After Crest Homes transferred the land to Bristol City Council in 1988, local residents knew very little about access, ownership or management of the site.
In 1994 there was concern about "the overgrown and unkempt valley" next to Glenavon Park and several meetings were arranged with Bristol City Council, local residents and Avon Wildlife Trust to see what could be done. In 1995 The Friends of Old Sneed Park Nature Reserve, the FOSPNR was formed, a committee set up and fund-raising and work on the area begun. In the first years, the pressing need was for money, and fund-raising was a priority.
Members saw it as an opportunity for the community to come together to create and maintain an area of natural beauty in a residential area, and later realized its importance as an educational resource.
Since these early beginnings, much has changed. An enormous amount of work has been done (see section on conservation ) and the Reserve has been transformed. Among the more obvious improvements in the early years was the raising of the water level in the lake following repairs to the lining and the dam wall. Several years later, there were further leaks and problems with silt which led to the major lake restoration project of 2008.
All this was made possible by the efforts of members in association with the indispensable help and support of the Council officers responsible for the Reserve.
The Community Park Managers have taken an active interest in the Reserve and have given much time and expertise to its management, and we have also had expert help from many other individuals and organisations.
Aims and Objectives
The Friends have the following aims and objectives, which are pursued in full collaboration with Bristol City Council:-
1. to carry out maintenance and conservation on the Reserve.
2. to manage the land to increase biodiversity.
3. to involve the local community in caring for this wonderful wildlife haven.
4. to help provide education about wildlife and biodiversity to adults and children, and to promote the Reserve as an amenity for everyone
5. to organize fund–raising social events.
Stonework surrounding the island in the lake
A great deal of scrub surrounding the lake has been removed, revealing the original stonework in unsuspected ways. Stock-proof hedges and fences were established round the fields so that it was possible to re-introduce grazing. The Millennium Path was constructed through the wood, and new trees and shrubs were planted. A gravel path replaced the muddy track which used to lead into the Reserve.
Friends at a fundraising event
Currently our membership stands at about 200 households.
Members receive a Newsletter four times a year.
FOSPNR is Registered Charity No. 1080376.