We are delighted to have a beautiful new painting by artist and founder of Collaborative Painting UK, Luke Palmer, aka Acerone. Funded by Hotwells & Cliftonwood Community Association, Luke painted this stunner in less than two days. Martin Booth, a journalist for Bristol 24/7 happened along while Luke was painting and wrote this article.
For up-to-date information and events check our Facebook page has changed to Friends of Hotwells Piazza & Art under the Flyover. We're really keen to get more people involved in helping make the piazza more of a community space and while Hotwells' largest open public space is officially called Cumberland Piazza, not many locals relate to that name. It's lovely the way people passing by appreciate all the work we've been doing, but it would be even more lovely to have a bit of help. Our next Community Gardening Day is Monday 15th July 2-6pm only a couple of days before we get judged by the Royal Horticultural Society South West in Bloom team. If you have ideas or expertise to share, it's a great opportunity to have your say!
HCCA has also commissioned Bristol Wood Recycling Project to build some new planters co-designed with Anna Haydock-Wilson which locals helped us fill in our last community gardening day on May 19th and Alex from LiveGraft has been back on site to help us with some more greening of the Piazza.
Sadly, in early May, weed-killer was sprayed all over the Piazza, destroying nearly £2000 worth of plants and labour. The sedum beds and chinese poppies were about to burst into flower but were almost completely destroyed along with several hebes, ferns, heuchera and others. We have had to put energy and resources into restoring the beds and we have once again requested that the council does not use weed killer on the Piazza. With climate change causing ever extreme weather around the globe we need as much carbon absorption and as many pollinators as possible.
On that note, we're in for a prolonged spell without rain and we were unable to expand out rain water harvesting capacity during an extremely wet June as someone had dumped a motorbike in front of the water butt and store-room. Can you help? Waste water is welcome- it can be as little as encouraging kids to water the planters using their water bottle on the way home from school or a more regular offer. Contact Anna by email if you're able to bring water to site in times of low rainfall.
7/8th September- Brunel's Other Bridge group are hosting activities in the Cumberland Basin to demonstrate our local heritage and amazing engineering. Over that weekend we'll provide some arts activities on the Piazza for everyone to join in
We are setting up a 'Friends' group to meet for gardening days, plan local events and share ideas and aspirations for this community space. The Friends group might also like to join in conversations about longer term developments that the council are consulting on. Follow this link to receive regular news and invitations.
We're welcoming any locals but if you have friends or family you think might be interested they are welcome. Our first event is Sunday 19th May 12-4pm opposite the Rose of Denmark pub. We'll be filling our new planters and doing some general gardening and chatting. Cake provided!
Please bring something to drink as we have no water onsite
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions
The piazza has some new green areas which we hope you are enjoying.
In partnership with Alex Patience at Live Graft we have removed the cracked tiles from areas around the trees and re-used all the materials to create a rockery bed under the big Catalpa and another along the railings of the former playpark.
Although we've not been able to afford to do the major landscaping work proposed in 2013 we are incrementally and sustainably achieving a greener space and we're very proud of our zero waste re-use approach. Special thanks to Ray Smith for his legacy to the Cumberland Piazza and to Zoe Smith for excellent landscape advice.
Would you like to get involved?
Join us on September 29th, 11-2pm for our next community gardening day! We will be clearing unsightly weeds, sweeping up leaves and painting out tagging, making it all beautiful for the West Bristol Art Trail on 13/14th October 2018.
If you brought too many shells or stones back from the beach this summer or you have broken crockery you can't bear to throw away, feel free to add to our railings rockery.Read more
In June 2018 we will be taking up some of the broken tiles from between the trees around the Cumberland Piazza to allow more low maintenance planting.
Weeds currently dominate these areas and it would be lovely to see a bit more variety and colour.
Here is our new master plan reflecting conversation and ideas from local people over the past year. The priority is to green the Piazza as much as possible so our plan includes more tree-planting, softening tarmac'd surfaces and increasing planters. We have grown a variety of plants and we now know what works with a minimum of watering, so we feel confident we can increase pollinators in a sustainable way. We also want to make the area a place for community activities and celebrate it's history so we're going to develop more seating, mark cycle routes, develop our Pocket Park and do some interpretation which tells the story of the Piazza and life in the street before the flyovers were built
The Cumberland Piazza is our largest local open space. Originally designed as a park by famous landscape architect, Dame Sylvia Crowe, in the 1960's, when streets, houses and even a school were knocked down to make way for the flyover, the site was neglected until recently.