Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

A Stockwood Miscellany

Time to catch up.....

Residents of Harden Road will welcome the reports that we'll 'soon' be getting the long-promised kerbside recycling service for plastics. The inadequate bin behind the Co-op does get overfilled, or more often just littered by people who can't be bothered to actually put stuff into it.

Meanwhile, across Hollway Road, Leadbitters, the contractors for the new Chestnut Court complex, have put in their own fairly comprehensive recycling bank. It's only a few large bins set behind slots in the site fencing, but it's a welcome addition to Stockwood's barely existent recycling facilities. The same contractors have offered to provide a recycling centre at the completed site, too.

Down at the Orchard.....
Looks like we can expect a good harvest from the 'official' fruits of the orchard on the Open Space (some 'unofficial' crops of nettles, elderflowers and plums have already been put to good use). A recent count of the trees along the informal path north of the new picnic table (thanks, FoSOS, Parks, and the Neighbourhood Partnership) found fifty apples, four pears and a plum; and there are plenty more in the uncharted scrublands to the east of that.
In October, Friends of Stockwood Open Spaces expect to bring in an apple press to make the most of it. If enough people help organise the day, it could be our own Oktoberfest.

Stockwood Green School buildings

.... are not to become the community resource that we'd hoped for. Instead, from September, they're the new home for the Whitehouse Centre, a 'pupil referral centre' which is moving from inadequate premises over in Hartcliffe. It's a short stay unit for pupils who haven't coped with mainstream schooling (or vice versa), who'll be bussed to and from the new unit each day.
A new head teacher and staff are keen to build good relationships with the Stockwood community. The Evening Post quotes the acting head: "We will be able to make extensive use of the tranquil grounds and hope to create a kitchen garden and outside space which would benefit from community involvement." A good oportunity for allotmenteers! "I'd also welcome any local people who would like to take an active role in our management committee." . Looks like there'll still be opportunities for community use of the buildings in the evenings, too.

Local Food Project
It looks like the Whitehouse Centre and the two primary schools will be leading the way with initiatives to put local food on the table, and maybe in the shops. It coincides with members of the Neighbourhood Partnership actively encouraging the use of public sites to grow food to share - one of the first signs of that will be planters/raised beds in public places. There's also whatever we can gather from the orchard and the sprinkling of fruit and nut trees around the ward. But in the end it's people power that's the key.

Nice to see this bit of thriving guerrilla gardening alongside Chatterton's house on Redcliffe Way. All the more so on such a busy public site that must be vulnerable to vandalism. Presumably the work of the people occupying (and looking after) the long-neglected building?

High Growth Investments?
One initiative that doesn't tick the right boxes is the arrival of hanging baskets around the Stockwood shops. They're absurdly high up, and ridiculously awkward to maintain and water. Fail.

Write your own news....

The badly revamped Evening Post website makes it possible to dream up your own news story and present it as fact on the main news pages.
I was briefly delighted to see the announcement that the 55 bus (Stockwood via Wells Road) is to be restored. Until it turned out to be a bit of mischief from an anonymous contributor to their 'forum' pages, elevated to the news page because it attracted comments.
The fiction seems to be a response to improvements made to bus stops along Wells Road - which are, I guess, more to do with introducing a 'showcase' route between Bristol, Midsomer Norton and Radstock. That won't be before time, though you have to wonder what it will do to the Wells/Street service.

and thinking of buses....

What an asset Alan Peters' A-bus service is! Cheap, but never predictable.
(and, added a day later)
Work should be starting (at last) on the upgraded BMX track behind the Whittock Road allotments tomorrow (Monday).

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