Stoke Park improvement work 2018 to 2020
Stoke Park improvement work 2018 to 2020
Information on the improvement works at Stoke Park, volunteering and how to keep informed about the works.
Improvement works are taking place at Stoke Park from 2018 to 2020.
These works are shown in the Stoke Park Restoration Plan (pdf, 3.2MB) (opens new window) .
You can also learn about the works in our Stoke Park Restoration video.
Proposed changes to the restoration plan
Following the last Stoke Park public meeting on 4 July and meetings with Stoke Park Partnership, Natural England and Historic England, changes have been made to reduce the amount of autumn/winter tree thinning and scrub removal planned for land between and below Pale Plantation and Barnwood.
For information on the changes see:
- revised Stoke Park restoration plan, version 2 (pdf, 2.5MB) (opens new window)
- Stoke Park detailed map (pdf, 2.6MB) (opens new window)
- changes to the Stoke Park improvement plans sheet (pdf, 142KB) (opens new window)
- method statement: for the protection of great crested newts (pdf, 2.1MB) (opens new window)
The restoration plan
Following recent public meetings and discussions with key stakeholders, including Stoke Park Partnership group, we have revised the landscape works between and around Barn Wood and Pale Plantation.
This includes reducing the amount of thinning in secondary woodland to retain 70% canopy instead of 50%, and retaining 10% of scrub instead of 5%.
Restoration works: October 2018 to December 2019
The following works were carried out between October 2018 and the end of March 2019:
- removing scrub on the sloping ground in the centre of the park
- thinning trees in secondary woodland to retain a 70% canopy
- putting in fencing, gates and cattle grids to allow grazing
- re-seeding part of Purdown with a wildflower and grass mix
- laying historic hedgerows, including banking up and replanting gaps
- installing security railings, vehicle and pedestrian gates and cattle grid around the World War II Anti-Aircraft Battery
- restoring a wall at the end of Sir John’s Lane
- replanting an historic orchard and re-planting parkland trees
The following works are due to be completed between April 2019 and December 2019:
- installing cattle troughs
- continuing to put in fencing, gates and cattle grids to allow grazing
- cutting back scrub re-growth
- installing tree guards
- continuing laying historic hedgerows
- enhancing the grassland by over sowing with yellow rattle
The parts of the restoration plan
One Tree Per Child Planting
Following public consultation, One Tree per Child will be planting a new woodland of approximately 450 trees in Lockleaze Open Space. They'll also be planting a hedge along the fence-line by Sir John’s Lane and along the boundary of the M32 (with Highways England funding).
Scrub and young woodland
Uncontrolled scrub and young woodland has damaged the 18th Century Thomas Wright parkland landscape.
- damaged historic views and made some areas inaccessible
- reduced the ecological quality of grassland, particularly the nationally important species-rich grassland
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.
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.
Historic hedgerow restoration
We are restoring a historic hedgerow, as shown on the revised restoration plan.
We have removed scrub and small trees from a corridor 3 to 3.5m wide on either side of the hedgerow. We did this because:
- the hedgerow had been damaged by scrub crowding out the less hardy plants
- the hedgerow needs more light to help it thrive
- we need to excavate the ditch on the upslope side of the hedgebank and move the excavated material onto the hedgebank. This will form a planting bed along the hedgerow and bury some of the pleachers laid along the hedgerow, helping create a denser, more species rich hedge
- we need to install a fence on either side of the hedge to help protect it from livestock
We will keep mature trees in or next to the hedgerow. We have removed branches from some trees to balance them or treat disease or damage.
Over winter, the corridor will be replanted with a species rich hedgerow containing:
- 50% hawthorn
- 10% spindle
- 10% buckthorn
- 10% blackthorn
- 10% hazel
- 10% dogwood
In November 2018, we will thin the woodlands next to the hedgerow to 70% canopy cover. We have marked the trees we will keep with red stripes. Small areas of the woodlands will be closed to the public during this this time. We appreciate your ongoing understanding.
Enhancing the grassland
In September we'll be enhancing many of the fields by over sowing with:
- yellow rattle
- small amounts of common bird’s-foot-trefoil
- common knapweed
- oxeye daisy
Yellow rattle is an annual wildflower that gets some of its nutrients by parasitizing grasses, reducing competition from them, and allowing other wildflower species an opportunity to take root.
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
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.
If you’re interested in getting involved with restoration projects at Stoke Park visit our parks volunteering page.
To volunteer with the proposed tree planting project visit One Tree per Child.
Keep informed and give us your feedback
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.
Our Stoke Park frequently asked questions list (pdf, 269KB) (opens new window) (pdf, 254KB) (opens new window) contains responses to the questions that have been raised for the Stoke Park improvement works.
Public meetings and information walks
You can attend public meetings and free 'walks and talks' led by the Parks team.
19 September 2018: The Old Library, Muller Road
A public meeting was held 19 September 2018 at The Old Library on Muller Road. Notes from the meeting are available here:
Stoke Park ecological studies
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:
- Bristol City Council: Stoke Park ecological statement (pdf, 75KB) (opens new window)
- Notable species in Stoke Park, list 1 compiled by Bristol Regional Environmental Record Centre (pdf, 3.6MB) (opens new window)
- Notable species in Stoke Park, list 2 compiled by Bristol Regional Environmental Record Centre (pdf, 1.8MB) (opens new window)
- Stoke Park ecological site attendance report 16 January 2018 (pdf, 127KB) (opens new window)
- Stoke Park ecological site walkover map 16 January 2018 (pdf, 1.3MB) (opens new window)
- Stoke Park ecological site attendance report 30 January 2018 (pdf, 125KB) (opens new window)
- Stoke Park ecological site walkover map 30 January 2018 (pdf, 1.3MB) (opens new window)
- Historical ecological reports commissioned by Bristol City Council 1997 to 2014 (pdf, 11.9MB) (opens new window)