Melissa Inman gave a summary on events
The foodie festival went well overall, but had additional music this year which has created complaints. MI is picking this up with organisers. It was not raised at the planning stage that they would use amplifiers. Future events have a new provision about noise. Some members attended the event and enjoyed it, but were surprised by the level of noise.
The Lets Rock concert was on the Downs for the first time (Ashton Court previously). There were approximately 8000 customers. There were several complaints, which will be taken up with organisers. A full report will be produced for the events sub-group.
Race for life was held this weekend, but too soon for analysis
Gromit unleashed is now up and running
Have not heard from Student Union as yet on their plans
The circus is at end of the year, which always goes smoothly
Tour of Britain event will take place in the first week of September. MI will update through the events group.
Ben Skuse gave an update on Downs Maintenance
We are carrying out remedial work. Goats are doing well, have increased consultation with dog owners.
Have a trial taking place for more frequent recycling bins. Chair welcomed recycling pilot scheme and asked about ongoing litter issues. Litter is bad over summer. Early morning sat/sun there will be litter which has not been picked up, but is then resolved when BCC staff are operating. Bristol Waste Company is producing marketing material that is helpful. Kingdom is the only company that is enforce littering in Bristol. They were city centre only, but are broadening remit. BS is not sure it will be commercially viable for them to cover the Downs. KD updated on the Kingdom trial, which has run for 9 months and generated 7000 fines. Downs would be hard to manage, but intent is to expand Kingdom into other parks. Committee thanked Ben and his team for their efforts in cleaning the Downs, which is an enormous job.
ACTION BS to check legality on whether FPNs for littering on the Downs would need extra byelaws
There is no summer bedding in parks apart from college green. BS has been speaking to business owners to get sponsored flower beds, but limitations on displaying sponsor signage. Some members asked if the committee could take a more active role in establishing summer bedding in future, by getting sponsors or by paying for bedding on Downs land via the committee itself.
ACTION BS to establish funding requirements and report to sub group.
Re: toll booth compound, prep work is done estimated finish March 2019. We need to specify fines for any overrun. Bridge Trust has appointed contractor.
There are a few issues about trees due to drought, with some felling required. Tree management are currently assessing them for risk. It is common for these tree species to shed limbs in droughts.
Members asked about fire plans, given the recent spate of wildfires across the country. BS said he would bring forward the hay cut to lessen fire risk.
Mandy Leivers gave an update on Education
Good time for teaching, as many species of flora and fauna are active. We have had over 1000 children visit, including 3 schools that have not been to the Downs before. Feedback from schools is very positive. We have held two Rainbow group evening sessions. Audience development plan with refugee families is going well. Held an intro session with families to build up the programme. Good link up with FODAG. Had great feedback from the families. Next session is 15 July and will be based on birds. ‘Routes to wellbeing’ working with elderly in St Pauls. On the first walk the weather turned, which put off some. Hopeful for the next one. Held the second Downs challenge activity, learning about trees, especially the whitebeam. We had a great joint event with zoo, including peregrine simulations. Have 2 peregrine chicks nesting, but we are unable to ring them due to location. ML will be going to the Downs music festival to promote her work.