Greening Cotham

For anyone who would like to encourage our area being naturally greener, would you put around a note (which you may want to draft yourself or use this as a template, for which Miles and I have edited out any reference to this initiative coming from the local Lib Dem team) to all the households in your street or via Next Door?

This might suggest that residents meet to discuss how this could be done and if any initial advice would be needed. Some local people have said they would be willing to help with practical guidance to support local interest. No options should be excluded but a simple achievable approach might cover:

1. Trees: There are opportunities for sponsored street trees (stumps / no stumps) or, as a long shot, build-outs with new trees. At present the council have turned down proposals for planting boxes or shrubberies on streets. All of these are going to be expensive and/or difficult so the easy option is to try and get a street scheme for planting a tree in every front garden. The Bristol Tree Forum website gives examples of suitable trees with a range of characteristics.

2. Greenery: again hedges or shrubs in front gardens will support wildlife and add to general bio-diversity and greenery. We should not give up on lobbying for the prospect of introducing shrubs directly into large areas of tarmac or as planting boxes although this is presently rejected by council officers on grounds of maintenance responsibility even with promises of the work being done and paid for by local residents. We should not give up but in the meantime could add some in our own gardens.

3. Stopping Pesticide Spraying: A deal was brokered with Bristol Waste Company [BWC] in early 2019 in two areas in Cotham where a sufficient number of residents have agreed to hoe street weeds. In return BWC take this street out of their herbicide-spraying schedule. There are many concerns about Glysophate, not least of which is its pesticide risk to bugs. A third street agreement is nearly ready to be finalised and two others are on the cards. This is a popular measure but it needs that initial suggestion to get round to everyone!

4. Wildlife: It is very easy to make gardens more friendly to all sorts of wildlife.  This may include different planting, even in small wild corners, or providing simple opportunities for particular wildlife such as creating connecting routes through fences, bug hotels and more as shown on the link. If this were to be presented in a fun way, particularly for children, this could really take off.

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