Nailsea and District Horticultural Society,
other environmentally-friendly 'green' groups, litter picking and fly-tipping
and news about action on climate change
Garden waste service disrupted
North Somerset Council is bringing in temporary measures for garden waste collections due to ongoing crew shortages as more and more crew members are having to self-isolate due to the rising number of coronavirus infections locally.
Acouncil spokesman said: "With the requirements for close contacts to isolate, as well as the national shortage of HGV drivers, rather than suspend collections for an extended period as some other areas have done, we are keen to review the situation on a daily basis and will continue to provide the garden waste collection service whenever possible.
"Every day is unpredictable at the moment as we don’t know how many staff are going to be pinged by the test and trace app.
"This is making it incredibly difficult to plan each day’s collections.
"However, we do want to keep collecting garden waste on all days when we’ve got enough crews working.
"While we hope that our garden waste customers will be pleased we’re doing our best, we also appreciate it’s a more complicated position where each day will be different.
"That’s why we’re also committing to emailing customers before their collection is due when we know we won’t be able to collect their garden waste.
"This way our residents will know whether to put their containers out for collection or not.
"We will email garden waste customers the night before their next collection is due if the crew shortages mean that they can’t collect households’ garden waste the next day.
"Because the situation may then change overnight, with more crew members being required to self-isolate, there may then be a need to email more customers on the morning of their collection day to let them know that the collection won’t be made that week.
"This is the best way we can keep our customers up to date on the latest situation.
"The emails will be sent from ‘Waste Updates’ so we encourage all our customers to look out for these messages in their inbox.
"Anyone who doesn’t get an email the night before or on the morning of their collection should assume we’re planning to collect as usual.
"We have had to suspend garden waste collections for three days the week ending Friday, July 23.
"Customers who were due a garden waste collection on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday will not now receive a collection until their next scheduled date. Tuesday collections were also impacted but crews were able to catch-up on these by Thursday.
"We hold email addresses for 94 per cent of households registered for the garden waste service as not all customers provided their email address when signing up.
"Due to the current hot temperatures collections begin at 6am so
customers should put their containers out by then to make sure crews can empty them.
"We are very aware that a number of customers will be frustrated that we are having to look at temporary changes to the service that they have only recently begun paying an additional amount for.
"We will keep the situation under constant review and are looking at ways we can redress any disruption to service our customers experience.
We are extremely grateful for everyone’s support during these difficult circumstances, particularly all the kind messages we are receiving every day for our hard-working crews.
Suspended prison sentence for fly-tipper
A Bristol man has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay costs of more than £2,000 following a prosecution for fly-tipping brought by North Somerset Council.
Stuart Bowering, of Hawkfield Road, Bristol entered a guilty plea at North Somerset Magistrates Court on 15 April to charges brought by the council for twice fly-tipping waste on Wild Country Lane in Long Ashton.
The fly-tipped waste consisted of mixed garden waste, roofing material, wood, cardboard, plastic and children’s toys. Both offences were recorded on CCTV in the area and, having obtained the vehicle registration number of the vehicle used, officers found that Mr Bowering was the registered keeper at the time the offence took place.
Due to the fly-tipped waste blocking the country lane where lighting was limited the offences were considered a high risk to road users and a deliberate act. This being the case, the District Judge referred the case to Bristol Crown Court for sentencing.
Mr Bowering appeared at Bristol Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, July 9.
He was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay full costs to the council of £2,012.90.
When sentencing Mr Bowering, HHJ Patrick remarked: "You committed extremely anti-social offences, deliberately disposed of waste, went into a country lane and simply emptied it into the road.
"Any cyclist, car, pedestrian, horse rider would have been significantly affected by that.
"You did it once, the council cleared it up, then you went and did it again.
"It was thrown from the back onto the hedgerow.
"You deliberately chose exactly the same location.
"Clean up costs are modest but people who have paid for it are the people who pay council tax.“
Any breaches of the Court’s order have been reserved to HHJ Patrick.
Welcoming the outcome of the prosecution was North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon who is the ndependent ward councillors for Hutton and Locking.
He said: “Fly-tipping is completely unacceptable and has a negative impact on our local environment, communities and, in this case, the waste posed a significant risk to anyone wishing to enjoy their local area.
"North Somerset Council will investigate all incidents of fly-tipping and issue fixed penalty notices or prosecute individuals when sufficient evidence is found.”
Follow these simple steps to make sure your waste is disposed of legally:
S - Suspect all waste carriers. Don't let them take your waste until they have proven themselves to be legitimate. A professional waste carrier should happily answer reasonable questions.
C - Check that a waste carrier is registered on the Environment Agency's website.
R - Refuse any unexpected offers to have your rubbish taken away.
A - Ask what will happen to your rubbish and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of appropriately.
P - Paperwork must be obtained - a proper invoice, waste transfer note or receipt, including a description of the waste being removed and the waste carrier’s contact details.
Residents of North Somerset can dispose of their household waste at any of the council recycling centres at Backwell, Portishead and Weston-super-Mare.
Residents who find fly-tipped waste are encouraged to report it online to the council as soon as possible at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/flytipping.
North Somerset Council enforcement officers have issued 62 fines this month.
The council has seven officers to issue on-the-spot fines for public offences which include littering and dogs not being on leads.
A newspaper shop boss in Nailsea was one of those fined for discarding a cigarette butt in Somerset Square.
Officers have patrolled Weston, Clevedon and Nailsea with the majority of offenders are under 50 years of age.
Of the 62 fines handed out the majority were in Weston and totalled £2,175 in costs - 17 of which were paid immediately.
Out of the 62 fines, 58 were for littering, three for dogs not being on leads and one for urinating in public.
Litter pick date
The collaboration of Nailsea Community Group and the litter group formerly known as Better Nailsea, now collectively known as Nailsea Community Litter Heroes, continues on Saturday, August 7.
Hedgerows, car parks and streets will be targeted.
Organiser Lisa Davidson said: "Everyone is welcome to come to the next litter pick, meeting at 26 Somerset Square at 10am.
"How long you pick is entirely up to you."
Nailsea Town Council has provided the group with new equipment including litter pickers, bin liners, bag hoops, brooms, dustpan and brush sets and some gardening equipment.
Businesses, individuals or groups can borrow this equipment from 26 Somerset Square if they would like to clear up their local patch.
Contact Jules or Shelley at No 26.
Work with rewilding team
North Somerset Council has been awarded a lottery grant of £100,000 to continue with the next phase of its rewilding project.
The executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.
He said: "Unfortunately we had to suspend all volunteering opportunities because of Covid restrictions but we are now looking forward to welcoming volunteers back with us and to working in partnership with Avon Wildlife Trust to take the rewilding project forward.
"Rewilding means a significant transformation in how we manage our open spaces and it's important we're able to monitor the changes that will happen as we alter the way we manage some of our land.
"This is a significant task and the lottery grant and sessions being led by our ranger will enable us to train volunteers to help us do this.
"There will be a number of exciting opportunities for people to get involved in over the coming months.
"Before the lockdowns we'd already had fantastic support from our local communities and this project will enable more residents to get involved in helping us deliver our ambitious rewilding programme."
Working with Avon Wildlife Trust, the lottery funding will enable the council to carry out a range of survey training sessions during the next two years, providing lots of opportunities for volunteers to get involved and help address the climate and nature emergency.
The re-wilding of North Somerset began in February 2020 with hundreds of tree saplings being planted across the district.
But not everyone is happy with loss of green space or potential loss of views.
Roger Smallshaw, of Redwood Close, was especially upset about the lack of public consultation on re-wilding on the corner of Nailsea Park and Blackthorn Way.
He said: “Golden Valley didn't get any consultation unlike Clevedon and Portishead with the 'twig planting' at Nailsea Park and Hawthorn Way.
"I believetwig planting we were deliberately denied a consultation or any involvement whatsoever apart from the original 'not representative' consultation back toward the end of 2020.
"All down to Covid of course, hence my grumble, along with every other member of the local community I have discussed it with.
"I am pleased Clr Solomon has taken over and I have been in touch with him.
"He has promised a full review of the re-wilding programme.
"He seems to be more than a little ill-disposed towards planting on amenity green sites so I am hopeful."
"I would extend an invitation to anyone considering a vote in favour of re-wilding to come and look at ours first.
"The reality bears little resemblance to the Garden of Eden pictured by Backwell ward councillor Bridge Petty and her team.
"I am 100% in favour of planting trees and re-wilding when done properly in the right place, for the right reasons, in the right density, with proper consultation with the local community and the full active involvement with the elected ward councillor regardless of his/her/their political flavour.
"I am, naturally, along with more than one of my near neighbours happy to get involved with the re-wilding excercise if asked, particularly with the upkeep and maintenance of the mess we are left with off Hawthorn Way!
"It might also be educational if the council were to quote the 30 per cent death rate amongst the first 5,000 twigs planted, the obvious high death rate already amongst ours and the fact that every twig planted is accompanied by an unnecessariy in my opinion large tube of plastic which rapidly becomes a broken piece of litter.
"A target of 50,000 plus planted rings somewhat empty without a predicted survival rate over say five years.
"The accusation that the tubes are being removed by the local community should surprise no-one but I will wager that the majority are being displaced by the wild plant growth, dogs and other animals, accidentally by people trying to follow their usual old routes across the amenity plot and children enjoying playing and chasing each other through the long grass. "That is, after all, what children do best, bless them and have been doing for years here."Former Nailsea Town Council chairman Jan Barber said she received several complaints about the tree planting.
But for North Somerset's it is onward and upward with the plan to save the planet.
Volunteers will be able to develop new skills and will be trained to help with the task of monitoring their environment and recording the biodiversity changes created by rewilding.
In addition, two paid placement opportunities will be on offer, one each year.
The two successful candidates will learn all the survey techniques as well as skills for working with volunteers and delivering projects. Avon Wildlife Trust will start recruiting for the first position shortly which will be advertised via the trust’s recruitment website at www.avonwildlifetrust/jobs.
The programme of training sessions is currently being developed. Once this is done the sessions will be advertised on the trust’s website at www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk, Twitter (www.twitter.com/avonwt), Facebook (www.facebook.com/Avonwt/) and Eventbrite.
A further grant will enable a council ranger to carry out volunteer sessions over the next six months.
These will involve revisiting all of the tree planting sites created so far as a result of the rewilding programme to carry out maintenance and additional survey sessions at the tree and tall grass locations.
It is planned to develop 'rewilding champions' from these two projects to help with the ongoing monitoring and aftercare of these areas.
Volunteers who have signed up previously will receive an email with more information about the tree maintenance sessions.
You can sign up by email here firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be added to the mailing list.
Sessions will be advertised through Eventbrite and more details will be on
the Nature and Climate North Somerset Facebook page.
With the help of volunteers and its contractors Glendale, the council has planted a total of 20,000 young trees so far as part of its commitment to rewild areas of North Somerset.
The aim is to plant 50,000 trees, resulting in 25 hectares of new woodland, and create around 40 hectares of tall grass areas where the grass is allowed to grow.
Together, these initiatives will provide more habitats for wildlife to flourish and increase biodiversity, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change and address the nature emergency.
You can find out more about the rewilding plans on the council website HERE.
BLOOMING LOVELY: Nailsea in Bloom volunteer gardeners busy as bees in the town centre on Thursday, May 27, with 1,930 plants going in the many beds and containers. At the same time chainsaw sculptor Andy O'Neill was working away putting the finishing touches to the old oak tree stump woodland creatures carving. You can view more HERE.on the Mighty Oak page. Among the flowers being planted are beautiful and colourful begonias, petunias, geraniums, osteospermum, nemsia and coleus. A Nailsea Town Council spokesman said: “Thank you for all the hard work the team put in to keep our town looking lovely.” Notice the wall behind the village green - it also has been spruced up for spring as the nasty tar staining on the brickwork appeared to have been cleaned - well done whoever is responsible. Individuals and businesses can sponsor a big flower tub from at little as £37 - see letter attached with contact numbers or email email@example.com and we will pass your details on.
FLOWER BEE: Jenn Pera, of Flower Bee Florist, has sponsored the planter outside her High Street shop
A private company will soon be patrolling Nailsea tackling litter bugs and dogs fouling in public places.
North Somerset Council has employed a nationwide company called Local Authority Support on a 12-month contract.
Uniformed teams from LA Support will patrol across our area, issuing £75 fixed penalty notices to anyone seen breaching the council’s public space protection orders, including littering, dog fouling and other anti-social behaviour.
A Your Neighbourhood consultation in 2020 found 90 per cent who responded agreed that it was reasonable to issue on the spot fines to deal with dog fouling and 77 per cent said it was reasonable to deal with littering.
Results also showed only 40 per cent of people thought their area was clean and 25 per cent thought it was okay.
Fines will also apply to anyone seen breaching orders on land where dogs are excluded or required to be kept on leads.
North Somerset executive member Mike Solomon whose portfolio includes environmental services is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.
He said: “Environmental crime and anti-social behaviour have a detrimental effect on our communities and local area.“Working with LA Support allows us to build on the great work our teams are already doing and take a more robust approach to enforcing our public space protection orders.
"We hope this approach will deter people from offending in the first place
and lead to North Somerset being a cleaner, greener place to visit, live and work.”
LA Support national operations director John Roberts said: "We are excited to be delivering our environmental enforcement service on behalf of North Somerset Council for the next 12 months.
"Our aim is to help make the area cleaner and safer for residents and visitors alike through visible engagement with the public.
"We're extremely grateful to North Somerset Council for placing their faith in us to deliver this service and we will carry out our patrols in a transparent and proportionate manner.
"We will do all in our power to address the anti-social behaviour which manifests itself in a small section of the community and visitors who continue to blight the landscape by dropping and leaving litter and failing to remove dog faeces."
There's more information on the public space protection orders here www.n-somerset.gov.uk/pspo.
The next Nailsea Community LItter Heroes date is Saturday, June 5, meeting at 10am from 26 Somerset Square. After that litter picking dates for 2021 the group formerly know as Better Nailsea are Saturdays, July 3, August 7, September 4, October 2, November 6 and December 2. with more information on its Facebook page; and
North Somerset Council has launched an 'Adopt A Street' initiative - see poster for more details..
Could electric fire engines be next?
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is making strides towards Net Zero carbon emissions commitment with £823,670 Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) grant.
As one of the only Fire and Rescue Services to receive funding from the scheme, AF&RS continue to lead the way with ambitious plans to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions.
After receiving confirmation of the grant in February and following consultation with staff, work has begun across the service.
So far, AF&RS has installed:
Cavity walls, roof and plant room insulation
New LED lighting
Double glazed doors and windows
Upgraded heating controls and meters
Thanks to the grant, it has now partnered with Solarsense who will design and install a range of renewable energy and low carbon technology projects at Bedminster, Nailsea, Lansdown and Southmead stations, and at AF&RS’ Nova Way Technical Centre.
This will include a combination of air source heat pumps, solar electricity panels, and solar thermal and battery energy storage systems.
The partnership also provides the emergency service with an on-going mechanism to deliver additional future projects as part of AF&RS Net Zero carbon commitment.
Nailsea fire station is currently seeking approval from North Somerset Council planners for the installation of 156 solar panels on a ‘low pitched metal roof behind a parapet’ at Pound Lane.
AF&RS environmental manager Annabel Harford said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to accelerate the decarbonisation of our buildings as a key step towards our sector-leading goal to achieve Net Zero carbon by 2030.
“These projects are predicted to deliver an annual reduction of almost seven per cent in our carbon emissions and will help generate savings as our reliance on fossil fuels and imported energy decreases.”
The PSDS-funded projects will improve the energy efficiency make buildings more comfortable for users, reduce the use of carbon-intensive gas and heating oil, and self-generating more renewable electricity.
Annabel added: “As a Fire and Rescue Service we have a long way to go
in fully decarbonising our vehicles and stations, and as one of the only Services to receive a grant from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, I’m proud of the strides we are making to achieve our ambitious plans.”
Find out more about out our Net Zero carbon emissions commitment in our Environmental Strategy (2020-2030).
AF&RS provides emergency and protection services to the communities of Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
It is committed to providing a safer place for people to live, work and visit across an area of 134,753 hectares and a population of more than one million.
While firefighting has traditionally been at the forefront of its work, the role of a modern fire and rescue service has increased to cover the core functions of 'preventing', 'protecting' and 'responding'.
A lot of its work now focuses on how to prevent accidents and emergencies happening in the first place, as it believes this is the best way to protect communities. This is done by providing advice and education through events, visits, campaigns and partnership working.
Gardeners swap time
On Monday, May 17, a Seed Swap is being launched at 65 High Street, the health and well-being hub run by Nailsea Town Council.
Nailsea residents are invited to swap, donate or collect seed packets and small seedlings - fruit, flowers and vegetable packets welcome.
The Seed Swap will be open Monday to Thursday, 9.30am-4pm and on Fridays 9.30am-1pm.
At 26 Somerset Square Nailsea Community Group is handing out free sunflower seeds for its competition to grow the tallest plant - scroll down this page for more details.
BUSY BEE: Jenn Pera, of Flower Bee Florist, is helping change the branding on this sponsored High Street planter with a Nailsea in Bloom volunteer. Nailsea in Bloom maintain the colourful displays in Nailsea town centre thanks to support from Nailsea Town Council. Last year plants and seeds were donated by local gardeners because its usual contractors weren't able to supply due to coronavirus restrictions. Nailsea in Bloom spokesperson Wendy Mobbs said: "This year all the plants are coming from our usual supplier except for some sunflowers which 2nd Nailsea beavers are planting in the Iceland flower bed. As usual we are very thankful for support from Nailsea Town Council and all our sponsors." Jenna sells beautiful floral arrangements inspired by the seasons for all special events from number 130. Cut flowers and plants are also available for collection or delivery as well as Interflora orders. The Flower Bee plaque is replacing the one for previous shop owners Ann & Joy's Florist who still work part-time at the shop. Call 01275 853209 to order...
Garden waste collection news
North Somerset Council announced last year the difficult decision to introduce an annual charge for garden waste collections to cover costs and protect essential services.
More than 38,900 North Somerset households have now signed up to the new annual chargeable garden waste collection service, with many requiring a bin as they were not previously registered for garden waste collections.
Additional supplies of new garden bins, and sets of bags for those without access for a bin, are currently being delivered, with more on order.
Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor Locking and executive member for neighbourhoods and community services
He said: "We’re delighted that almost 40,000 North Somerset households have signed up to the new service so far.
"Demand has been much higher than expected, with 1,500 new customers who weren’t previously registered for the service signing up and therefore needing a new bin.
“If you’ve signed up and not yet received your permit or your new bin, please don’t worry.
"These are on their way.
“And if you’ve not signed up yet but would like your garden waste collected, there’s still time to do it online at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/gardenwaste.”
Following initial issues with the sign up process, all garden waste has continued to be collected as usual throughout April.
However, from Monday, May 24, only garden waste presented by households who have signed up for the new service will be collected.
Since declaring a climate emergency last year, North Somerset Council has been developing a range of measures to tackle the challenge.
Mr Solomon added: “Home composting is the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to dispose of garden waste.
"Sales of our subsidised home composters have been very encouraging, with over 2,800 purchases made.”
For more information or to order a discounted 220 litre black compost bin made from 100% recycled plastic for just £10, including online training, go to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/composting.
Woodland community classes
Outdoor College works as a community of learning to inspire positive change; helping us all live, learn and work as well as we can in greater harmony with our natural environment.
Our aim is to hold in balance people’s health and nature’s health in all our work.
We work from the beautiful surroundings of Brown Rock woodland in Tickenham, North Somerset, with 20 acres of mature woodland, grassland and a market garden.
We provide an outdoor learning hub for North Somerset, with access to the woodlands by public transport from Nailsea, Clevedon and Long Ashton.
We facilitate nature-based wellbeing support and experiential learning for all ages, encouraging everyone to share their knowledge and life experiences.
To learn more about the community day and other events at Tickenham go to https://www.outdoorcollege.co.uk/what-s-on.
READY, STEADY, PLANT: Nailsea Community Group and the Nailsea Virtual Flower Show are delighted to announce the launch of their Sunflower Growing Competition to see who can grow the tallest Sunflower in Nailsea. The competition is open to all ages and will be judged in September. Seeds and growing instructions will be available from No26 Somerset Square in Crown Glass Shopping Centre from Tuesday, May 4
Nailsea Community Litter Heroes
The collaboration of the Nailsea Community Group and the litter group formerly known as Better Nailsea, now known as Nailsea Community Litter Heroes, has been fantastic.
Nailsea Community Group has a huge volunteer base and have been very supportive and many joined its first litter picks in April and May.
There were many former litter pickers as well as new faces, including families came in April and enjoyed a sunny morning collectively filling about 20 bin bags, as well as an old wooden stool and two plastic folding chairs.
Nailsea Town Council has provided the group with new equipment including litter pickers, bin liners, bag hoops, brooms, dustpan and brush sets and some gardening equipment.
Businesses, individuals or groups can borrow this equipment from 26 Somerset Square if they would like to clear up their local patch.
Contact Jules or Shelley at Number 26 .
A big thank you to the 1st Nailsea Beavers who also went out in April and earned a badge.
Organiser LIsa Davidson said: "Everyone is welcome to come to the next litter pick meeting at 26 Somerset Square at 10am.
"How long you pick is entirely up to you."
Future dates are Saturdays, June 5, July 3, August 7, September 4, October 2, November 6 and December 2. with more information on its Facebook page.
Also see Breaking News page for details of litter patrols.
Funding for local clubs environmental projects
Photographer Tracey Price caught this pair of mute swans taking off from Backwell lake this week.
There are lots more Backwell lake photos in our Gallery 2021 slideshows HERE.
The wonderful work force installed a new viewing platform, new seating and paths with access for all which is now complete.
Big thank you to Wessex Water for funding project which cost thousands.
Wessex Water is also providing financial support to environmental projects across the south west through its new Environment Fund.
The Environment Fund, which will be open for applications from Monday to Friday, May 3 to June 4, will support charitable and community activities across the region that aim to improve their local environment.
The fund forms part of Wessex Water Foundation which was launched last year and provides dedicated funding to charitable and community projects across the region.
To be successful, projects will need to involve communities in environmental activities and have a positive impact on the local environment.
Community groups can apply for up to £1,500.
Wessex Water head of community engagement Kirsty Scarlett said: “We are really pleased to be able to support communities that are passionate about protecting and improving their local area.
“We particularly hope smaller groups that need a bit of extra support will get in touch so that we can help to make a difference in their communities.
“By supporting local efforts, we can work together to make the bigger changes needed to protect our environment for the future.”
The Wessex Water Foundation plans to provide at least half a million pounds of funding every year to support community projects, local environment projects, debt advice and charities helping those who are suffering the consequences of poverty through low income or unemployment.
Find out more at www.wessexwater.co.uk/funding
Backed up at Backwell
Many visitors to the recycling centre at Backwell ask themselves should they queue or come back later?
Helpfully North Somerset Council has now installed the following signage to advise residents with this question!
Summer opening hours are: 10am-4pm Monday, Tuesday and Friday; 9am-4.30pm Saturday; 9am-4pm Sunday and closed Wednesday, Thursday and bank holidays.
Dawn Bond advises once in the queue its no U-turns until just past the hut to turn right.
This post shared from Backwell friends and neighbours page, thanks to Rich Macleavy for sharing the photos.
Rich said: "Thanks to North Somerset Council's 'improved' waste management service we now have a new sign on Dark Lane blocking the entirety of the footpath used by children to access the junior school.
"This causes the children to have to step out into the busy road to get around the sign.
"North Somerset Council clearly realised the problem they were creating as they have also put up another sign asking drivers to 'watch out for people stepping out'.
Nailsea Climate Emergency Group were at the High Street market on Saturday leafleting about the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill.
The women who all believe in the right to peaceful protest decided to stand outside North Somerset Conservative Party offices to highlight the fact they have been unable to open a dialogue with their MP Liam Fox.
They all feel strongly that the proposed legislation will stop peaceful demonstrations deemed by police too noisy or disruptive.
They handed out leaflets saying 'we believe some social issues are so important that raising awareness by people protest it the only action' adding 'we do not condone violence of any sort - let democracy bloom'.
Making muck for gardeners
North Somerset Council together with processing company Enovert is collecting all the garden waste collected from our green bins and recycling the matter.
So far compost has been delivered free-of-charge to The Jack Hazeldine Foundation in Clevedon and to Friends of Grove Park in Weston-super-Mare.
The Jack Hazeldine Foundation is a Clevedon-based charity which supports positive changes in behaviour, resilience and self-esteem in local young people aged six to 20 years.
The donated compost has been put to use in their teaching garden called The Orchard.
Friends of Grove Park is a group of volunteers who aim to keep the park a clean, safe and inviting place for everyone.
The donated compost has been used to improve the soil on the Rectors Way allotment site to help locals grow their own food, promoting healthy eating, outdoor exercise and reduced environmental impact.
Garden waste is collected from 55,000 households in North Somerset and transported to Enovert in Gloucestershire to be commercially processed.
The waste is shredded, laid out in rows and turned regularly to oxygenate. After about 10 weeks it is ready to be used as compost and is usually sold on to commercial customers.
North Somerset Council executive member for the environment Bridget Petty is the Green Party ward councillor for Backwell.
She said: "Supporting local community groups to use compost made from garden waste generated in North Somerset is a great example of partnership working and something we want to do more of in future.
“We want to set up more community composting schemes later this year.
"I urge any allotment committees, parish councils and other interested groups to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can provide the support you need to get this started.
“Composting is the most environmentally friendly way to deal with garden waste and produces a useful soil enhancer.
Residents who want to make their own compost can purchase a discounted home compost bin from the council for just £10 during 2021.
"We’ve been really delighted at the number of people who’ve signed up so far, which has exceeded our expectations.
"What green-fingered residents we have!”
The council has made the difficult decision to introduce an annual charge for the collection of garden waste this spring.
An early bird discount period of 10 per cent off the annual collection cost of one bin ends on Friday, April 16l.
To find out more go to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/gardenwaste and sign-up for the service.
Nailsea & District Horticultural Society first ever Virtual Spring Flower Show was on Saturday, April 3.
Determined to keep village traditions alive but because of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions the event went online but was constrained to just 16 classes.
1 A vase of three daffodils
2 A single daffodil in a vase
3 Daffodils growing in a container
4 A vase of mixed spring flowers
5 A plant growing in a pot
6 Homegrown vegetables
7 Decorated cupcakes – no entries
8 Photography ‘Lockdown’
9 Photography ‘First signs of Spring’
10 Floral art “A Spring Basket”
11 A painting or drawing
12 An item of handicraft
13 A painting or drawing (aged four and under)
14 A painting or drawing (5-7 year olds)
15 A piece of handicraft (8-11 year olds)
16 A piece of handicraft (12-16 year olds) - no entries
The show was considered a great success - the winning entries are in the slideshow.
N&DHS chairman Martyn Davis said: "We were very pleased with the number of exhibitors and the quality of their entries.”
The show attracted more than 40 entries across its classes and was well attended by online visitors.
All the entries can still be seen on the show’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NailseaSpringFlowerShow.
Martyn added: "We look forward to holding our traditional shows as soon as we are able and hope that everyone who has enjoyed entering the virtual show will come along and show everyone what they can do.”
N&DHS monthly talks have moved online.
The first talk, by Rob Evans of Pheasant Acre Nursery, is on Wednesday, April 28, at 7.30pm when he will be speaking on Gladioli And Summer Bulbs.
It is free to attend and anyone interested can email for details email@example.com.
Nailsea Community Group has taken Better Nailsea under its wing and is delighted to announce the launch of Nailsea Community Litter Heroes.
The first litter pick of the year will be on Saturday, April 10, at 10am meeting at 26 Somerset Square.
All equipment needed is provided, you just need to turn up.
Everyone is welcome - young and old alike. Please make sure you stay socially distanced.
Regular organized litter picks will take place on the first Saturday of every month at 10am from No26.
If you can’t make a litter pick on a Saturday then you can just turn up whenever No26 is open to borrow the equipment and have your own mini-litter pick.
Lisa Davidson who set up the Better Nailsea group five years ago said: "I am still very much involved.
"It's great to have this link with the community group as I cannot be at every litter pick and the lovely people at No26 will help our volunteers who cannot make the organised litter picks.
"I work full time so not available during the week - it’s such a massive help."
Nailsea Community Litter Heroes
Top recycling team
Recycling rates published last week by Defra, name North Somerset Council as the second best performing English unitary council.
This places North Somerset as the ninth best council in the country.
In 2019-20, 60.6 per cent of household waste generated in North Somerset was recycled - a 1.9 per cent improvement on the previous year, and the second highest improvement in the top ten councils.
North Somerset Council executive member for the environment is Bridget Petty who is the Green Party councillor for Backwell.
She said: "One of our main priorities is to make North Somerset a greener place to be, so I am really pleased that our recycling rates are runners-up of the unitary league and in the top ten of all councils in the country.
"We have worked incredibly hard to encourage our residents to recycle as much as they can and I am hugely impressed with how people have responded.
"Thank you to everyone who plays their part and helps us to recycle as much as we can.
"The time and care that our residents take to sort their recycling correctly is keeping us at the top of the South West.
"The hard work pays off and is worth it.
"Thanks also need to go to our great crews for their work in a really difficult year - they have been great key workers.
"We are passionate about minimising waste and our residents are too.
" I'd love to see us beat our position next year.
"For those not yet recycling their food waste there is excellent advice and tips available on our website or on the North Somerset Waste and Recycling Facebook."
Click HERE for more information.
North Somerset is going greener
North Somerset Council is inviting residents to have their say on protecting our natural environment.
The council is developing a new green infrastructure strategy aimed at protecting and enhancing the area's natural environment during the next 10 years and longer.
Residents and community groups are currently being asked for their views during an eight-week consultation period which runs until Friday, April 9.
The public consultation also includes engagement sessions with town and parish councils, community group workshops and feedback from professional organisations.
Its aims include improving biodiversity and helping to create a healthier and more attractive place for residents with better access to nature and high-quality open spaces.
To complete questionnaire go to http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/libraries-leisure-open-spaces/parks-countryside/green-infrastructure-strategy.
More than 120 responses have already been received.
Despite fears there are no plans to reintroduce wolves and bears in urban areas (this last sentence could just be a check to see if you were still reading).
There was however quite a bit of fallout from North Somerset Council’s rewilding scheme especially the coppice on the corner of Nailsea Park and Blackthorn Way.
Nailsea People devoted last month’s front page to the issues.
Read more HERE.
£50 fee for garden waste collection from April
UPDATE: Residents now have until Friday, April 16, to receive a discount when they sign up for the garden waste collection service. Due to the difficulties some residents have experienced when signing-up, North Somerset Council is extending the early bird 10 per cent discount off the annual collection cost for one bin. More than 18,000 households have already signed-up for the service despite some of the issues.
An annual charge is coming to garden waste collections in North Somerset from April.
If you’re currently registered for the garden waste service, look out for a letter arriving next week explaining the new charge and what to do next.
The annual charge is £50 per bin from Thursday, April 1, and up to two bins per household are allowed.
It has not been an easy decision for North Somerset Council to make but finances are under great pressure and income generated from this service will make it self-financing.
This in turn will free-up resources to protect essential services, such as care and support in the community.
Home composting is the cheapest and most environmentally-friendly way of managing your garden waste.
Compost bins can be bought from the council for just £10 this year, along with access to free e-learning tools, to help you make the most of it.
Online talks with a compost expert are also coming in the next few weeks to help get you started and answer some common questions.
Zoom sessions will take place from 1-2pm on Wednesday, March 24, and 7.30-8.30pm on Thursday, April 1.
Spaces on each session are limited but more dates will be added if demand is high.
Book a place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.The council wants to support more community composting projects so if you’re involved in a local gardening, nature or community group, or allotment association, and would be interested
If you’re an existing garden waste customer, look out for a letter next week explaining the new charge and what to do next.
A 10 per cent early bird discount is available if you sign up by Sunday, March 28.
Properties which sign up to the new service will receive a permit to stick on the lid of the bin to identify it clearly.
Initially, the day and frequency of collections will not change and you should continue to use your existing garden waste bin or sacks.
If you don’t want to pay, you don’t have to do anything.
However, you will no longer receive a garden waste collection from Thursday, April 1.
Any unwanted garden waste bins will not be collected straight away but the council will let residents know how to do this later in the year.
Better Nailsea ideas for litter picking
This month marks the fifth birthday of the Better Nailsea group who are the chief litter pickers in the town.
Founder member Lisa Davidson said: "A huge thank you to everyone who has volunteered with us over the years.
"As we are unable to arrange any group litter picks or meetings I thought it might be positive to share some ideas of what is possible as there is no shortage of litter."
Volunteering can be done in new ways:
Those of you who are avid walkers will appreciate the stunning views in our area. Please consider tucking a carrier bag into your pocket when out and about so when you see the plastic bottles, empty cans or takeaway boxes exposed in the hedges or against a fence you can collect them. You will be helping the wildlife and protecting the enviornment.
Perhaps you are now part of the home schooling team? I challenge you to tuck a bag in your pocket and be the role model of your household. Little ones need to get out and about and they love being involved - can you take a different path each day and play a game of Find The Rubbish? At the end of the week show and tell with before and after photos? Please send photos to email@example.com or post directly on our Better Nailsea Facebook page.
Many of us have become more connected to our neighbours - perhaps you have a street What'sApp group? Could you be the first person on your patch who shares photos of where you litter picked locally? Your neighbours who cannot go out would love to see what you have done! You can let your friends know what you are doing and ask them to do the same. Tucking a bag in your pocket is the only prep work!
Home workers can be a virtual inspiration. Does your team need a change from the weekly quiz? There is a free teambuilding challenge (just tie a carrier bag around your dog lead or wrap around your keys) that gets everyone out in the fresh air and away from their screen and shows your company that you care about your community. Who took the most steps and collected the most rubbish will win the title of Volunteer Of The Week award. You could post the winner on your company newsletter and inspire other teams.
Lisa added: "Would you like to help with our group? If you are not interested in litter picking, perhaps you could help with our administration or greeting volunteers at our litter picks? We hope to set dates for group litter picking as soon as it is safe to do so."
Woodpecker has own website
This great spotted woodpecker feeding its young is just one of a fabulous gallery of fauna and flora featuring on a new website for The Friends of Trendlewood Park at https://friendsoftrendlewoodpark.org.uk.
Friends are volunteers who work with North Somerset Council to maintain, preserve and enhance an area of open parkland within the Trendlewood area of Nailsea.
The park is approximately 14 acres extending from Nowhere Wood in the west, across Trendlewood Way to the River Kenn in the east.
The Friends also manage two meadows on Golden Valley, which are rich in wildflowers, insects and birds and are a favourite foraging area for many species of birds and bats
Maps show that the park is easy to access by car, public transport and on foot from all directions.
A series of woodland paths and interlinked footpaths give access to all corners of the park and onto adjoining farmland.
The park is a mix of woodland, grassland, trees and hedges, seasonal ponds and an orchard which support an abundance of flora and fauna.
The self sown trees in Nowhere Wood have grown on former Pennant sandstone quarries, now a regionally important geological site.
The stone was used to build much of ‘old’ Nailsea.
An Illustrated article by a FoTP member, provides much fascinating information about the geology and a wide variety of uses for the stone.
The website helps the group bring the park to life by introducing the people involved, history of its development, activities that happen at the park, along with some fabulous photos taken over the year.
These photos by Andrew Town feature the flora and fauna that can be found around the whole park.
Anyone who has a keen interest in the conservation of such a fabulous park is invited to join FoTP whether or not the can join on the twice monthly park workdays.
An application form is on the website.
Membership is free and open-ended and keeps people you in touch with what is going on in this award-winning public open space on our doorstep.
If you don’t already know the park, do visit, and enjoy getting close to nature.
It's got green credentials
Trendlewood Community Park in Nailsea is one of five parks and green spaces in North Somerset to proudly fly the Green Flag again this year.
The other four are Abbots Pool in Abbots Leigh, Watchhouse Hill in Pill, Prince Consort Gardens and Uphill Hill Local Nature Reserve, both in Weston-super-Mare.
The prestigious Green Flag is the mark of a quality park or green space.
Awarded by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, the scheme recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces and is a sign to the public that the sites boast the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities.
North Somerset Council executive member responsible for parks and green spaces Bridget Petty is the Green Party councillor for Backwell.
She said: "It has been a particularly challenging year for managing our open spaces and these awards reflect the commitment and skills of our parks team and volunteers in delivering excellent facilities for our local communities.
"The team and our contractors Glendale and Somerset Wood Recycling have pulled out all the stops this year given the reduced opportunities for volunteers to be involved because of coronavirus.
"One thing the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has taught us is how much we value our local parks and green spaces.
“Throughout lockdown and beyond parks across North Somerset, as with the rest of the country, have been an important destination for locals to use.
"Congratulations to everyone involved in managing our green spaces during what has been a difficult year.’’
The flower show went on...
In 2019 Nailsea & District Horticultural Society annual summer show was wall-to-wall people and flowers but for 2020 it was a different reality while living under Covid-19 restrictions.
Last summer the displays at Nailsea School atrium attracted more than 550 visitors and there were nearly 300 classes on show with everything from flowers, vegetables, floral art, handicrafts and cookery, stalls and a silver band it made a colourful traditional show in a contemporary setting.
But for 2020 the show went on but not in the format we know - it was set up on Facebook!
Viewing how our garden grew became a virtual display online of horticultural produce and floral exhibits.
The virtual flower show finale on Saturday, August 8, was put together by four gallant garden fans Carol Eskell, Sarah Goulty, Sarah Hearne and Keith Norwood with the blessing of Nailsea & District Horticultural Society who were responsible for past events.
This year there are 17 different classes including vegetables, fruit, flowers, cake decoration, handicraft and children’s classes with three sections devoted to photography.
The fun element was included but there was no Filton Concert Brass Band or presentation of the silver polished trophies.
Instead winners got an artistic certificate to frame.
The first Nailsea flower show was in 1853 and apart from two world wars has run annually nearly every year since.
Usually ‘daffodils’ dominate the spring show and in the summertime fruit and veg come to the fore.
Spokesman for the fab four Sarah Hearne said: “We had nearly 100 entries.
“The most popular classes were the Local Nature photography class with 23 entries and the handicraft class with 16 entries.
“We would like to thank everyone who took part in the show.
“We've been really overwhelmed with the response.
“The 91 entries have been amazing - so many talented people.”
This is the results from the public vote with advice from guest judges cake baker Irina Ivanova, Jenn Pera and Ann Belcher and Lauren Poole for the great graphics.
Jenn the new owner of Flower Bee Florist chose the floral art winner.
She said: "The use of the flowers to create and emphasise the lighthouse was stunning.
“The colours coordinated brilliantly and it was a floral embodiment of summer, well done."
Sarah Hearne added: “It’s goodbye from the Nailsea Virtual Show Committee for 2020, and hopefully for ever.
“Please stay safe and hopefully we’ll be back to normal next year.”
Backwell Camera Club judge Ann Belcher chose the photography for best in show.
Ann said: “It is a simple image which excellently interprets Nailsea In Lockdown where household members re-engage with nature on their daily walks.
“The two in young people in red instantly draw the eye and are surrounded by uncluttered green - the complementary colour"
Congratulations to Janet Harris for taking this photo!
You can view all photographs on Facebook HERE.