Delay to Quietway – and anger at clearance of nature reserve

Completion of the Filwood Quietway through the Northern Slopes has been delayed until autumn – with locals outraged at the removal of more vegetation on the nature reserve.

Work to build the cycling and walking route from Hengrove to the city centre began in February through the Northern Slopes – with the footpath from Glyn Vale closed during construction. It was originally hoped to finish construction in July.

But discovery of human waste and drugs equipment around the site meant work had to stop to clear the area.

The Northern Slopes Initiative (NSI), a group of volunteers who maintain the green space, are up in arms at the destruction of extra vegetation – without communication from the council.

NSI Chair Bob Franks said: “Locals are outraged at the increase in disturbance and vegetation removal from the Slopes Nature Reserve, especially during the nesting season.

“We were shocked to find even though we had been trying to help get information out to the Quietway Steering Group, work had started on site before we knew what was happening. We wrote to the Mayor who has stated that communications should improve. Let us hope so!

“It is extremely disappointing to see that part of the Glyn Vale site and footpaths will be closed to the public for even longer…”

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “As part of our work to create more accessible cycling and walking routes throughout the city, we’ve been working with the local community to make sure this scheme can be built sensitively, to compliment this treasured public space.

“We have been in touch with the Northern Slopes Initiative during this process including giving them tours of the site and will increase our efforts to make sure they are kept updated of future progress.

“During construction we have had to remove excess soil which sadly could not be recycled due to litter contamination. We’ve therefore had to clear an area of scrub vegetation to store it, but this but will be replaced with grassland and shrubs to encourage a greater variety of wildlife to the area.

“All works have been undertaken with the supervision of an ecologist and will be paid for using funding for the project which has come from central government.

“Unfortunately this work has delayed the project but we are still confident that it will improve the area for local people…”

For information about Filwood Quietway visit: www.travelwest.info

For information about the NSI visit: www.northern-slopes-initiative.co.uk