Stoke Park improvement work 2018 to 2020

Information on the improvement works at Stoke Park and how to volunteer to help.

Schedule for the improvement works

Over the next two years the following will take place: 

  • January and February 2018:  clearance of scrub and young woodland starts in south of park in 2018.
  • Autumn and winter 2018 and 2019: continued clearance of scrub and young woodland 
  • April to November 2018 and 2019: extension to cattle grazing
  • Autumn and Winter 2018 and 2019: Orchard and parkland tree planting 
  • Spring 2018 and 2019: hedge and scrub control works, putting in gates and fences for grazing, and wall repairs
  • Summer 2018 and 2019: Oversowing with wildflowers  
  • All year round: general works in the park with volunteers

See our Stoke Park restoration map (pdf, 2.5MB) (opens new window) for the areas being restored. 

Current restoration works

A more detailed explanation of the clearance work is below including a map showing what’s planned in each area.

Clearance of scrub and young woodland

Uncontrolled scrub and young woodland has damaged the 18th Century Thomas Wright parkland landscape and historic views and made some areas inaccessible.  

The scrub has also reduced the ecological quality of grassland, particularly the nationally important species-rich grassland.  

For more information see our detailed tree and scrub works map and information sheet (pdf, 2MB) (opens new window) .

Extension of grazing

Some parts of the estate are already grazed by cattle and the plan is to extend the amount of parkland that will be grazed in the future.  

Grazing will take place from April to November in different parts of the estate with the cattle being moved between fields. 

There used to be fields at Stoke Park, these old fence lines will largely be used, restoring the old hedges as well as putting in new fencing.

Benefits of grazing

Grazing helps stop the spread of scrub and invasive, fast-growing trees, allowing a greater variety of grassland plants and wildlife to flourish.  It also provides a more sustainable and natural way to manage the land particularly where scrub cannot be controlled by mechanical means.

Restoring the World War 2 anti-aircraft battery 

The anti-aircraft battery in Stoke Park is an important historic feature which needs to be protected.   
    
The plan is to clear the area of trees and scrub, protect it from damage with security fencing and graze it with sheep and/or goats. 

Further funding will be sought to take work further to protect the battery from damage and to make the site a place which can be used as a key educational resource.   

The anti-aircraft battery is known as Purdown Percy and it defended Bristol’s critical aircraft manufacturing in the Second World War. 

Wall repairs

Wall repairs will take place in spring 2018 and 2019. This will happen in the spring because warm weather is needed to set the lime mortar.

Other work

Other restoration work includes:

  • restoration of the heritage wall
  • construction of an access track to enable cattle to be brought onto the site along the boundary by the M32 without damaging the ground

Volunteering 

If you’re interested in getting involved with restoration projects at Stoke Park contact us at stoke.park@bristol.gov.uk

Background to the restoration works

In 2017 we consulted on several conservation and improvement proposals. 

You can see the results of the consultation on the Stoke Park: Future Plans consultation page.

Conservation Management Plan

These restoration works are in response to the consultation, and in line with a conservation management plan.

The Stoke Park Conservation Management Plan provides the context for why the work is taking place and can be found at the bottom of the Stoke Park Future Plans page.

Funding the restoration

The proposed work is being funded by a Countryside Stewardship grant awarded by Natural England and money from Stoke Park’s dowry which can only be spent on Stoke Park.

Rules of the Countryside Stewardship grant state that this initial work must be completed within 2 years.

Keep informed

We’ll keep you updated on upcoming work on this page and through information displayed locally as well as updates through social media and local newsletters.

The Stoke Park: Future Plans website contains resources such as a summary of the proposals and conservation management plans.

Also see Avon Wildlife Trust’s position statement about the works taking place.

Questions and feedback

Our Stoke Park frequently asked questions list (pdf, 273k) (opens new window) contains responses to the questions that have been raised for the Stoke Park improvement works.

Find out more

We're offering free 'walks and talks' led by the Parks team and drop in sessions where you can find out more about the improvements work.

Date and times for 'walks and talks'  and drop in sessions are below.

Walks and talks

Guided walking tours of Stoke Park Estate where you can find out about the improvements.

From February, depending on demand, we plan on monthly walks and talks until September 2018.

Next walk and talk: to be arranged

Drop in sessions

Come along with any questions or just to find out more about the project to restore and improve the park's landscape.

Next session: to be arranged

Stoke Park ecological statement

The value of Stoke Park for wildlife has been reviewed during the process of writing the Stoke Park Conservation Management Plan. 

See our ecological statement and surveys for more information: