HISTORIC INFORMATION - PHOENIX HEDGE
1300s Phoenix Hedge is thought to be dated back to these times due to the variety of trees growing there which include hawthorn, blackthorn, elm, ash, spindle, dogswood, elder, bramble, shrublayer with rose, bryony and bittersweet. The spindle in particular indicates a very old hedge.
1990s Henleaze Neighbourhood Society (now The Henleaze Society) won a community prize for suggesting ways of maintaining and using this area.
1992 Pairs of Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies were seen in the hedge area as well as red and brown ladybirds.
1993 Avon County Council admitted they were the owners.
1994 Avon County Council funded half the cost of laying the 130 metre hedge. In February a professional hedge layer Keith Stuffins worked half way along the hedge.
1995 The second stage of laying was completed thanks to a grant from Bristol Naturalists.
1997 Seven different berries were noted along the hedgerow:
Blackberries, sloes on the blackthorn, elderberries and purple-black clusters of berries on the dogwood, rosehip, haws on the hawthorn and scarlet berries on the climbing nightshade (bitersweet).
1999 The Henleaze Society participated in Bristol City Council's Public Rights of Way 'Access for All' Survey 1999 which included surveying the Phoenix footpath.
2002 Despite the proximity of 3 schools,including one for special needs, the footpath had not been improved to accommodate prams, double buggies or wheelchairs. Nettles were cut back and some trees removed.
Two new properties were built in the former grounds of the council canteen/store site at the Phoenix Grove end and during construction part of the hedge was decimated. The housing developers voluntarily changed the fencing to allow light into the hedge to promote growth.
2009 Playback Sylvia Kelly's 2099 interview with Radio Bristol Steve Le Fevre - see link below. (You made need to copy and paste this link.) http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/bristol/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_8209000/8209895.stm
2011 The Henleaze Society http://www.henleazesociety.co.uk/ was successful in its application for a Well Being Neighbourhood Partnership grant for which we counted 300 people using the path each day. ■Bristol City Council then laid the hedge.
■ The Phoenix Hedge Preservation Group was formed in January
■ A Field Maple has been found growing again this autumn making the hedge 800 years old!
When local resident and artist, Julie Kaye, was a child she used to walk to school via the footpath alongside Phoenix Hedge. After joining the Phoenix Hedge Preservation Group (formed in 2011) she was inspired to create this picture of the medieval hedge.Julie participates in various Art Trails throughout Henleaze and Bristol during the year of which details can be found on her website http://juliekaye.weebly.com/
Julie was one of the participants in the Westbury Park Arts Trail on 6 and 7 June 2014 where she sold her Phoenix Hedge recent work - see photo above..
It is pleasing to learn that the lady that bought it is also a local resident.
She has never visited Phoenix Hedge before but now intends to do so so!