Campaign to make picnic spot a village green

Families are launching a battle to protect their local picnic area in Golden Hill – a tiny patch of grass between their houses.

They say the land at the end of Ridgehill has been maintained and used by local people for more than 35 years. 

They have formally submitted an application to Bristol City Council to have the land designated as a town or village green, in order to protect it for public use in the future.

Their application says over the years local people have cut the grass, and maintained the area, used it for picnics and barbecues, and as a pathway to Tesco and Kellaway Avenue.

The application says: “The land has developed into a local amenity with the provision of flower tubs, planting, landscaping and re-seeding of grass. 

“Chippings have been laid to improve the surface of the informal path crossing the site and linking to the network of public rights of way across Golden Hill.”

The local neighbourhood watch committee even funded a kissing gate on the path.

Resident Michael McConalogue said council notices have now gone up in the area so local people can comment and add their support. More than 18 households have already submitted statements of support to BCC.

Gordon Brand said he had lived nearby for 27 years and during that time had enjoyed many get-togethers, and spend time gardening the area.

Tricia and Robert Kent said they had enjoyed Royal celebrations in the picnic area with neighbours, and their children and grandchildren had all used the area.

Angie and Roger Dowding said the area had been tended by local people – and should be kept for the enjoyment of future generations.

Mr McConalogue said that when the houses in Sates Way and Ridgeway were built in the late 1970s, the patch of land was marked as “public open space”. 

He said he understood the current landowner had lodged an objection to the proposal, which means BCC will probably appoint an inspector to look at the evidence and recommend whether the Public Rights of Way and Greens Committee should allow the area to be registered as a town or village green.

Bristol City Council says the closing date for objections was September 13, 2023 – but the process could take up to a year. 

 Sharon Scott, Councillor for Westbury-on-Trym & Henleaze said:  “It’s a wonderful place that residents in this area have used for decades for events that have been beneficial to the community. Local councillors will continue to support residents who have applied for this green space known as the picnic area, to become a Town Village Green status.”

At the time of going to print the Voice has been unable to establish who the landowner is in order to contact them for comment.