Bramble-munching goats return to Parkway

Posted on Wednesday 9th October 2019 at 8:48 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of goats grazing on brambles at Parkway Park & Ride.

A herd of goats, that were until recently munching their way through brambles around the old gun emplacements on Purdown (Stoke Park), has taken up residence at a site near Bristol Parkway railway station.

The animals, managed by community urban farming group Street Goat, have returned to scrubland alongside the Parkway Park & Ride facility in Hunts Ground Road.

They are being deployed as part of a ‘conservation grazing’ initiative which aims to restore grassland and encourage the growth of wildflowers on sites that are important for wildlife.

The aim of the grazing at Parkway is to increase the population of the small blue butterfly (cupido minimus), which 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 this location.

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.

As previously reported, Street Goat first introduced goats to the Parkway site in January 2018. They were subsequently transferred to Goblin Coombe in the spring but made a second visit to Parkway in the summer.

The goats are very friendly and members of the public are more than welcome to visit them, although Street Goat requests that you don’t feed them as they have sufficient natural food to keep them healthy.

The animals are expected to be at the Parkway Park & Ride site until December or January.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer goat herder, which involves helping to monitor the goats and reporting any issues to Street Goat, is invited to get in touch via their website: www.streetgoat.co.uk

More: View our map showing the area that the goats are grazing »

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Visibility screens installed at roundabout

Posted on Monday 7th October 2019 at 6:35 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a visibility screen in the central reservation of the B4057 Winterbourne Road.

If you’ve noticed these green boards recently appear at the Winterbourne Road / Hatchet Road roundabout and wondered what they’re for, here’s an explanation from South Gloucestershire Council, reproduced from a notice displayed on parish council noticeboards around Stoke Gifford.

Background

Collision records show that there is an issue with vehicles on the B4057 over-running give way lines at Hatchet Road roundabout and colliding with vehicles on the circulatory carriageway.

Funding has been prioritised to address this issue by providing visibility screens on the B4057 approaches, to reduce vehicle approach speeds.

Purpose of the scheme

The purpose of the scheme is to reduce the number of collisions occurring, by reducing vehicle speeds on the B4057 approaches. Currently, the very good visibility on the approach to the roundabout means that drivers can make a very early decision as to whether to enter the roundabout or not; consequently, these drivers do not reduce speed significantly, and some misjudge their entry leading to a collision. The provision of screens which reduce forward visibility forces drivers to slow down and wait until they approach the give way line, where they regain visibility, to make a decision on whether to enter the roundabout or not. Such installations have been successful in reducing collisions at similar sites (including A4174 Wraxall Road, in South Gloucestershire).

Proposed scheme

It is proposed to introduce visibility screens on both B4057 approaches to the roundabout. The screens will be dark green in colour and approximately 1.8 metres in height.

Photo: Visibility screen now installed in the central reservation of the B4057 Winterbourne Road on the westbound approach to the Hatchet Road roundabout.

More information and related links

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 12). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Latest on Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge works

Posted on Saturday 5th October 2019 at 8:21 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of three-way traffic lights in operation during September 2019.

Work around the Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge has intensified in recent weeks after the main construction period for the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) began in early August.

Activity close to the bridge has focused on clearing trees and shrubs to permit access to locations where excavation and pile driving needs to take place in order to create load-bearing foundations for the replacement bridge (see visualisation below).

As planned, three-way temporary traffic lights have been in operation at the bridge during off-peak times only since Monday 2nd September. These have sometimes caused long tailbacks along Gipsy Patch Lane, although it has been observed that the one-way flow under the bridge has meant that queues disperse quickly during the ‘green’ phases.

The temporary lights were supposed to be in place for two weeks before being replaced by the intermittent use of stop/go boards, however, it was announced in mid-September that the lights would be needed for at least a further week. The extension was said to be needed to “enable additional work to lower a utility cable”.

An eight-month full closure of Gipsy Patch Lane remains on the cards for early next year, either side of a 12-day closure of the railway line over Easter during which the existing bridge will be dismantled and its much wider replacement moved into place.

The precise dates of the full closure have not been announced, but information on roadworks.org suggests that it will commence on 5th March.

More: Uncertainty over traffic management plans; What happens next? »

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Little Stoke Garden Society annual show 2019

Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2019 at 10:00 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of some of the cup winners.

The 44th annual show of Little Stoke Garden Society, held in the community hall on Saturday 31st August, had lots of interesting entries this year – from pumpkins to pictures, writes secretary Janice Szczelkun.

We have had strange weather conditions this year, first with the considerable heat wave and then the rain. Very challenging for us growers!

Homecraft and handicraft were well received – the Stokes area seems to be well populated with crafters and cooks!

We would love to have more entries next year, especially from the children. I am sure there are lots of grandparents out there who remember creating miniature gardens…

The show has many categories, open to adults and children: vegetables, fruit, flowers, homecraft, handicraft and photography, with cups awarded for the best. Entries are assessed by experienced, external judges – so there is no favouritism.

Judging takes place in the morning, and the awards ceremony is held at the end of the afternoon. Cups, to be held for one year, were presented by Rev Paul Hinckley, vicar of the parish of Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke.

We would like to thank everyone who worked hard over the weekend to make this year’s show another successful event.

More photos and list of cup winners »

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