Heart of BS13 and Windmill Hill City Farm
Heart of BS13 and Windmill Hill City Farm are joining forces to create a new venture that will build Hartcliffe City Farm into a thriving hub of community activity. Our aim is that it will make a huge difference to and be inclusive of the whole community.
It will be a place to relax, to work, to learn, to volunteer and to grow as part of a busy multi-purpose organisation that is welcoming to all. It will be a leader in the ‘green economy’ adding sustainable growth to the neighbourhood.
Where, and what, it is
For those not familiar with it, the site is on the southern fringe of the city at the base of the northern slopes of Dundry, in an area of considerable deprivation. The main farm property consists of a parcel of land of 2.68 ha (6.6 acres). It also has four additional parcels of land suitable for grazing or hay-making of 9 ha (21 acres).
Its location, and its spaces, give it huge potential as a public asset for public good. Over recent years it has struggled financially and has become run-down. The space is currently closed to the public.
The journey ahead
We are at the very beginning of a long journey to develop the city farm. The UK is still emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic and we expect this may slow down our work. We were confirmed as the preferred partner of Bristol City Council to take forward the development at the start of March 2021 and have ‘paperwork’ to complete before we can actually get onto the site. We expect that to happen in the summer of 2021. We won’t be able to open the gates to the public straight away.
There are three phases in how we will develop the site. The timings are not exact and may have to change as events emerge. We are hugely excited by this project and will be going as fast as we can, but we have to be realistic.
Phase 1 (March 2021 to February 2022) is focused on raising funds for the project to cover the initial costs of managing the site; work on developing the gardens; and preparation for phase 2.
Phase 2 (from autumn 2021) is a gradual build up of activities that will contribute to the society, economy and environment of the local area: education, social care, recreation, child care alongside the growing horticulture and training offer.
Phase 3 sees the larger transformative projects that are the long-term ambition of this plan. During this phase Hartcliffe City Farm becomes a confident outward looking organisation that has agency and influence within the city.
This three-phase approach is designed to keep the risks in the project low so it has the best chance of long-term success. We are building a partnership between the local community, the local authority and funding partners so that it becomes the catalyst for further generation of the area, ensuring that BS13 residents become ongoing contributors to Bristol’s future success.
How you can get involved
Once lockdown starts to ease, we will start our community engagement to make sure that we hear from all the people who have ideas about the future of the farm. We’ll be out in the community, involving schools and local groups and running workshops and events that will bring everyone along.
Partnership will be a key element of making the space work for everyone and in the summer of 2021 we will be ready to explore how other organisations, large and small, can help us make the farm a thriving place for local people.
If you are itching to know more, please do send us an email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Be aware that we are just starting this journey and may not have all the answers you are looking for yet.