April Avon Nature Reserves walk

Last Thursday was the hottest day of 2018 so far, a truly beautiful day, where it felt like summer, not spring, and a perfect day for a walk.  Tracy Homer and I were exploring some of the nature reserves along the Avon – a very similar walk to one I took in November last year with Vik, but in reverse.   It includes four very different nature reserves:  the Goat Gully; White’s Paddock & Bennett’s Patch (aka the home of the wicker whales); Bishop’s Knoll Woods; and Old Sneed Park Nature Reserve.

My map is here:

and there’s a photo album on flickr, or if you mouse over or click on the first photo below, it should open up the slideshow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ventilation shaft

So what did we do?

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An April lunchtime walk

I met with my friend Cee last week for a lunch-hour walk from Victoria Square to Castle Park along the Harbour, including the new path under the Huller & Cheese flats and through the Finzel’s Reach development.  It was a stunning day, like the first real day of spring, with people everywhere, but our route was surprisingly empty.Map of our walk:

And a couple of photos…

Boats:

Grass-roofed boat

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Two Bristol Festivals in May 2018: Walking, and Radical History

The Bristol Walk Fest is a month-long celebration of walking, with guided walks throughout May 2018, with a range of different themes, including culture, nature, history, sport and lots more.   It covers walking for pleasure and fitness, includes some photo- and art-walks, and has a specific strand aimed at older people, though they have walks suitable for everyone, including children and families.   The full programme of walks is here – some are free, others not, but book early to avoid disappointment!  You can also follow the festival on twitter, and with the #BristolWalkFest hashtag.

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I really like the work of the Bristol Radical History Group, and I can’t wait for their  Bristol Radical History Festival at the M Shed on Sunday 6th May.   They’ll have stalls, talks and walks, and you can find the full programme on their website.  While you’re there, take a look around at their projects and publications, because they do so much good work.

Shawn Sobers’ film about Newstead Abbey and slavery

A few weeks ago I went on a podcast-walk in the snow with Dr Shawn Sobers, talking about his work as a film-maker, artist, educator, curator and more.  One of the things we discussed was his work with heritage sites, exploring their links to the transatlantic slave trade, and he told me about a film he’d just finished working on at Newstead Abbey in Nottingham.

This film, Blood Sugar, was a collaboration with the Abbey, poet Michelle Mother Hubbard and the Slave Trade Legacies group – and it’s now online if you want to watch it:

Listen to the podcast with Shawn, talking about his work, here.

Coombe Brook, April 2018

I’m really enjoying using this project to explore places I’ve never been in Bristol, and last Wednesday’s walk with Tracy Homer was a perfect example.  We wanted something not too long and arduous, and I’d had on my list these little runs of water through Speedwell and Clay Bottom, which seemed even more intriguing on the Bristol City Council’s Big Blue Map of Bristol, which shows (most of) the rivers and streams where they run above and below ground, and named this one:  Coombe Brook, aka The Gossey.  It’s only a few kilometres long, but it runs through two very different nature reserves, and even when it’s below ground, its path is a green corridor through the city almost until it reaches the River Frome.  Intriguing in so many ways!

Our walk map is here – with the line of the river very approximately in blue.  I’ve added in our full walk, including heading back along the Bristol-Bath Cycle Path:

And my photo album from the walk is on flickr, or below (if you click or mouse over the first image, it should bring up the slideshow.

Coombe Brook footbridge

So, what did we see?

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Avon Stories Podcast #22: Tom Brothwell’s Bristol History Podcast

As you can guess, from the fact I make podcasts, I really love the medium, and one of the ones I enjoy is the Bristol History Podcast.

This has been created by Tom Brothwell, and he interviews different historians and authors to cover a wide range of different subjects that he’s interested in, and wants to find out more about.   We sat down to talk about why he started, his approaches to history, and lots more, including some of the history about the River Avon.

Some of the Bristol History Podcasts we talked about include:

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You can find the full lists of the Bristol History Podcast episodes on Soundcloud, and you can sign up to the podcast to get all the episodes as they’re released, on iTunes.  There’s also a facebook group for the podcast, and if you’d like to send Tom any suggestions for future episodes, you can contact him at BristolHistoryPodcast [at] gmail [dot] com.

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