Thunberg inspires rewilding project – Bristol Cathedral

Greta Thunberg visit inspires visionary rewilding project around Bristol Cathedral

Over 15,000 people braved the pouring rain last year to hear Greta Thunberg’s call to action on climate change in front of Bristol Cathedral.

One year later, the cathedral has used the anniversary to announce a visionary rewilding project to create a new habitat in the heart of the city.

The project is a partnership between Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation, Bristol Cathedral, Bristol City Council, Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate and the Avon Wildlife Trust to begin re-visioning College Green.

It grew out of a successful Crowdfunder to repair the Green after last year’s rally in front of the Cathedral left it muddy and damaged from the footsteps of the 15,000 people who attended the event organised by Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate and led by Greta Thunberg.

Lawn repairs were completed in April 2020 and this Spring will see the next stage of the project to significantly enhance the green space for nature, providing a new habitat in the heart of the city.

It will include an area of meadows containing native species alongside the Cathedral building and the planting of 500m2 of wildflowers and small flowering trees specifically designed to complement the Cathedral’s architecture together with a new hedgerow of native flowering species. Meadow planting will begin this Spring followed by tree, hedgerow and bulb planting later in the year.

The Very Revd Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol, said:

“It is a great joy to be hosting this wild space on College Green in the shelter of Bristol Cathedral, with all its diversity of plants and the promise of insects and birds to enhance the area.

“As Christians we recognise the importance of care for all Creation and to being good stewards of our buildings and land. This exciting project creates a different kind of space for us to nurture in partnership with others and we look forward to working with the Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation and the City Council in the planting, maintenance and care of this green space.”

The crowdfunder to repair the Green was initiated by local resident, Jon Usher, and raised a total of £15,575 with an additional contribution of £5,000 from Good Energy.

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