Incastone Landscaping Ltd, Bristol has secured a contract with the Woodland Trust and is working towards a closer relationship with the trust to oversee all stone work maintenance.
Bishops Knoll is comprised of two blocks of woodland on the eastern slopes of the Avon Gorge, Bristol directly opposite Leigh Woods. Bound on the east by Sneyd Park, an affluent residential area, and the west by a railway line, and a local nature reserve to the north. The wood forms an attractive component of the local landscape.
The site is rich in history. The first known recording refers to the area as part of a medieval deer park, when the site was thought to be wooded. It later became the grounds of The Knoll, a large estate house, in the late nineteenth century where it was developed into a series of terraced gardens, a sloping arboretum, orchards, lawns and paddocks with a network of ‘pleasure’ paths. A full survey of the garden was carried out in 1995. The mansion was demolished in 1970 and the site of the house developed into flats in the mid 1980’s. The Trust acquired the grounds as a condition of the development proposals and planted the paddock with mixed broadleaves in 1986. Numerous features from the garden remain, including terraced gardens, a gazebo and significant large specimen trees.
The northern block is mature mixed woodland which was either planted or developed naturally over the last 200 years. Earlier maps and paintings of the area show this area as parkland with no significant woodland cover. However, a number of old oak pollards dating back to the deer park remain.
The wood has a number of well used paths which fit into a wider network of access in the area.
Incastone are completing the rebuild and repointing of the boundary wall that borders the Avonmouth rail line. The wall is approx 175m long and almost 2m in height in places. Repair of the wall is necessary to avoid loose stones falling near or on the rail line. The works should take approximately 4 weeks to complete. All pathways will remain open during this time.
Managing director James Allen says “We are honoured to be working on behalf of The Woodland Trust. Due to the nature and location of the site this project will be a challenging one. We do not have access to running water or electricity, so each day we are bringing 50 litres of water on-site, a generator and a petrol cement mixer. We have to carry full wheelbarrows along a 150m woodland path, uphill in places. The team are finding muscles in their legs they have never used before!” As the wall we are repairing is 40m high with a descent onto the railway line we are all roped up while working and foresee no problems in completing the project on time.
We are re-using the walling stone where building work is required and re-building the wall in the style that it was built over 200 years ago.
If you would like to visit the Bishops Knoll woodland which offers lovely walks around a once splendid garden, follow the link below
If you would like to find out more about the woodland trust or are interested in becoming a member visit