Grant helps Troopers' friends march on with plans
NEIGHBOURS of a Bristol nature reserve have succeeded in acquiring a grant of more than £30,000 to improve it.
Friends of Troopers' Hill in St George enlisted the help and ideas of residents living near the hilly nature reserve by sending out questionnaires to 2,000 homes to ask how people would like to see it improved.
It was a condition of the £30,504.89 grant the group has just secured that members must have public support to go ahead with their plans.
The group has now been notified that it has been successful in its application to the Big Lottery through the Community Spaces Programme.
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The project, named Stepping Forward, aims to improve access to Troopers Hill and encouraging visits from groups in the community such as Walking for Health.
The money will go towards improving existing steps and paths, making the reserve easier to reach by reducing mud on Troopers' Hill Field and to providing some information about the woodland paths to publicise their existence.
Rob Acton-Campbell, a member of the Friends' committee, put together the Lottery bid.
He said: "It's been a year of fantastic effort for Friends of Troopers' Hill volunteers supporting the application process.
"Thank you to everyone who helped, including volunteers who delivered 2,000 questionnaires locally and nearly 500 people who replied to our survey. This proved the high level of support from local people for this project."
Work on the improvements will start next year. Local children and adults will work with a wood sculptor to create carvings to mark and reflect the natural feel of an existing woodland trail.
This grant brings the total amount raised by the Friends since 2003 to more than £80,000. For more details about how the grant will be used, visit www.troopers-hill.org.uk/steppingforward