BTF 2020 Newsletter

Sadly, it has not been possible to hold our annual AGM this year, so we have postponed it until next Spring. Subject to the state of any COVID 19 restrictions against us meeting, we will let you know when we have been able to find a new date as soon as we can.

In the meantime, we have decided to publish a number of articles highlighting issues that have been prominent over the past year. We hope you find them of interest.

We wish all our followers a very happy holiday season and all the very best for the New Year.


In defence of Bristol’s trees – Mark Ashdown

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Why are we felling so many trees in Bristol when the city’s stated aim is to double tree canopy cover by 2046? To achieve this aim, we will need to stop felling existing trees, failing to replace those that have to be felled trees AND see at least a five-fold increase in our current tree-planting rate!


Miyawaki or Tiny forests – Chris Wallace

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Miyawaki or Tiny Forests are a promising approach to rewilding urban areas and we look forward to being involved in future schemes. However their contribution to overall tree canopy is limited by their size.


Don’t Stop The (Christmas) Rot – In praise of Ivy – Guest Editor, Nick Gates, Naturalist

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There is a weird craze amongst a certain type of well-meaning nature lover. It involves taking an axe, leatherman or small saw, and severing limbs. Not at random, but of one of our favourite and most important Christmas plants. Ivy.


On the Verge – Planting for the future – Guest Editor, Nick Haigh

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The A4320 Bike Path Verge is a tree planting initiative between Bristol’s Lawrence Hill roundabout and Stapleton road; currently a bare stretch of grass, void of plants and animals, it will soon be turned into a wildlife, carbon-capturing haven, with thanks to support from the Bristol Tree Forum.


Bristol City Council’s Tree Management Policy – has it changed, or did we misunderstand it all along? – Stephanie French

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Why does Bristol City Council have one standard when it comes to protecting its own trees, but another standard when it comes to trees protected with a TPO or growing in a Conservation Area?


Dealing with Ash Die Back disease – Guest Editor, Victoria Stanfield Cert. Arb & For

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It was shocking to see the prevalence of the disease in our area when the trees were in full leaf this Summer, a large number of the trees which had been showing some sign of the disease in 2019, had deteriorated dramatically over the Winter months and come back into leaf with less than 50% of their canopy cover.


Trees and Planning: Artists’ Impressions and Heritage Statements – Stephanie French & Vassili Papastavrou

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Plans with delightful illustrations of tree-filled spaces around new developments, either showing existing trees retained or new trees planted, are so often a ‘misdirection’, drawn in to make you think that everything will be alright and is acceptable, and that it doesn’t matter really. Please don’t be fooled. You need to read the detail.


The Morley Square arboretum – Chris Wallace

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Morley Square is the only privately owned square in Bishopston. The deeds of the 28 houses around the square, including ours, state that the house owners have the rights of access to the square and the responsibility for its maintenance. One of our main concerns are the trees, some impressively large, mapped here on BristolTrees. Although only covering half an acre, the square contains 29 species of tree, a minor arboretum.


New Developments should be built around existing trees – Vassili Papastavrou

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We always see glib promises that more trees will be planted than are removed, with the insinuation that the environment will be better afterwards. In our experience, replanting often fails or, if it does survive, produces meagre results, and take years to replace what is lost, assuming it ever does. It is perfectly possible to build around existing trees.


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