Havens for Wildlife and People: Avon Wildlife Trust calls for true value of Bristol’s parks to be recognised

Tuesday 11th July 2017

Avon Wildlife Trust today calls for the value of Bristol's parks to be fully recognised, and the deep impact they have on people and nature to be valued.

As the future funding for Bristol’s parks is reviewed, with a proposal to dramatically reduce spending on these spaces across the city over the next two years, Avon Wildlife Trust is calling for their true value for wildlife and people to be recognised. Bristol’s advantages as an attractive and nature-rich city - with landmark green spaces in the urban centre and in neighbourhoods - are often listed as a significant pull-factor for business and tourism.

But for wildlife and for Bristol residents, our parks are more than a ‘top ten’ listing in a city guide, providing a rich habitat for species, and a chance to personally connect with nature close to people’s homes. From kingfishers darting up from the harbour to the ponds on Brandon Hill, and making their homes next to the river Frome at Snuff Mills, to the otters spotted in the lake and river in Eastville Park, Bristol’s parks provide thriving habitats for birds, mammals, insects and plant life – some of which is now in decline nationally.

And for people of all ages and from all Bristol’s diverse communities, neighbourhood and city centre parks provide a free and accessible way to experience and benefit from nature. Having access to high-quality green space improves health and wellbeing, and all communities are entitled to this access – especially those who have no garden or allotment to spend time in.

We understand the immense pressures all local authorities are facing in maintaining public services including their parks and green spaces. As decisions are made we want the true value of our parks for people and wildlife to be fully recognised, and are keen to join with other voices from across the city to be part of the conversation about the best plan for our parks.

Bristol Parks Forum have launched a petition calling on Bristol City Council to rethink their budget proposal for the city’s parks. You can find out more and sign the petition here:

http://epetitions.bristol.gov.uk/epetition_core/view/ProtectParks