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What you can do in our parks and green spaces

What you can do in our parks and green spaces

1. Overview

This guide details what you can do in our parks and green spaces and what you need permission for.

Most of our parks and green spaces are covered by the byelaws for pleasure grounds, public walks and open spaces (pdf, 450KB) (opens new window) . The Downs are covered by the Clifton and Durdham Downs byelaws (pdf, 39KB) (opens new window) .

2. Business activities

You must ask us for byelaw permission to provide a service in a park or green space you charge for. This includes:

  • fitness training
  • hot air ballooning
  • nordic walking
  • boot camps
  • forest schools
  • outdoor school clubs
  • professional dog walking

Apply for byelaw permission

3. Events and entertainment

Small, informal events

You don’t need permission to hold a small, informal event in a park or green space, such as a family barbecue or children’s party, as long as:

  • less than 50 people will attend
  • it’s not promoted, for example on social media, posters or flyers
  • there’s no loud noise, such as, music, shouting or playing of musical instruments
  • you don’t have structures, such as a bouncy castle, portable toilets, barriers or swings, you can have gazebos or day tents

Larger events

You must apply for site permission for your event, if:

  • more than 50 people will attend
  • you promote the event, for example on social media, posters or flyers
  • you want to put up structures, such as a bouncy castle, portable toilets, barriers or swings
  • you want to play amplified music or make other loud noise, such as playing of musical instruments, singing or shouting
  • you need vehicle access to the site
Apply for site permission on the EventApp website

4. Picking fruits or plants

You can pick wild fruit, such as blackberries, or parts of edible plants in any park or green space, as long as:

  • they’re for you or your family
  • you don’t sell them (raw or cooked)

You can’t remove plants, shrubs, trees, soil or turf.

6. Barbecues, fires and fireworks

Barbecues

You can have a barbecue in most parks or green spaces.

Barbecues are not allowed at Troopers Hill and only allowed in certain parts of Brandon Hill (pdf, 332KB) (opens new window) and the Downs (pdf, 3.8MB) (opens new window) .

You must not have the barbecue in a children’s play area.

The barbecue must be:

  • shop bought, not home-made
  • placed on the ground, not park furniture
  • on legs, so the grass isn’t burnt
  • watched when alight
  • cold before you put it in a rubbish bin

You must put all rubbish in bin or take it home with you.

If you advertise or promote your barbecue or want to play loud music, you must apply for site permission.

Apply for site permissionon the EventApp website

Fires and fireworks

You must ask us for byelaw permission before lighting a fire or fireworks in a park or green space.

Apply for byelaw permission

If you want open fires or fireworks as part of a larger event on council land, make sure you include it in your site permissions application.

7. Camping or parking overnight

You can't camp or park overnight, 10pm to 6am, in a park or green space unless it's part of an event that has site permission.

Apply for site permission on the EventApp website

8. Model aircraft and drones

You can fly powered model aircraft, including drones, on the Downs and in part of:

The model aircraft must weigh 7kg or less, without its fuel. The person flying the aircraft must be a member of the British Model Flying Association and have public liability insurance.

If you want to fly model aircraft or drones as part of a larger event on council land, make sure you include it in your site permissions application.

9. Aircraft and hot air balloons

You must ask us for byelaw permission to take off or land aircraft, a hot air balloon, helicopter or hang glider in a park or green space.

Apply for byelaw permission

If you want aircraft, a hot air balloon, helicopter or hang glider to land or take off as part of a larger event on council land, make sure you include it in your site permissions application.

10. Fishing

You can fish with a line or net in any lake or river, in and next to all parks and green spaces, except St George Park where no fishing is allowed.

You need a permit to fish with a rod and line in Eastville Park.

You need a rod licence to fish anywhere for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel.

See fishing.

11. Golf

You can only play golf on the golf courses at Ashton Court Estate.

12. Cycling

You can cycle in any park or green space. On the Downs, use the cycle path from Saville Road to Stoke Road. On the Ashton Court Estate there are two graded mountain bike trails.

You must not annoy or injure other people and you must not cycle over flower beds, shrubs or plants.

If you want to include cycling as part of a larger event on council land, make sure you include it in your site permissions application.

13. Horse riding

You can go riding at Wickham Glen or Meadowsweet Open Space (pdf, 1.5MB) (opens new window) , near Eastville Park.

There's also a two-mile long, horse riding trail at Ashton Court Estate (pdf, 158KB) (opens new window) .

You must not annoy or injure other people and you must not ride over flower beds, shrubs or plants.

If you want to include horse riding as part of a larger event on council land, make sure you include it in your site permissions application.

14. Archery and field sports

You can only do archery and field sports, such as javelin, hammer, discus or shot, as part of a larger event that you have site permission for.

Apply for site permission on the EventApp website

15. Structures, such as barriers or rides

You must ask us for byelaw permission before putting up structures in a park or green space, such as:

  • portable toilets or buildings
  • scaffolding
  • barriers
  • posts
  • rides or swings

You don’t need permission for gazebos or day tents.

Apply for byelaw permission

If you want to put up a structure as part of a larger event on council land, make sure you include it in your site permissions application.

16. Animal grazing

You must ask us for byelaw permission before letting an animal graze in a park or green space.

Apply for byelaw permission

If you want animals to graze as part of a larger event on council land, make sure you include it in your site permissions application.