Arson attack on Slopes picnic area

The blackened raised platforms at the Kingswear Road picnic area. Picture by Lewis Campbell.

Firefighters were called to a picnic area on Kingswear Road at the weekend – after reports of a fire raging with thick black smoke.

The crew from Bedminster Fire Station attended the scene on Saturday 8 July – and discovered the rubber matting on the seating blocks was on fire. They took around 10 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue Service said the incident happened at 7.37pm and looked like “deliberate ignition”.

A 46-year-old resident who lives close by and did not want to be named said: “I was on the bus and I saw a lot of black smoke. I think it’s disgusting. I liked sitting on there, you could have seen the balloon festival and all sorts. It looks an eyesore now and you can’t sit on it. A lot of people like coming here with their dogs.”

Katie Mcintyre (34) said: “I’ve walked past and seen it…it’s horrible. It’s nice to have things like this near us and for the little ones. I would have liked to have come here, I‘ve got a dog and little one. It’s a shame as you want to keep it nice for people to use.”

The Northern Slopes Initiative (NSI) which maintains the area has asked Bristol City Council to take the vandalised features away and replace them with “something more natural”.

The raised platforms in the picnic area were built by Bristol City Council after consultation with local people for residents to sit and take in the views of the city.