Bristol is European Green Capital 2015 and the University is playing a major role in marking the occasion.
Clifton Down and Durdham Down are the ‘lungs’ of the city, covering over 400 acres of parkland and green space on the north side of Bristol. They’re a magnet for kite flyers, joggers and sports teams, with plenty of room left over for picnics and games of rounders.
Leading up to the western ridge of the Avon Gorge is Ashton Court, an estate covering 850 acres of woods and meadows, some of which is a nature reserve. There are bike and horse trails, a golf course, a deer park, and an orienteering course.
The steep, grassy slopes of Brandon Hill are to be found a short walk from the University precinct. The park includes landscaped gardens, a small nature reserve (run by the Avon Wildlife Trust, whose headquarters are nearby), a wildflower meadow, a pond, and a butterfly garden.
In Bristol, you don’t have to walk far in any direction before you come across a patch of green. The city centre has Queen Square and Castle Park, along with numerous smaller pockets; the University precinct has several green spaces, including the landscaped Royal Fort Gardens at its heart; and it’s a short distance from there to Berkeley Square, Birdcage Walk, and Victoria Square.
Bristol hovers consistently near the top of the Sustainable Cities Index, thanks to its impressive record of recycling and composting, its green spaces, and a range of other initiatives. Bristol is also a Fairtrade City, and bodies such as the Soil Association, the Environment Agency and Sustrans all have their head offices here.