Bristol eco-village

Welcome to Bristol eco-village.


The squatters moved in on Saturday and already three acres of desolate wasteland in inner-city Bristol have been transformed.

What is dead has been brought back to life.

The beans are planted in the soil – on lined raised beds as the land used to be a scrapyard and may be contaminated by toxins.

The squatters are conducting soil tests.

If contamination is found, the squatters plan some soil restoration, such as feeding with compost tea and planting with nitrate-fixing plants (such as beans).

Here is their reception area where visitors can get more info.

It looks like something out of Mad Max or a similar post-apocalyptic movie – and that’s the point.

Rather than be victims of a future likely eco-disaster, some people would rather prepare positively in the present.

Here is a makeshift green house.

On Tuesday the squatters must got to court.


Must the land be repossessed by the owners so it may lie unused for another twenty years?

Or can it be restored to life as the squatters are doing, growing vegetables and rebuilding soil fertility?

“We come in peace they said

To dig and sow

We come to work the lands in common

And to make the waste ground grow

This earth divided

We will make whole

So it will be

A common treasury for all

We work, we eat together

We need no swords

We will not bow to the masters

Or pay rent to the lords.

Still we are free

Though we are poor

You Diggers all stand up for glory

Stand up now!”

12 responses to “Bristol eco-village

  1. What an exciting project. I hope it’s a roaring success. Good luck – I’ll have to come across the bridge for a peep!


  2. Hi GambO – it’s worth a visit.

    Thanks so much for your thumbs-up!


  3. great stuff all of you diggers and dreamers. green spaces in the city are so very crucial to save at this time. keep fighting and when i return to bristol i will call by at the very least. good luck in court. and with the soil test results!


  4. Sounds interesting! Good Luck!


  5. A good blog post Elisabeth.
    Sound like the land is being well used for ‘Community Living.’
    I love the idea of using fungi for Mycoremediation to clean contaminated soil; maybe Bristol eco village can use this to help them if their soil is contaminated.
    Paul Stamets is the guru of all things fungi and this shows an outline of how soil can have pollutants removed by the use of fungi.


  6. 82 views on this post last week…


  7. Oh great stuff – so glad activists are still alive and well. Thank you for keeping us informed of the great work going on in Bristol.


  8. Hi – looks like the bailliffs are coming tomorrow, Wednesday 5 May 2010. All support – such as human love and support – much appreciated.

    Here is the message from an eco-villager:

    Despite the Judge requesting last Thursday that Chancery Gate, the Landowners, must directly negotiate with us a reasonable period of time to vacate the site, they have not even made the slightest attempt at communication. Literally hours after the court hearing, a notice was posted at the Village gates clamming High Court authorisation of an imminent eviction. The legality of this action is still unknown at the time of writing.

    However, looks like Chancery Gate will be turning up with private bailiffs, as well as wrecking machinery to level the on site permanent structure that we served a section six on.

    Last night a Public Meeting was held in the top room of a local pub. The main issue at hand was how to deal with the eviction: would our neighbours support a resistance or would they rather we left quietly and caused little disturbance?

    The overwhelming sentiment was YES, they would support us. And not only in thought, but in action. A group of residents are willing to stand alongside us when we resist the eviction attempt this Wednesday.

    The land itself has been left toxic and barren for years. A regular spot for arson, vandalism and fly-tipping. Not to mention the heroin and crack addicts that frequent it when the sun goes down.

    Despite this, many of our neighbours have used it for summer barbeques and as a place to walk their dogs. Now, out of pure spite, Chancery Gate is threatening to develop it into bland industrial units which will rob the area of a much needed open, community space.

    Also of paramount importance are the Great Crested Newts on site. Great Crested Newts are Britain’s largest native newt species. They have declined within the UK over recent years, due to the destruction, fragmentation and pollution of their breeding sites and terrestrial habitat. The law protects them from transport, trade, capture, possession, killing, disturbance or injury. The habitats in which they live are also subject to legal protection from disturbance.

    The newts are not common in Bristol and the guidelines Natural England laydown, states that habitats within 250 meters of a breeding pond will be frequently used. Not only does the building sit with in that distance, but if the entire site is developed on, a large chunk of the Newts habitat will be crushed under steal and concrete. This land must be protected, for by protecting the land we protect the endangered species that depends upon it.

    Upon setting up on the site, the Bristol Eco Village instantly started a conversation in the community about how to use the land. This conversation has now grown into a small movement. The neighbours who attended the meeting last night have lived on the same streets as each other for many years. But last night was the first time many of them had sat in the same room together and been united by a common course.

    The Bristol Eco Village projects action on the land in St. Werburghs has managed to unite a cross section of the local community in only a few weeks. We have radicalized a group of people and shown them that united they can wield true, progressive and positive power. This serves to further illustrate the highly effective nature of Urban Eco Villages.

    We, at the Bristol Eco Village project, would like to warmly offer our thanks and praise to our venerable neighbors. You have shown great bravery in your willingness to stand alongside us on the front-line when the forces of destruction march. The strength and longevity of what happens post resistance will be found in the beating heart of your united community. We honor you for this.


  9. The landowners want to turn into a light industrial unit?

    Crikey, they are a bit behind the times, eh??

    I doubt there will much call for their units – and a valuable piece of land will be lost for ever.


  10. By all accounts, Bristol eco-village was razed to the ground. Which seems tragically unnecessary.

    One local resident wrote on the Bristol Eco-Village Facebook page:

    “…pretty pissed off about the way they casually bulldozed everything…unnecessary and petty. as a local resident I would love to be kept informed on what proposals the landowner has…I was really angry at the way the bailiffs behaved…”

    I am sorry.


  11. I am very sorry and sad to hear how the eviction was conducted. Here is a report from one of the eco-villagers about the injuries sustained by another.

    “Six bailiffs illegally lowered the tripod he was on, crushing him between the poles. They then proceeded to sit on him to prevent people from seeing/filming what was going on, causing the poles to act like giant blunt scissors and badly damaging the left side of his body.

    Whilst trying to remove him, they also yanked his left leg violently from side to side, causing bad ligament damage to a previous knee injury. The docs at the hospital have given him some pretty hefty pain killers and he’s completly zonked out next to me as I type.

    If anyone has any footage of what happened, or would like to act as a witness, could you please please please get in contact with us.”

    Get in contact via this blog or through Facebook. Search for: ‘Bristol eco-village – the urban centre for alternative technology.’


  12. kevin chambers

    hi all we need as much help as u can give to the crew of the bristol eco village plz go on to are facebook and see wot went on this week as we are going to court on haw they got us off the land so if u can help plz email thank u the bristol eco village crew


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