8 December 2020 Minutes

River Trym and Hazel Brook Meeting 8/12/20

Attendance :

Clarie Miles (Sustainable Southmead), Frances Robertson (Friends of Badocks Wood), Alistair Backwell (Friends of Blaise), Alex Dunn (SusWoT), Tim Parkinson (Henbury Conservation Society), Heather Keats (Sea Mills and Coombe Dingle Climate Action Group), Liz Viggars (SusWot), Roger Moses (Friends of Badocks Wood)


Lydia Klimecki (Sea Mills and Coombe Dingle Together), Viki Kouzaris (Sustainable Southmead).  Mary Milton (Sea Mills and Coombe Dingle Together), Mary O’Connell (Bristol Parks), Chris Duffy (SusWot/Henbury), Nikki Jones (Avon Needs Trees), Jonothan Ashby (Westbury Wildlife Park)

Thank you all for coming and for your patience with my Zoom management, and thanks to Alex and Liz for hosting Breakout rooms too.

Highlights from the past year:

I have included summary notes from each discussion points, organised by group. Where more than one person was represented I have merged their points together. 

  • FOBW. 
    • Badock’s Wood has been well used. Although no usual activities this year, there has been spontaneous litter picking by individuals. 
    • Fundraising using Go Fund Me has been a success
  • SusWoT 
    • organising/supporting cleaning/balsam bashing activities along the whole length of the Trym and the Crow Lane Green Space around Hazel Brook 
    • adjusting to ever-changing lockdown regulations. 
    • Promoting regular activities with clear objectives (and low commitment levels) has attracted plenty of volunteers.
    • starting to improve the Websites may turn out to be the new thing that is a real step forward.
  • Sea Mills and Coombe Dingle Together:  
    • Have actually started doing things, regular fortnightly meetings, a regular newsletter to list of twenty, some activities including litter picking, Green Homes work presentation by a local expert.
    • Going along to a Himalayan Balsam bashing event in August which was informative and fun 
  • Henbury: 
    • Organisation has been moribund but they are open to working on the environment
  • Sustainable Southmead: 
    • Getting going as a new group.
    • Attracting local Meaders to events has been a highlight, and having such a good response to the tree planting consultation.

What are your Long Term Dreams?

There felt like a large degree of shared vision amongst the answers so I have amalgamated them here. 

  • Lots of people are dreaming of Trout in the Trym!
  • This includes: improving the water quality, and keeping it free from pollution, learning more about river ecology and existing wildlife (e.g. eels in Badocks Wood), and specific improvements (e.g. flood management/dams in Southmead, a pond near Hazel Brooke in Crow Lane Open Space).
  • Encouraging the local community to value the river, and be engaged in the river environment
  • All the groups on the Trym/Hazel Brook working together, sharing success, communicating effectively.

Practical goals for 2021:

Again, lots of these goals were shared so this is an amalgamated list. 

  • Improve the water quality: get rid of the rubbish (litter) and the Balsam
  • More survey work across the length of the Trym (wildlife, water quality etc)
  • Promote opportunities for people to get involved either with their favourite part of the river and/or their favourite tasks
  • Start talking about how to tackle the harder issues (e.g. tackling the tree canopy, improving the banks and bridges, engineering solutions for weirs, sewage etc) 
  • Keep developing relationships with potential funders – e.g. Wessex Water – and other local bodies (Universities, Parks, Bristol Nats, BART, AWT). 
  • Promoting the Trym/ Hazel Brook as a whole

As I have suggested in the email, perhaps we could each think about which of the 2021 goals we would like to take part in or co-ordinate on behalf of the group.  I know lots of people already have experience in particular areas and/or good relationships with local bodies which is fantastic and something we can capitalise on as a larger group.

I feel so excited and grateful to be part of something so positive, especially in the year we have just had. Merry Christmas everyone, and we will catch up in the New Year.