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Troopers Hill is a picturesque space overlooking the River Avon. The reserve also offers fantastic views over Bristol. It is a unique area of acid grassland and heathland, providing a habitat and food source for many species of wildlife. Troopers Hill has won the prestigious Green Flag Award every year since 2007, a recognition and reward for being one of the best green spaces in the country.
Troopers Hill is situated in St George, east Bristol, between the A431 Air Balloon Road and Crews Hole Road. These roads are linked by Troopers Hill Road, from which there are four pedestrian entrances on to the site. You can also cross Troopers Hill Field from Summerhill Terrace and Malvern Road (best for wheelchair access) to reach the hill (BS5 8XX).
There is no car park at Troopers Hill, car parking is available on the adjacent residential roads. Please park with consideration for local residents. Parking on Malvern Road provides the easiest access for those with limited mobility. The hill has a wheelchair accessible path at the top of the hill but the rest of the paths are unsurfaced and there are some sections of steep steps. By accessing the site from Malvern Road, you can reach the top of the hill by avoiding a steep climb. Beware of steep cliff edges.
Troopers Hill is open all year round.
There are no public toilets at Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve. The nearest public toilet is at St George Park, Church Road (junction with Chalks Road).
- Look out for common lizards emerging from hibernation.
- Spot the white blossoms on the hawthorn.
- Listen to the increased level of bird song as the birds start to nest and breed.
- Watch the pussy willow (salix caprea) buds turn golden yellow with sprouting stamens covered in pollen.
- Look out for the delicate white flowers of heath bedstraw lying in mounds around the hill.
- Watch out for heron flying over the hill from the river, carrying food for their young.
- Listen to the clouds of crickets and grasshoppers.
- Look out for common lizards and slow worms sunbathing.
- Watch the hill go from broom yellow to heather purple from April to July.
- Watch the bats on summer evening flittering around the edge of the woodland.
- Listen to the hum of the mining bees as they fly in and out of small holes burrowed into the bare earth.
- Listen to the broom seed pods popping.
- Look for the distinctive red and white poisonous toadstool, fly agaric, straight out of the pages of a fairytale.
- 30 species of fungi have been found on the hill.
- Watch out for colourful mosses and lichens.
- There is an unusual lichen here that is normally only found on rocks near a seashore.
- Enjoy the changing colours of the leaves on the trees, the red berries on the hawthorn, the blackberries and fruit hanging from the plum and apple trees.
- Stand on top of Troopers Hill at night to watch the fireworks displays across Bristol on New Year's Eve and Guy Fawkes.
- Look for sloes and rose hips along the hedge by Greendown.
- Look out for and touch the furry buds of the pussy willow (salix caprea).
- Watch out for ghostly stands of willowherb that have gone to seed.
All year round
- Listen for the cackle of the green woodpecker and look out for the flash of yellow rump as it flies away from you.
- Look out for roe deer, a rare treat.
- Fly kites - there is nearly always a wind on Troopers Hill.
- Admire the red and browns of the pennant sandstone rock lining the sides of the old quarry, now known at the Gully.
- Enjoy the night sky and the views of Bristol by night. Torches are a must - there is no artificial lighting on Troopers Hill.
- Join one of our free guided tours, e.g. dawn chorus walk in spring and fungi walk in autumn.
In the 1600s, the hill was part of a large royal hunting forest. In the late 1700s, the tall chimney on top of the hill was used for copper smelting and later, in the 1800s, coal and fireclay were mined from the hill. The square chimney at the foot of the hill is the remains of an engine house used by the coal mine. As development spread in Bristol, the steep slopes and tipped quarry waste deterred builders from developing the site and 1956, the council bought the land for the enjoyment of local residents. Troopers Hill was declared as a Local Nature Reserve on 22nd June 1995 in recognition of the wide range of wildlife present on the hill and its importance as a unique habitat in the Bristol area due to the presence of acidic soils.
Green Flag Award winning site (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011).
Site of Nature Conservation Interest - a designation used in many parts of the United Kingdom to protect areas of importance for wildlife at a county scale.
The Friends of Troopers Hill are a group of local residents interested in protecting and enhancing the nature reserve. They have regular meetings and organise work days and events. New members are always very welcome. For more information call 0117 947 5037, email email@example.com or visit www.troopers-hill.org.uk
Bristol Parks Brunel House St George's Road Bristol, BS1 5UY Opening Hours
Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm
Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm
Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Work: 0117 922 3719