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Brandon Hill Nature Reserve

A haven for wildlife and wildflowers in the heart of Bristol

Brandon Hill nature reserve is over 30 years old! Avon Wildlife Trust were a pioneering organisation in the urban conservation movement and in 1980, the Trust partnered with Bristol City Council to transform five acres of urban parkland on Brandon Hill into a haven for wildlife - Brandon Hill nature reserve was born. 



Brandon Hill Nature Reserve (Bristol, UK) from Will Goldenberg on Vimeo.



Brandon Hill is a fuelling station for migrating birds, a prominent green oasis as they follow the river valley. In winter, it shelters flocks of redwings and fieldfares, who are escaping the freezing conditions in Northern Europe. In summer, the park is awash with cowslips, oxeye daisies and knapweed, which attracts butterflies and bees all summer long. Come spring, the wildlife pond is full of frogspawn and toads, which are seen migrating across the pathways. Foxes and pipistrelle bats can be spotted in the early evening and breeding finches, tits, thrushes and warblers sing from the woodland edges. 


The top of Brandon Hill commands a stunning view of the city towards the River Avon, before the river takes a sharp bend to the north to flow through the Avon Gorge, where you can find our Bennett's Patch and White's Paddock nature reserve. 



Brandon Hill is thought to be the oldest public park in the country. Granted to the council in 1174 by the Earl of Gloucester, it was sublet to farmers for grazing until
1625 when it became a public open space. It was then used for activities including hay-making and clothes drying! During the Civil War, Brandon Hill was a key point in the defence of the city and there are remains of a fort and earthworks to the west and south of the Cabot Tower.


Inspired by our work? Join us as a member to protect our region's beautiful wild places and add your voice to our growing 17,500 strong membership, from as little as £2.50 a month.


Brandon Hill is owned by Bristol City Council and managed by agreement.

Species and habitats


Nearby nature reserves

Justin's Meadow at Ashton Court
2 miles - Avon Wildlife Trust
Bennett’s Patch and White’s Paddock
2 miles - Avon Wildlife Trust
Royate Hill
3 miles - Avon Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Located in the centre of Bristol, in the south-west corner of Brandon Hill Park overlooking Jacobs Wells Road.
Bristol, Clifton
Map reference
ST 578 727
Great for...
a family day out
geological interest
historical interest
overwintering birds
spring migrant birds
stunning views
Best time to visit
Mar - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
1.81 hectares

Access from numerous points. Some steps and slopes, mainly easy access. Access for wheelchairs from Great George Street and Berkeley Square only.
Walking information
Access for wheelchairs from Great George Street and Berkeley Square only.
The nearest parking is West End Car Park or metered spaces on Great George Street, Berkeley Square or Jacobs Wells Road.
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Avon Wildlife Trust
Tel: 0117 917 7270
Avon Wildlife Trust