £5 retired and under 16’s are free. Tickets are available to purchase from the church office leading up to the concert or on the door.

The coffee shop in the St Michael’s centre will be closed from 2.30pm on Thursday 29th March and will reopen at 9.30am on Monday 9th April. This is due to refurbishment work that is taking place.

More: Easter services. School news. Key dates for April »

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