News from Avon Gardens Trust

The latest news and updates from AGT.

Primary School Grants in 2012-2013 Academic Year

In this last academic year, we received applications for a small grant towards gardens from eight schools within Avon. Two of the schools were from Bath and North East Somerset and six were from North Somerset. All these schools received a grant of £25 per school. Following the Annual General Meeting in July, it was proposed, seconded and agreed by the members present that the amount given to each successful school in the future would …

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A Peace Garden in Barton Hill, Bristol – Bringing communities together

Representatives from the Somali Resource Centre receiving a cheque as a contribution for fruit trees in the Peace Garden in front of the community mosque in Barton Hill

Belying the summer to come, on a cold and grey June day a cheque was handed over to representatives from the Somali Resource Centre and the charity Agora ( in front of the Peace Garden on the forecourt of the inclusive community Mosque in Barton Hill. Our visit to the Somali Resource Centre at the Barton Hill Settlement in November 2012 and subsequently meeting a representative from Agora had led on to their initial application …

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South West Education Conference 2013

This was held on a rare sunny spring day in the National Trust owned medieval surroundings of Trerice in Cornwall. Delegates representing six counties across the south west region attended. The keynote speaker was Sarah Chesters, Principal Education Officer at Rosemoor, the RHS garden in Devon. She described a series of activities that were available to her predominantly nursery and primary school visitors to the garden there including pond dipping, tree planting, a hands on …

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An Award Winning Community Walled Garden in Bristol

Tucked away behind the Georgian facade of the old St. Luke’s Vicarage on the corner of Queen Anne Road in Barton Hill lies a spacious, historic walled garden in the area of the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Temple or Holy Cross. Dearly loved and beautifully laid out in earlier times, it had become neglected. Rather than the property being put on the open market, Dr Chris Sunderland of Agora, a charitable organisation which works to …

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Primary School Grants in 2011-2012 Academic Year

This year, following close liaison with the Healthy Schools Co-ordinators in our four unitary authorities, Avon Gardens Trust invited primary schools to apply for small grants that would help to enhance their school gardening projects. Of the seven schools who applied, two were from Bristol, one from Bath, three from North Somerset and one from a village in South Gloucestershire. All the schools had active gardening clubs most of which met on a weekly basis. …

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Repton & the Rich Apothecary New Light on Cote Bank

The Westbury area in the early 19th century (James Russell)

By James Russell Originally published in Avon Gardens Trust Journal No.1, Summer 2006 Introduction In his 1803 Observations on the Theory & Practice of Landscape Gardening Humphry Repton makes brief references to work carried out for one ‘William Broderup’ at a location near Bristol variously described as ‘Cote Bank’ or ‘Cotham Bank’. He tells us little about the commission except that he was assisted by his architect son John Adey Repton and that the site …

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Trees for St Michael’s Junior School, Bath

von Gardens Trust Chair, Ros Delany lends a hand at St Michael's Junior School, Bath

St Michael’s Junior School in Twerton, Bath, was one of the primary schools that received a small grant from Avon Gardens Trust in early 2012 to go towards improving their school grounds. I was delighted to receive an invitation to visit the school to meet members of the Green Fingers Club and to plant one of the trees that the school had purchased with the grant money. On a wet day in early July that …

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South West Education Conference 2012

“You will find something far greater in the woods than you will find in books. Stones and trees will teach you that which you will never learn from masters.” St. Bernard of Clairvaux 1091-1153 These words were quoted by Sue Palmer, Head of Farley Nursery in Hampshire, the first speaker at the Conference held on a spring day at Jermyn’s House, Sir Harold Hillier Garden, near Romsey in Hampshire. Fifteen representatives from seven county gardens …

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South West Education Conference 2011

Shaun Cheeseman

The Conference, held at The Sawmill, Tyntesfield, on a mild spring day, was attended by 17 delegates from six counties. The first speaker, Shaun Cheeseman, the Healthy Schools Co-ordinator for North Somerset, outlined how the Healthy Schools Programme was a Government funded national initiative that started in 2000. Sadly the funding ceases later this year. The scheme resulted in a range of cross curriculum benefits. In addition, OFSTED were keen to look at the extent …

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South West Education Conference 2009

Nick Williams-Ellis

Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester, 2 February The Association of Gardens Trusts’ South-West Education meeting was hosted by Dorset Gardens Trust at Kingston Maurward College, the agricultural and land-based science institution housed in a magnificent eighteenth-century pile on the outskirts of Dorchester. Ten counties are included in the south-west area, but owing to heavy snow, Avon was among only four represented, the others being Wiltshire, Somerset and of course, Dorset. Mary Cruickshank who had recently been …

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