frofhorcomFriends of Horfield Common are working hard to improve both the access to, and the availability of, facilities on Horfield Common for the benefit of all local people and those who use the common.

Alongside this, our recent work is focussing on improving wildlife and biodiversity as well as opportunities for positive outdoor play activities for young people. Additionally, the ongoing work on Project Ardagh aims to take over the day to day management of the Ardagh site from Bristol City Council under a community asset transfer arrangement so that the facility can be revitalised as a community hub.
Currently, we have a range of projects which local people might be interested to get involved with.

Horfield Common Tree Planting Plan
In January, we will be running a series of 4 practical working parties in Wellington Hill field to clear scrub so that the existing hedgerow can be improved and enhanced with new planting. Following the successful achievement of village green status for the field earlier in 2014, we are now able to begin making improvements which will support increased wildlife and biodiversity in the area.

We have recently successfully fundraised for the delivery of the Horfield Common tree planting plan which will see a total of 457 new trees planted on Horfield Common this planting season. 57 of these trees are 3-4 metre standards which have been generously sponsored by local businesses and the neighbourhood partnerships or local residents and families as memorial trees for loved ones. The other 400 will be ‘whips’ planted as part of the ongoing BCC ‘Tree Pips’ project which will enable young people from local schools including Bishop Road, Ashley Down, Horfield C of E and Filton Avenue primaries to plant new trees in Wellington Hill field to create new hedgerows. These will support improved outcomes for wildlife in the area, as well as improving air quality and the local environmental in general.
Volunteers are needed to support this work; more information is available on our website and information in the form of a poster is attached.


Our Horfield Common Edible Garden project is being funded by the Naturesave Trust, and we are delighted to be working with the city-wide ‘Incredible Edible’ project to learn from their inspiring work  in transforming spaces into beautiful and edible community gardens. The project is being launched with a presentation from Edible Bristol’s Sara Venn at the Ardagh on Wednesday 19th November at 18.00 & there is enthusiastic support from local people who are keen to get involved. Please do come along if you are interested – again – information is available on our website, and attached in the form of a poster.

Project Ardagh: Winter Wonderland and Community ‘Pop-Up’ Café
On weekends throughout December, the Ardagh Pavilion will be host to the lovely ‘Winter Wonderland’ display set up by Colin Small from Ardagh Bowling and Sports Club. This is suitable for people of all ages and last year lots of local children and families came along to view it and to enjoy a cup of tea and a cake at the Ardagh. Entry to the display is free, but there is a collection in support of Ardagh Toddlers if you would like to contribute.
Following feedback from last year - we will also be opening the pavilion for tea, coffee, hot chocolate, warm soup and other goodies in the form of a 'pop-up' cafe on each of these dates. Pop in to see the display, have a cuppa with friends & read the papers - all are welcome.


We have been exploring the potential for a community-cafe at the Ardagh site for a number of years & are planning to use this 4 week 'pop-up' to test out how this might be viable in the short-term while we work towards a longer term plan for a sustainable future for the site. If successful, we are hoping to be able to open the building at the weekends from Easter 2015 and throughout the summer to provide a relaxed and welcoming community café on which we can build further as the plans for Project Ardagh progress.

This is a great opportunity for anyone who has heard about the Ardagh, but not had a chance to visit or to see inside the building, to come along and have a look! FOHC volunteer Sara will be at the helm - pop in, support us by buying a mug of soup or a cup of tea, say hello & let her know what you think!

The Ardagh Pavilion will be open every Saturday and Sunday from 10-3pm from 29 November – 21 December – we look forward to seeing you there!

Children and Young People: Play
We have launched our fundsurfer campaign to bring the amazing APE Project back to Horfield Common in 2015. FOHC volunteers have been working hard on this project which will, if successful, provide a year's worth of outdoor play activity on the common for young people aged 8-13 throughout 2015. Local families (and businesses) can support the project with £20, £50 or larger funding pledges - which will provide a year's worth of outdoor play activity for their own children, as well as enabling the sessions to go ahead. Supporters will receive one of a series of exciting project themed 'rewards'.

The APE Project will be delivering free weekly two-hour Stay & Play sessions during term time aimed at 8 - 13 year olds on Horfield Common - although any children of school age are welcome and can positively engage! Children are free to choose their activities and can come and go as they please.

After a successful APE project this year, we want to fund the APE projects return to Horfield Common to provide this amazing outdoor play opportunity for local children and young people. This is our first foray into crowdfunding & we are really excited by its potential to enable us to provide exciting and positive activities for young people on the common. We think that this is a brilliant way to reach out to local families and our network of supporters. If 50 local families come along to the unique VIP day experience on offer, we will have achieved that. If 200 sponsor the project with £50.00 - their children will benefit from a whole year's worth of engaging outdoor and physical play activity - and have, to keep, a lovely picture of them enjoying it!

We want to provide play opportunities that are social and available to all & we’re really hopeful that people will get behind this!

Last year, between 30 to 40 local young people were regularly attending the weekly APE Project sessions on Horfield Common, which were funded through the Neighbourhood Partnership. Feedback was incredible and we want to continue to provide this opportunity for young people in the area. Our deadline to raise the total through pledges is December 31st and the project will be up and running for the first week of the school term in January, if we are successful. If you (or friends or relatives) are thinking about a gift for a local young person for the Xmas season - a pledge to our APE project campaign would be a great gift!

This scheme will only go ahead if we raise the total, but if we do, it will provide open access, outdoor play on the common for a whole year during term-time.
To support this project click this link: fundsurfer and pledge.

Sam Thomson