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Troopers Hill
Local Nature Reserve
School Project 2005

"Artistic children take inspiration from nature"

We were very pleased when, as part of English Nature's Wildspace! Project, Year 3 pupils from the nearby Air Balloon Hill Junior School were given a chance to visit the hill and have some fun learning about nature.

Air Balloon Hill School pupils with Helen Adshead and Sally Oldfield
(Click to enlarge)

A Visit to Troopers Hill

The project started with the Year 3 children visiting the hill. Each class spent a half day exploring the site with Sally Oldfield, Bristol Parks' Local Nature Reserve Officer and artist Helen Adshead of the Avon Wildlife Trust. The children were introduced to both the wildlife and the history that have given the hill the appearance it has today.

The visits took place in early March 2005 as the wildlife was just starting to emerge from its winter slumber. The chimney forms the focal point of the reserve and was also the focus of much of the childrens' work. There are many different colours and shades in the pennant sandstone from which the chimney is built and other colours in the soil and plants that live on the hill. The children used these natural materials to colour in drawings which they produced during their visits.

Click on the thumbnails below to see photos that give an impression of the visits.

School Project Video >>

An Arts Project

A week after the trip to the hill, Sally and Helen visited the school to take part in an arts project based on what the children had seen and what they had learnt about other wildlife that lives on the hill. Under Helen's guidance the children cut out silhouettes of animals, birds, plants and the chimney to decorate a new gazebo for the Friends of Troopers Hill. They also sponge painted a table cloth with wildlife designs created using masking tape. These items will be used by the Friends to display information about the hill at events both on the hill and elsewhere.

Poster Competition

Some of the children also took part in a competition to design posters for display on the sign boards on the hill.

You can see the winning entries to the right, and a photo of some of the prize winners receiving their prizes below. The competition was judged by the Friends of Troopers Hill at their March meeting.

Good Friday Service

The first outing for the new gazebo and tablecloth was at the Good Friday Service on the hill and the childrens' posters were displayed on the notice boards for the whole of the Easter weekend.

The service was covered by the Bristol Evening Post and it is their headline that we have borrowed at the top of this page.

You can see photos of the service by clicking here.

With Thanks to...

This project would not have happened without the efforts of Sally Oldfield to bring together the necessary funding and the organisations involved. Sally's post of Local Nature Reserve Officer is supported by English Nature as part of the Wildspace! project funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Wildspace! also provided separate funding for this project.

Thanks are also due to Bristol Parks and to the Avon Wildlife Trust, especially Helen Adshead. The idea for the project was developed by Sally and Helen together with the Friends of Troopers Hill led by our Chair, Susan, who also donated her sewing skills for the tablecloth. Kit of Bristol Video Solutions donated his time to produce the video and Rob of the Friends of Troopers Hill passed on some of what we have learnt about the history of the hill during a visit to plan the event.

The biggest thank you must go to the headmaster, staff, parents and pupils of Air Balloon Hill Junior School for making this such an enjoyable project for all involved.

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Friends of Troopers Hill
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