College Green

Crowdfund to restore College Green following Greta Thunberg-led Bristol Youth Climate Strike exceeds its target and brings together local partners to help tackle the ecological emergency

#TurnCollegeGreenGreenAgain

Campaign passes £20,000 target, with additional funds raised going towards reimagining the space to support more wildlife and increase biodiversity as well as future support for the youth climate movement.

Following unprecedented support from Bristol residents, the fundraising campaign to Turn College Green Green Again raised £15,000 in the space of just 5 days following the Youth Climate strike event. Green energy company Good Energy has separately donated £10,000, in Bristol Pounds, helping to exceed the original target. The Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation will act as custodian of the College Green fund to ensure the money is appropriately spent. 

You can help us ensure a lasting legacy from Greta’s visit by making our wonderful parks across Bristol and Bath better for nature and the environment.

To donate, please click here. 

The crowdfunder was set up immediately after the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate march on 28th February by Bristol parent Jon Usher, and it was initially feared that College Green would need re-turfing. The Green had been left muddy by over 15,000 people who had come to join the march led by Greta Thunberg. However, the damage has been largely superficial, and the Council anticipates a series of relatively low-cost remedies. The funding raised will pay for 100% of these repairs, with the surplus contributing to biodiversity improvements on College Green and in other parks and green spaces across Bristol. 

The fund has been so successful in raising additional money that it requires an ongoing solution for its management. Jon Usher has nominated the Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation as a registered charity to receive the money. The Foundation will work with the various stakeholders to ensure that there is transparency over where and how the money is spent. 

Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of Trustees for the Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation, said: “As a charity we aim to enhance nature and biodiversity in our parks and green spaces while working with the community to give them a say in what happens in these much-loved spaces. We are thankful to all the donors and very pleased to be able to help ensure that funds that were so generously given to this appeal are properly spent and accounted for. It is important that any spending plans consider long-term maintenance so that there is a lasting legacy from Greta Thunberg’s visit.” 

Organisers of the College Green event, Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate and other local partners have come together to discuss ideas for using the additional money raised. The partners include Wildlife Rebellion, Avon Wildlife Trust, Bristol City Council and the owners of the land, Bristol Cathedral who have welcomed the initiative. The Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation will take on a co-ordinating role for the project also helping to extend the reach of the funds raised. Some of the ideas already discussed include introducing wildflower areas to increase pollinators and encourage biodiverse habitats on College Green, while retaining its role as a popular public event space and creating a sustainable legacy for the city. 

Good Energy’s contribution is expected to support the restoration of College Green and wider ecological benefits in the city, as well as the future efforts of Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate in engaging young people in the climate emergency. The company will also be encouraging staff to volunteer to help with the restoration and rewilding activity in Bristol. 

Bristol parent, Jon Usher said: “I’m delighted that the contributions of over 1,400 donors will have an impact on the long-term plans for College Green providing a real legacy from Greta’s Bristol visit. Entrusting the £15,000 raised to Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation will ensure the money is spent responsibly. I’m looking forward to getting involved in planting with my daughter where we can, as well as watching College Green recover over the coming months thanks to the amazing partnerships we’ve been able to build over the past few weeks.” 

Barnaby, from Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate, said: “It would be great to have more green space around Bristol and increasing biodiversity is an urgent issue as we are losing more of our wildlife every year. Getting £5,000 from Good Energy is amazing for us as an organisation as it will help us to fund future action.” 

Chris Packham, TV naturalist and co-founder of Wildlife Rebellion, said: “This is a superb example of community spirit and people coming together to make a positive impact for green spaces across Bristol. We’re excited to be working alongside Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate and partners to help transform College Green into the best it can be, for wildlife and for people.” 

Juliet Davenport, CEO and Founder of Good Energy said: “We actively encouraged our people to join the strike with Greta and Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate because tackling climate change is Good Energy’s entire reason for being. Given we were there on College Green we felt we had a responsibility to help with the restoration. 

Now the fundraising campaign has received such a positive response, with the potential not just to fix the minor damage done, but to blossom into support for wildlife in the city and the future of the youth climate movement, throwing our weight behind it becomes a no brainer too.” 

You can help us ensure a lasting legacy from Greta’s visit by making our wonderful parks across Bristol and Bath better for nature and the environment.

To donate, please click here. 

 

Photo – L to R: Jon Usher; Barnaby -Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate; Charlee Bennett – BBPF; Sue Sanctuary – BBPF

Your Park is an initiative created by Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation. It is designed to engage audiences in sharing their stories about parks and hopes for the future and will be the landing site for our projects and fundraising activities.