Planting plans go on hold

March 26 2020

PLANS  for a community planting scheme on the Downs have been temporarily suspended in light of the coronavirus outbreak, The Voice has been told.
Following cuts to the parks budgets by Bristol City Council, the Friends of the Downs & Avon Gorge and the Redland & Cotham Amenity Society decided to take action and agreed to take responsibility for refurbishing the Downs flower beds. The bedding schemes used to be funded by the council and the work was carried out by the Downs operational team.
As part of the plans, the group came up with an alternative scheme to replant the beds with more sustainable herbaceous plants, and agreed to do the planting as well as ongoing maintenance.
Funding for the scheme was raised entirely by The Friends of the Downs & Avon Gorge and the Redland & Cotham Amenity Society, and planting had been  scheduled to take place on Friday April 3 and Saturday April 4.
However, in light of the coronavirus outbreak, this has been suspended until further notice.
Commenting on the plans, Robert Westlake,chair of The Friends of the Downs & Avon Gorge said:  “The once stunning flower beds at the top of Blackboy Hill have laid fallow for the last few years.  This is a direct result of austerity measures and swingeing cuts to the parks budgets.
“The plants are currently being stored at the Bristol City Council nursery at Blaise, and we are hoping that the nursery manager will be able to keep them watered during this embargo period. It is far from ideal, but in the grand scheme of things, although it is important to us, there are more important things to consider at the moment.
“I believe the initiative demonstrates that well organised volunteers can make a real difference to local communities, and we will keep local residents updated on our plans in due course.”

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