Work is set to commence on a new trail that will connect historic Stoke Park to the north of Bristol, boosting walking and cycling journeys.
The new ‘all-weather’ path, which will link from Romney Avenue in Lockleaze to Jellicoe Avenue in Stoke Gifford and the Purdown Gun Battery, is being installed so that cyclists, or those who use wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pushchairs, can enjoy the Bristol beauty spot.
Bristol City Council say the project will also provide an enhanced walking and cycling route to help connect the north of Bristol, including new housing developments in Lockleaze which are estimated to be completed by next winter, to Stoke Park and the rest of the city.
Bat and bird boxes will also be installed along the route to support nature and the ongoing conservation work taking place at the park, where goats and cattle are currently grazing to control invasive plants and encouraging wildflowers and insects to thrive.
Why is it being built
Marvin Rees, mayor of Bristol, said: “This new path will make Stoke Park more accessible, helping more people to enjoy exercise, nature and Bristol’s heritage in this iconic green space.
“We know that visiting green spaces can help people’s physical and mental health, so I am delighted to make it easier for people to enjoy the area and benefit from our work to boost and protect nature in the park.”
“The path is also part of our vision to create a more inclusive and connected city, as it will make it easier for people living to the north of the city to walk or cycle when travelling to work, education, shops and leisure.
“It is essential we provide sustainable transport options to help us meet the demands of a growing population and new housing developments, as well as working towards our clean air plans and our ambitious goal to be carbon neutral and climate resilient by 2030.”
The route of the path
The path will follow the route of the old carriage track to the Dower House.
Made of asphalt surface containing natural quartzite stone, it will be in a natural colour and similar in appearance to the path that already runs through the park from Jellicoe Avenue to the Duchess Pond and Park Road.
A small section of the old cart track next to Barn Wood - where the original paving is still clearly visible - will be left exposed as part of the new route, while the rest of the historic track will be protected by a layer of geotextile to prevent the surfacing being laid above from damaging it.
Barriers will also be installed to prevent people using motorbikes along the new path.
When it will be ready
The project follows a public consultation in 2018 which gauged the public’s views on upgrading the path.
It is expected to take nine months to complete as contractors take care to preserve the existing carriage track and avoid damaging the landscape and local ecology of the area.