Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Capital grants available for voluntary and community groups

South Glos Council's capital grants scheme will be open for bids from 30 April, with a deadline of 11 June for applications to be submitted.

Voluntary and community groups in South Gloucestershire can apply for help with the cost of capital projects such as buying or enhancing buildings or purchasing new equipment, machinery or vehicles.

£125,000 is available to projects that benefit South Gloucestershire residents, with funding mainly available to smaller projects costing no more than £3,000.

Successful applicants will be notified of decisions in October 2012.

Further information on the scheme is available at

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Developer to reveal plans for Engine Common and Yate Town FC

Developers will be holding a public exhibition of plans for 200 new houses and offices between Lodge Road, Dyers Lane and North Road and for redeveloping the football club building as a community facility.

The exhibition will be next Wednesday, April 25 at Yate Town FC's clubhouse from 2 pm to 8 pm.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Get onto the airwaves with a NEW community radio station

Yate.FM is a new community, semi-automated internet radio station, for Yate and Chipping Sodbury, which will be online 24 hours a day. The station plays a mixture of music with live and pre-recorded shows.

The station is looking for local people, community and voluntary groups and those who work in the area to come forward with ideas for programmes, news, views, issues, events, music, poetry etc.

The next meeting will be next Thursday 27 April at 7.00 pm at Waves night club in Yate Shopping Centre . It will last about an hour and will be your chance to meet the team and find out more about community radio and Yate.FM in particular. You will also find out about the training courses that they will be running.

Yate.FM relies on the work of volunteers, not just on broadcasting but with the many essential behind the scenes tasks. Whilst they won't start broadcasting until later on in 2012, they are now recruiting volunteers to help in the planning and preparation prior to the launch.

If you would like to get involved in any way just come along to the meeting or email Yate FM is also on Facebook at

Friday, 20 April 2012

Busy skies this Saturday!

Filton Airfield is holding a "Fly-In" event tomorrow (Saturday 21 April) from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. Around 70 planes are expected to fly in and out. During busy periods some aircraft may be seen circling over the M4 Junction 18 while they are waiting to land.

Update: There's a report on the Fly-In in the Post.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Localfocus blog - 1000 not out!

This is article number 1000 on the Localfocus blog, which has been running for a bit over five years. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our regular visitors, and to welcome those who only drop in occasionally.

Our most popular pages over the last year have been about local elections, the new Tesco, bus services, the Armadillo youth cafe, recycling and local events.

Don't forget that you can use "Search this Blog" in the right hand column to look at past articles, or you can click on a link in the "Find articles for your area here" section.

If you think there's an issue we should be covering, please email and let us know what you think about it.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Could YOU help survey our traditional orchards?

Traditional orchards are a much loved part of our British heritage and countryside providing fruit and peaceful places to enjoy, as well as food and shelter for hundreds of rare plants and animals.

Since 1950 Natural England estimates that overall orchard area in England has declined by 63%, and it's probably higher in our area because of all the building developments.

The People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) recently carried out an England orchard inventory, listing 321 potential traditional orchards in South Gloucestershire covering an area of 127.9 hectares. So far, owner questionnaires have revealed that 8% of traditional orchards in South Gloucestershire are in excellent condition, 40% in good condition and 52% in poor condition. 12 traditional orchards were in Environmental stewardship comprising 9.10 hectares. Further information about the national survey can be found at

The South Gloucestershire Orchard survey will now build on the work undertaken by the national survey and aims to fill the gaps, where survey data has not been verified and by identifying orchards that have been left out.

South Gloucestershire Council currently have a work placement volunteer who is looking at the 1915 maps to find out just how many orchards have been lost locally. It's early days but the losses for most parishes look to be around 90% which represents an area of anywhere between 3ha (Bradley Stoke) and 60ha (Thornbury).

Could YOU help with this community project? South Glos is currently looking for volunteers to take part in the survey and help verify the orchards in the parish.

You can find out more about the survey here. If you are interested in helping with the orchard survey  please email Sarah Wells or John Morris, or call 01454 863581.

South Gloucestershire Council offer small environmental grants for community groups or landowners wishing to restore or create traditional orchards, just like the one created at Wapley last year. Contact John Morris on 01454 863581 or email for more information, or download details from:

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Lock that bike! Video shows how to avoid it being stolen.

Lock that bike! Video of New York bike expert Hal Ruzal in Bristol shows how to lock your bike - and how not to!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Cycleway link - new planning application "The Fishing Lakes Link"

South Glos Council has submitted planning application no. PT12/0895/R3F for an 800 metre length of cyclepath parallel with Westerleigh Rd, from its junction with Kidney Hill to the Green Lane that gives leads towards the Railway Path at Coxgrove Hill. This would avoid the "pinch point" under the motorway at the rail depot, and give a more direct route in due course to Emersons Green.

See the South Glos website for details - look under Documents, then "The Fishing Lakes Link" for full details in a very understandable form. If you wish to make a comment it has to be in by 17 April.

This is an extension of the Yate to Railway Path cycle link already planned. To get direct to Emersons Green, a further link would be needed via Lyde Green - there's no planning application for that at the moment.

Incidentally, the Joint Cycleways Group meeting due on 17 April has been postponed because the representatives from Sodbury Town Council can't make it. They're trying to reschedule for early May. We will report here after the meeting.