A tree is for life, not just for Christmas

Give a gift that keeps on growing.  A tree will provide colour and shade and a home for a host of wildlife.  

We have free native saplings waiting for a new home – see this page. Note: scroll down & enter the trees you’re looking for in the form with your contact details and we will be in touch if we have anything suitable

Or if there’s no space for a big tree you could buy something smaller from Brackenwood garden centre.  

Crab apples are a great garden tree for blossom & fruit for birds.

You can plant a tree whenever the ground’s not frozen or waterlogged.  

It will bring pleasure that will last a lifetime, may be for generations.


Greening Your Home

On-line Event: Wednesday 2 December

If you’re thinking of making your home more energy efficient to reduce your energy bills and your carbon emissions, this is the event for you. Run by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) in Bristol and supported by Solarsense, the North Somerset renewable energy company, the event will cover ideas like:

  • insulation
  • heat pumps
  • draught-proofing
  • solar PV

The government’s Green Home Grant scheme will be considered but won’t be central to the event. You will learn about CSE’s Futureproof project, which will help you understand what solutions are best suited to your home, lifestyle and budget, and maximise energy savings.

There is an Eventbritepage where you can book on it, at


Hardwick Road Playing Field

As part of the Parish Council’s response to its declaration of a Climate & Biodiversity Emergency, we are looking at the various open spaces in the village to consider how they can better contribute to carbon capture and provide value for wildlife whilst continuing to meet their functions as areas for relaxation and exercise.  You may have seen the recent consultation on proposals for the Brookside Playing Field which were generally met very favourably and work to implement parts of the plan are going ahead in November.

A plan for the Hardwick Road Playing Field has also been prepared, and people who live in the houses immediately adjacent to the site have now been consulted with very positive outcomes.

Below is an outline of the proposals and a map, and a link to an online questionnaire. 

If you want to comment on the plan please use this questionnaire.

It is worth noting that in a meeting on site with some of the people local to the Field, various points were emphasised: 

  • it would be good to set up a Friends of Hardwick Road Playing Field group both to help with the implementation of the plan, and to ensure that the existing function of the Field as a space for games and recreation is fully protected
  • nothing should be done that would get in the way of the games of football, cricket etc that are so valued on the site

Perennial meadow: A two to five meter deep ‘ curved verge’ of longer grass which will be managed to encourage perennial wild flowers such as oxeye daisies, red campion, primroses and yellow rattle. This would require a cut in July, Sept. & March in the first 2 to three years, then once a year in August/Sept with all arisings raked away (& left as small piles to rot down in the adjacent ‘Spinney’) to reduce fertility for a more flower rich diverse meadow to evolve. Some plug planting and seed sowing of native species could also take place.

Expanded ‘fruiting thicket / hedge / Spinney’: A two to 3 meter deep area to be planted as a fruit and nut rich traditional hedgerow mix – containing: Sloes, Hazel, Barberry, Hawthorn, Crab apple, Wild plums, Damsons etc. The existing Blackberries will be allowed to establish below as the trees grow up and the Parish council would be committed to maintaining the boundary no more than 3m from it’s existing edge and to maintaining height for light / Potentially coppicing? as required every 4-5 years.

Small Blossom trees: These could be dwarf cherry trees (to not cast shade over residents gardens) Edible cherry varieties could be selected, though the birds will be likely to enjoy them first 🙂 They could equally be Plum trees. Each tree could be sponsored, for a nominal amount, in memory of a local resident with a small plaque hung from a branch.


Housing for the Future in Pill and Easton in Gordano

During the recent consultation on The Neighbourhood Plan a range of opinions was expressed about the type of housing needed in the village; the location of any housing; the balance between private and social housing; and the opportunities for infill housing. Some of you expressed concern about rumours of major new housing proposals in and around the village. Others expressed concern that the government’s recently announced commitment to rapid house building, supported by considerable relaxations to planning restrictions, had created new opportunities for developers to consider major housing proposals.

One such proposal from L and Q called Pill Green appeared on the Parish website on the 13/9/20. The information leaflet describes a housing development of around 1000 homes on fields in Martcombe, which are in the green belt, alongside the A369. Another separate proposal, for which the details are less clear, proposes building 200 houses at Plummer’s Hill on the fields between St.George’s Hall and the M5 service station. There are also more or less developed plans for commercial housing schemes on other large fields around the village.

It is clear that any of these projects would have a very significant impact on the shape of our village to say nothing of the implications for our infrastructure and services. If any of these projects started at the same time as the preparations for the railway, life in our village would become considerably more complicated and disrupted and we would be at risk of becoming a suburb of our village.

The Parish Council would like to make its position absolutely clear about housing needs in the village.

1. We support small-scale developments which increase the stock of social housing so that younger people are encouraged to remain in the village.

2. We support infill developments so that all land with housing potential is used appropriately. In addition, small clusters of housing from 150-200 dwellings by 2038, adjacent to existing settlements, might be acceptable.

3. We do not support rapidly built developments which increase the strain on local services, infrastructure and resources.

4. We do not support developments that fail to meet the required climate change 2030 targets relating to the protection of green spaces, clean air, carbon reduction, traffic reduction and health and wellbeing expectations.

The Parish Council has made its detailed position about its future aims for all building in and around the village explicit in The Neighbourhood Plan which will be presented to the full Parish Council meeting for acceptance on 20/10/20. The plan will then be sent to North Somerset Council and put on the Parish Council website for your reference and future discussion.

Paul Kent on behalf of The Parish Council. 30/09/20


A tribute to Mark Rice from the Parish Council

It is with great sadness that we heard the news of the passing of Mark Rice.

Mark joined the Parish Council for a short spell, only relinquishing his post due to his work commitments but in that short time he jumped straight into it, relishing the role and quickly making his mark with his humour along with his insight and knowledge of Pill.

Born and bred in Pill, it was easy to see that Mark was a true character with a love of the community; chatting and greeting everyone with his cheery smile and always keen to uphold the ‘old Pill ways’.

The tributes being made on Facebook are a true testimony to the love and respect everyone had for him, from the hundreds of comments from friends in Pill and Portishead, Gordano Rugby Club, St George Football Club, The Bristol Port Company and beyond, Mark touched the lives of a lot of people.

In the short time the Parish Council had Mark as a colleague it was easy to see why he commanded such love and respect from everyone who knew him.

We send our sincere condolences to his wife Nic, sons Alfie and Charlie and the family.


Tree planting aftercare: Volunteers needed

Tree mulching volunteers wanted: Come along on Sunday the 18th October 2pm to join the Friends of WHH and the Parish council’s Climate action volunteers to help look after the new trees planted by NSC on Watch House Hill (By the old oak). Due to Covid NSC have been unable to organise their larger volunteer work parties. At the time of writing Volunteer work parties can be up to 30 outside – Luckily all trees have been planted 2m apart 🙂 Bring own tools for weeding and shovels / wheelbarrows to distribute the wood chippings. Contact Lucy for more info. 07929 655141


Join Chilie’s community allotment!

Chilie’s community allotment group are welcoming new volunteers (Complying with latest Gov’t guidelines) if you’d like to learn about growing your own or feel a plot all of your own is too much to manage get in touch to join our what’s app group please contact Jill Coleman: 07813 927416 or join us on alternate Tuesday mornings beginning on Tue 13th October. We are also offering our services to pick and distribute/ make use of any surplus fruit & veg. harvests, so if you have runner bean, marrow and apple overload we can help!

(Photo by Lucy Byrne)


Village Voice – October edition is out!

You can read the latest issue here.

Huge thanks, as ever, for all the team who put in so much hard to to create this issue.


Sign up for the North Somerset Citizens’ Panel!

Residents, students and workers in North Somerset are being urged to get involved in local decision making with the launch of a new citizens’ panel.

North Somerset Council is recruiting a group of volunteers to give regular feedback on local services and issues to help shape the future of the area.

The panel will be consulted on a wide range of topics, from bins and roads to social care and planning, with feedback used to inform how services are run.

The Citizens’ Panel will not replace formal consultations but will complement them and offer another way for the people of North Somerset to have their voices heard.

The council is asking residents to form the panel now with the first survey expected by the end of the year.

Anyone wishing to sign up to the panel, please click here.


Reminder of closures of M5 Junction 19 and Martcombe Road September/October

A reminder from North Somerset Council that Highways England will be again closing the following: Further closures of M5 Junction 19 and Martcombe Road (entrance and exit) are required by Highways England on the following dates: 28 Sept – 1st Oct 20.00-06.00hrs & 6-14 October 20.00 – 06.00hrs. There will be a revocation of the left turn and a right hand turn created from High Street, Portbury. 

Here are details from Highway England regarding diversions:

Traffic from Portbury Hundred and M5 north.

  • Traffic wanting to travel M5 south will divert via M5 north to J18, Avonmouth and re-join M5 south via the Y loop.
  • Traffic wanting Martcombe Road will divert via M5 north to J18 Avonmouth, A4 Portway, A370, B3218 and B3219 Beggar Bush Lane to re-join A369 Martcombe Road (Vehicles not permitted on the Motorway) Non motorway traffic only wanting Martcombe road will divert via Royal Portbury Dock Road and Marsh Lane 

Traffic from M5 south

  • Traffic wanting Martcombe Road will divert via  M5 south at J18 Avonmouth, A4 Portway, A370, B3218 and B3219 Beggar Bush Lane to re-join A369 Martcombe Road
  • Traffic wanting Portbury Hundred will divert to M5 J20 and back to M5 J19

The notice can be read here.