Response to the Declaration Of An Ecological Emergency in Bristol

Firstly we applaud the bravery of this declaration. It’s never going to be the right time, the appropriate time, to call an emergency, and there will always be what can be seen as hypocrisies, but the declaration itself shows a will for change and an understanding that that change is vital and needs to happen today.

Over the 6 years that Incredible Edible Bristol has been working, across the 50 sites we have supported there has always been conversation around growing food with nature and providing food for pollinators, birds and other creatures who are an important part of the city’s ecosystem. Sometimes this looks like leaving certain weeds in place, knowing that they are important for a certain individual at that point in the year, sometimes it’s about leaving crops to flower and go to seed, and sometimes this looks like using ornamental plants and herbs as important parts of the planting scheme and acknowledging that they are as important as the crops we are growing.

Planting fruit trees which flower over a long period, utilising perennial crops that offer food and habitat, creating habitats within the gardens and having an ongoing conversation around the importance of looking after wildlife have always been key to our work, along with sharing the skills so that individuals and communities can create their own spaces for food and wildlife.

However, it also means looking at how we grow and ensuring that we are not harming nature in order to create these spaces. Ensuring all our spaces are peat free and pesticide free is a vital part of what we do, and we would call on gardeners and growers across the city to go peat free and stop any pesticide use. We would also call for all organisations that manage land to do the same, to utilise biological controls where there is a need, but also to concentrate on creating and supporting ecosystems that support themselves, as we do. After all, once aphids appear so will the ladybirds and other natural predators!

We also think it’s an important point to say that whilst the ecological and climate emergencies are very similar they are also different and whilst there appears to be an emphasis on carbon, and planting trees, these emergencies are far more complex than just that. Of course we need to address carbon and carbon capture but we also need to create safe spaces for wildlife that are pesticide free and understand that as humans we have created these crises and it is up to us to make reparations for wildlife. Bringing ecology and good horticultural practice together to achieve this is vital.

We look forward to working towards a future where all of Bristol’s populations are healthy and thriving and to supporting these changes in the city.

Eco Sunday at Hartcliffe City Farm, with Bristol Food Connections

Come along to this great, free event, celebrating nature at Hartcliffe City Farm.

There will be pond dipping, we’ll be searching for wild flowers and seeing what is feeding on them as well as looking for worms, insects and other animals and plants that are supporting nature at the farm. And all this will be led by our ecologist Ross!!

This is a free event but please book your place so we know how many people to roughly expect. Just click on the link below!

Bat Walk at Hartcliffe City Farm

Bat expert Stewart Rowden will be leading a bat walk at Hartcliffe City Farm for us, telling us as we go about bats, the kind of places they like to roost and how we can support bats in urban gardens.

We’ll meet at the farm at 7pm for a hot drink and intros and the walk will commence at 7.20 sharp. Please ensure you wear warm clothes and sensible shoes as the land is wet and muddy.

To book your place just click on the link below!!


Wild Hunt Week at Hartcliffe City Farm

Throughout the first week in April we will be holding events at Hartcliffe City Farm, focusing on the ecology to be found on site. We’ll be looking at what birds are around, pond dipping, looking for bugs and earthworms and documenting what we find so we can work with those species to create a food growing plan that is supporting that wildlife as a part of our community.

We would love you to come and help us!! Everyone is welcome to come and join in with this great project which is being led by our ecology expert, Ross. Children and young people are very welcome but will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The activities are listed in the photo below. If you’d like to book your place on one or more of the activities drop an email to and we will get you on the list!!

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