Improvements for visitors to Leigh Wood to be revealed at public meeting

A public meeting is being held at Leigh Woods to explain changes the National Trust is making which will improve safety and access and introduce new facilities.

The area will be improved with new seating for picnics, bike parking and some mobile catering.

The National Trust is planning to limit car access to Valley Road and remove car parking except for access for residents. The Trust is also working with North Somerset Council to have the nearby North Road upgraded and is exploring the option with the local community of introducing marked parking bays.

The changes will effectively pedestrianise Valley Road where visitors have been parking on the roots of mature oak trees which are being damaged and manoeuvring cars can cause conflicts with pedestrians and cyclists who also use the route into the woods.

There will be a public meeting on 27 Feb from 3:30 to 7:30 at St Mary’s Church in Leigh Woods when the Trust will reveal details of plans for the new visitor area at Valley Road. Views will also be sought from local residents on how best to improve North Road.

National Trust ranger, Rob Holden said the improvements would change car parking at Leigh Woods but would make many other improvements.

“It will mean that we lose some car park spaces from that part of Leigh Woods but capacity can be increased nearby and it will give us a chance to really improve the area,” he said.

“Families taking their children to the play area and cyclists riding through the woods will be separated to improve safety, we will be able to create a new picnic area with rustic seating and large sails hung from the trees for shelter, we will have room for bike parking and plan to bring in a mobile catering unit and compost toilets. And we will be able to explain the special nature of the wonderful site and the need for sympathetic management

“We want to make this a much more welcoming and friendly area than it is now – and it will also improve the status of the woods as a nature reserve by no longer having cars parking near to and damaging important trees.”

“Leigh Woods is an important place, a national nature reserve and site of special scientific interest and is right on the edge of Bristol so we want to protect it properly and ensure that city residents can still enjoy visiting.”

None of the changes will affect the car park on the Forestry Commission part of Leigh Woods where there are about 80 spaces.

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