Friends of the Avon New Cut (FrANC) events

Here are THREE INVITATIONS from Tim Wickstead, FrANC Chair:

Event 1
On Sunday afternoon April 7th from 2-4pm you are warmly invited to visit The Cut to review our inventory of plants – flowers and trees – growing along its banks.

This exercise was carried out in 2005 and 2011; you will be provided with our lists of previous identifications against which you can check what we see growing today.  We’re calling this our Springwatch survey and hope to repeat the exercise at other times of the year.

Tess Green will lead the meeting and asks that we assemble at Gaol Ferry Bridge.  We hope to cover as much of The Cut as possible, sampling here and there, but all will depend on how many of you can meet us on that day.  We have talked of having four teams taking on both north and south bank sides; it would be good if this time, because of the closure of the Chocolate Path, we could include the south side stretch from Bath Bridge to Bedminster Bridge.

Tess asks too that we hunt out and bring any plant/tree identification books and guides we may have.  Some of us will have considerable knowledge to share; others, like myself, will be keen to learn. If you have friends and relations perhaps unconnected with The Cut but who know their plants and wild flowers, please invite them.

Let us hope for good weather. If the weather is atrocious, we will cancel.  If you find it hard to decide if it’s going ahead, Tess is happy for you to ring her on the day:  01179 852 795

Event 2
Our 4th and final river bank clean-up takes place on the morning of Saturday 13th April 10am – 12pm, covering the Banana Bridge to Bath Bridge section.  A reminder with the normal set of details will be sent to you closer to the time.

And a very big thank you to the 25 of you who so efficiently cleared all the slippery, heavily littered section from Bedminster Bridge to Gaolferry Bridge opposite ASDA on our 3rd session on March 9th.  Thank you too to Bristol Waste who had removed all traces of our piles of bags by 10.30am on the following Monday.

Event 3
Looking ahead to summer days and a boat trip up The Cut itself.
Bristol Ferry Boats, seeking the right tidal arrangements, offer two rare opportunities to travel by boat, out to Sea Mills, under the Clifton Suspension Bridge and then back up The Avon New Cut to the Netham Lock.
Saturday 13th July 2.30pm-6pm
Tuesday 27th August, 2.30pm-6pm

Costings prevent us offering a single FrANC outing on one of these dates and so we publicise both trips, encouraging as many of you as can to try this special trip.  Saturday’s excursion is filling up fast, only 10 spaces left when last I looked; 20+ still available on the Tuesday in August.  You apply to  The FrANC committee will be represented on both outings with a chance to hand out materials about our group.

I’m sorry this works out as a lengthy message but the events described, in particular the first, our Springwatch survey, underline a key aspect of our Friends’ group;  sometimes, we say, folk ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’, or in FrANC’s case,  ‘the plants for the litter’.  On April 7th we have a chance to reverse this: the chance for what actually grows on The Cut to come first.

Very best wishes
Tim Wickstead