This week we've handed the blog section of our newsletter over to Ben Barker, FAB member and wildlife enthusiast who's written a short piece asking, "What's visiting your garden?"
"Wildlife Groups are popping up across Bristol. The first was in BS3 (Bedminster, Southville, Ashton and Windmill Hill) and began in 2017 when people started to share information about birds, butterflies and other creatures that visited their garden or were spotted in parks and allotments. There was a newsletter and Facebook for sharing ideas, sightings and pictures, but it really took off in the lockdown summer of 2020 when people began to spend more time in local green spaces.
Many people said that they had never really done this before and couldn’t tell a starling from a blackbird or a ringlet from a red admiral, but they soon picked it up. The sightings were collated into reports establishing what sorts of creature lived in BS3. We have a much clearer idea now about who our wild neighbours are and how they are doing. Many, of course, are threatened and in decline so we are sharing ideas about how to reverse this. Often quite simple things like making a hole in your garden wall so that hedgehogs can move about; putting out a dish of water for birds to drink and bathe or leaving a pile of logs for beetles and other creepy crawlies to spend the winter can make a big difference. Some people put in ponds.
A second Wildlife Group was launched in 2020 in BS4 (Brislington, Knowle, Filwood) and now about half of the city has a Wildlife Group of some sort and we expect to gather lots more information.
Monitoring and encouraging wildlife is very useful, but it’s also good fun. Many of our ‘citizen scientists’ have said how important it was to have some purpose during the lockdown and some reason for contacting others, even if socially distanced. I’m sure that as we return to ‘normal’ many people will continue with this important work and that Bristol’s wildlife will be the better for it. Us too.
For more information about your Local Wildlife Group go to email@example.com or write to Bristol Wildlife Groups, c/o Southville Centre, Beauley Road, Bristol, BS3 1QG."
Vibeke and Clare
P.S Is there something you'd like to include in the FAB newsletter? Please get in touch - we love hearing your news.
We have been given 6 free tickets to the virtual London Open Gardens for FAB members
Due to the limited number of tickets we have, we will be giving these out on a first-come-first-served basis. Please reply to FAB@ageukbristol.org.uk to register your interest.
This ticket will buy you exclusive access through one screen to a unique interactive live show displaying a variety of London's best gardens, allotments and other special green spaces. Your confirmation email will include an exclusive link that will be activated on the day of the event. You will receive a unique token for your screen shortly before the event goes live. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy! You will also be able to watch the event for at least a month afterwards. Each token can only be used on one specific screen. All reminders with tokens are sent to the registered email address.
Take part in a meetup morning
Thursday 27th May, 10.30am - 12pm, free online via Zoom activity.
Bristol Older People's Forum has set up a new regular meetup morning over Zoom. This is an opportunity to make new social connections by meeting up with new friends on a regular basis through video link. The relaxed and informal format of each Meet-up will be developed by the people who attend.
Find out more on the BOPF website
Next round of Bereavement Peer Support Training
BAB is offering a free training programme to guide people through the process of setting up their own bereavement peer-support group in a way that is sustainable and does not rely on funding, using an Asset Based Community Development approach (ABCD).
The training is based on the successful model of the STAR (Share, Talk and Remember) bereavement peer-support group in Stockwood in Bristol which provides free support for people grieving from a bereavement or difficult transition in their life. The course will be delivered by Jan Perry, STAR Network Co-ordinator & Freelance Trainer.
Find out more here.
Black History Walking Tour
Why not go for a city centre walk this week? As part of Bristol WalkFest you can discover some local Black history on a wander through Montpelier and St Pauls using the Go Jauntly app.
Find out more here.
Open Studios with Spike Island - online
Friday 28th - Sunday 30th May
Enjoy this popular annual event online. Go behind the scenes of artists’ studios, meet creative practitioners and learn about their processes and ideas, tune into a diverse programme of events, films, performances, radio broadcasts, and more.
Find out more here.
Midsummer Nature Nights - A Local Future
Tuesday 8th June 6:30-8:00pm. £5.00 via Zoom
Join a special broadcast from Temple Church with Festival of Nature, Landscape Institute, and English Heritage. Inspirational speakers from across the world discuss how to inspire change locally for the wellbeing of people and the planet.
Find out more here.
Boredom Buster - Get growing this Summer
Whilst Spring has definitely been wetter than usual we're still hoping for a lovely summer. Together TV is inviting everyone to join its Sunflower Challenge by sending out 400,000 free sunflower seeds, arranged in special kits including a weekly calendar for you to hang to your fridge to keep an eye on your progress.
You can find out more and get your growing kit here.
We've added a 'boredom buster' section to the FAB newsletter. Let us know if you'd like to contribute an activity, a book recommendation, fun facts etc to include in the next issue.