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Saltford Environment Group
  towards a sustainable future for our village



Recent Headlines (click on links or scroll down this page)

Easter Upcycling meeting changed to 24 March

Annual Saltford Dawn Chorus Walk, 30th April

Festival of Nature, 8 - 25 June

New parking restrictions for Saltford

A4 traffic through Saltford down 12%

Mayoral Candidate backs the reopening of Saltford station

Litter: Wombles (11 March) and tackling everyday litter

Great British Spring Clean - Blitz it by Bike - cycle path clear up (4 March)

Saltford Photo Exhibition

Opportunity to coordinate local habitat project

You can find lots more news further down the page, on our theme pages or in our newsletters.

SEG's Newsletter page carries past and recently published news stories; click here to see: Newsletters >>

Easter Upcycling meeting changed to 24 March


What can you do with a balloon, odds and ends of wool, jam jars and shredded paper?

Well, how about an Easter egg with sweets in, a paper nest for Easter eggs or chicks and an Easter bunny sweet jar? If you have any odds and bods of knitting wool or thin twine/string and a jam jar with a lid please bring them along, we will have some if you haven't and we all share. We will have the eggs, balloons, shredded paper and some jam jars so don't worry if you haven't got any. The only other item needed is a bowl that can be lined with cling film to use as a frame to make your nest on.

Everyone welcome just pop in on Friday March 24th (NOTE NEW DATE), 7 - 9pm at Signs of Saltford workshop, 559 Bath Road, Saltford. Look us up on our Facebook page 'Make it Magic' to see the kind of things we do. If you would like to find out more about our Upcycling Craft Group, have a chat with Frances on 07789--528834. Frances and Tina are looking forward to meeting you.

February 2017 - updated March 2017

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Annual Saltford Dawn Chorus Walk, 30th April


If you are able to get yourself up early, why not join our friends at the Keynsham and Saltford Branch of the Avon Wildlife Trust for a few hours listening to, and watching the birds get up after a night's roosting? This year's Dawn Chorus will be held on Sunday 30th April 4.30am - 8.00am, starting at Saltford Shallows car park.

This really is a great way to learn how to identify from their songs the many birds that are found in Saltford. Songs of all common species will be pointed out and their identification features clarified. The walk will follow the railway path cycle track towards Bath, and back again along the river. Wrap up warm as it can be very cold that early. Binoculars and a bird identification guide will be helpful for once it gets light. Above all you need good ears to be able to pick out the 30+ different species the annual walk normally finds! A hot flask of your favourite beverage is recommended.

For further information and to confirm your attendance, contact Dave Sage on mobile 07899--716068 the week before the event.

March 2017

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Festival of Nature, 8 - 25 June

Established in 2003, the Festival of Nature is the UK's biggest free celebration of the natural world. The Festival began as a two-day showcase of interactive activities and live entertainment across Bristol's Harbourside, and in recent years has grown to include an ever-expanding programme of events across the city and region throughout the summer. Festival of Nature now includes free flagship family events in Bristol, Keynsham and Bath, as well as a range of fringe activity across the West of England.

More information can be found online at www.festivalofnature.org.uk.

March 2017

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New parking restrictions for Saltford

B&NES Council has prepared an order under provisions contained in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the effect of which will introduce variations to restrictions in Keynsham and Saltford.

For Saltford this is to introduce no parking at any time in lengths of Beech Road, Manor Road, Tyning Road and Rodney Road and the removal of no parking at any time in lengths of Manor Road.

According to B&NES the "order will come into operation on 30th March 2017 and a copy, together with a map and a Statement of the Council's Reasons for making the order may be inspected at The One Stop Shops at Manvers Street, Bath, The Hollies, Midsomer Norton and at the Civic Centre, Market Walk, Keynsham during normal office hours."

"Any person who desires to question the validity of, or any provision contained in the order on the grounds that it is not within the powers of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, or on the grounds that any of the relevant requirements of that Act has not been complied with in relation to the order, may within six weeks after the date on which the order was made, apply to the High Court for this purpose."

March 2017

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A4 traffic through Saltford down 12%

Traffic in Saltford was very different in 1906(!)

There has been a drop of 12% in the total number of vehicles travelling on the A4 Bath Road since the peak of 2002.

Traffic count data from B&NES Council of the weekday average total number of vehicles in 24 hours on the A4 at Saltford from 1998 to 2016 was made known at the Saltford Parish Council meeting on 7th March. The data is shown below.

Very little traffic passes along the A4 between 8pm in the evening and 6am in the morning. Not surprisingly, traffic volumes normally peak daily between 7am and 8am and between 4pm and 6pm. On Fridays the morning traffic builds up more slowly.

A4 Bath Rd, volumetric 24 hr, 5-day average

Both directions combined.

1998   29911
1999   30117
2000   29998
2001   29869
2002   31075 (Peak year)
2003   30460
2004   30342
2005   30493
2006   No data
2007   No data
2008   No data
2009   29534
2010   28841
2011   28952
2012   29026
2013   29053
2014   No data (Kelston Road closure)
2015   27747
2016   27368 (provisional)

March 2017

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Mayoral Candidate backs the reopening of Saltford station


West of England Regional Mayoral Candidate Stephen Williams (Lib Dem, formerly MP for Bristol West and coalition government minister) visited Saltford on 6th March 2017 to discuss his backing for the reopening of railway station at Saltford as part of the MetroWest project. He is pictured here (centre) at Saltford station site with Chairman of Saltford Parish Council and station campaign leader Chris Warren (left) and Adrian Betts (right), Chairman of Saltford Parish Council's Planning Committee.

March 2017

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Litter: Wombles (11 March) and tackling everyday litter


The next Saltford Wombles' litter-pick will be on Saturday 11th March (meet 9.30am at The Little Coffee Shop, Manor Road) - weather permitting. If you haven't taken part in a litter-pick before, why not come along and see how satisfying it is to clear the litter that spoils our village?

We would like to thank everyone who already takes the care and trouble to pick up litter when they see it in Saltford. One way we can all help to discourage litter is to remove it when it appears so that litter in our village is the exception, not the norm. We want to encourage everyone to remove litter from the pavements at and near their own properties so that together we can make a difference in keeping our village cleaner and tidier. Many residents already do this as a matter of course but the more of us who do this, the less there will be to pick up.

Information about Saltford Wombles and street volunteers, individuals or families who remove litter from the area where they live or regularly walk, is on our "Less Waste" page. If you want to get involved contact Julie Sampson by email to: juliebsampson@gmail.com or tel: 01225--874603 or 07807--671--267.

P.S. The provisional date for the Wombles April litter pick is Saturday 8th April (meet 9.30am at The Little Coffee Shop, Manor Road).

February 2017

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Great British Spring Clean - Blitz it by Bike - cycle path clear up (4 March)

Organised by one of our members, Simone Burke, volunteers from the Environment Agency Bristol Office's Bike Users Group along with anyone who wants to join in (fellow cyclists, community members and residents) are doing a Blitz it by Bike - cycle path litter clear up. This will start at the Bristol entrance on St Philip's Rd, 10am, Saturday 4th March and working "Blitzing it by Bike" to Warmley Waiting Rooms Café.

Keen cycling members interested in this can find details from this external web link.

February 2017

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Saltford Photo Exhibition


Saltford Community Association is inviting all local residents to participate in the photo exhibition for the 2017 Saltford Village Festival that is being held in June. This is free to enter for amateur photographers with prizes for "Young photographer" and "Comedy photo".

Photographs must be taken in Saltford and suitable photographs will also be considered for the 2018 Saltford calendar. Entries can cover one or more of these themes:

  • People
  • Landscape
  • Historical
  • Fun
  • Events

Entries should be jpeg files (up to 10Mb) and sent to John Davies email j.j.davies@bath.ac.uk (tel: 01225--344976) by no later than Monday 8th May.

February 2017

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Opportunity to coordinate local habitat project

Crosswort growing on the railway habitat restoration project area.

A reminder that Saltford Environment Group is looking for a new volunteer to be our railway path habitat restoration project coordinator as our existing coordinator, who did a great job getting things organised, has had to step down due to other commitments. This local project has seen some notable successes:

  • The return of a number of rare and unusual plants to the area.
  • Fantastic views recreated across to the village and the river.
  • Thanks and congratulations from Railway Path users.
  • Some first class efforts from our team of community volunteers and from Saltford's Guides, Beavers and Scout groups.
  • Removal from the upper and middle slope of the previous large population of the unwelcome alien invasive Himalayan Balsam.

The area needs some concerted effort over the next 2-3 years to prevent the area from reverting back to scrub and trees: obscuring views and shading some of the rare sun-loving plants that have so recently returned. This work is likely to involve:

  • Regular practical volunteer sessions during the growing season - pulling invasive weeds such as nettles and brambles (6 - 8 sessions per year).
  • Monthly strimming sessions (during the growing season) - shared between volunteers.

This is a great opportunity for someone with good organisational skills to help deliver a really exciting project: restoring a rare and beautiful habitat and bringing members of the community together through fun, practical activities.

No prior experience of wildlife conservation projects is required and there will be plenty of opportunities to learn more about the rare and beautiful plants and animals which would otherwise disappear from our area, to make new friends and learn new skills along the way. We are looking for someone with a can-do attitude and the enthusiasm to engage with volunteers and provide more of a social side to this worthwhile activity.

If this opportunity to manage and develop a small yet interesting and local outdoor project appeals to you, to express an interest please contact our Vice-Chairman Chris Warren (email cherokee1883@live.com).

The project has its own webpage: link >>

February 2017

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Our village in the 1950s

This 19th Century photograph of Saltford depicts
a similar landscape described in the 1950s.
(Photo courtesy of Clevedon Civic Society & Woodspring Museum.)

SEG has recently published in our history project's Online Museum key extracts from "Our Village", the 1959 un-illustrated brochure produced by Saltford W.I. 58 years ago. Published on 10 February 1959 this was compiled by six members of Saltford Women's Institute with "knowledge gained from various sources" and was kindly loaned to SEG by long-term resident Margaret Stabbins whose mother had been a W.I. member in the 1950s.

This provides a rare description of 1950s Saltford, a village "pleasantly situated on the South bank of a particularly picturesque portion of the River Avon" and where "steep, winding paths and curious old streets and lanes combine to give it a romantic attractiveness which one cannot fail to appreciate." Furthermore Saltford had "a quaint old world appearance due in a measure to its position on the slopes of a hill and to the almost medieval character of some of its habitations."

Below are just a few edited extracts concerning the village and the river from this quaint historical record:-


The village has not been altered for many years, the chief characteristic feature being the rows of cottages built at angles off the road through the village. They have no back entrance or garden but have good front gardens.

Most of the village people are engaged on railway maintenance at Keynsham, Bristol or Bath. Some are agricultural workers.

At the cross roads in the village is the World War I Memorial, a dignified and simple Celtic Cross, surrounded by a tiny garden. Names have also been added of casualties in World War II.

The main Bristol-London road, the upper end of Saltford, is now given to ribbon development, modern houses, many of which are dormitories for residents occupied in nearby towns. On each side, off the main road, there are Council houses of various types, about two hundred in all. These are planned and arranged to give space and beauty for the occupants.

We have a very energetic Community Association, which is working hard to raise funds for a new Community Centre on the Sports ground. This is badly needed as the W.I. Hut is the only hall available for all the local activities.

The only shops in the old village are a news agent a grocery store but a number of other shops and a post office line a portion of the main Bristol-Bath road and these satisfy most every-day needs.


It is a very pretty stretch of the river, with weirs adjoining both locks. Willow trees overhang into the river in places and here moorhens build their nests, such a charming picture they make when wee black, fluffy chicks are seen paddling about with their parents.

Swans also nest on the banks and are equally delightful to watch, gliding down the river in single file, with a parent bird at each end of the line of young cygnets. They are far more aggressive when nesting or protecting their young and will readily attack at any unwarranted interference.

There is plenty of fishing in season. The patient fishermen sit or stand all day, wet or fine, on the grassy banks and are sometimes rewarded with good catches of roach etc. At one time eels were caught in traps and sold in neighbouring towns.

Water rats or voles are sometimes seen, searching for food. They are pretty creatures with furry, mud-coloured coats. A lovely sight is the kingfisher, its brilliant blue plumage and large beak catching the sunlight, making it into a flying jewel.

During the summer months, especially at week-end, the river is alive with punts, rowing boats, canoes and similar craft, the main feature being the annual Saltford Regatta.

Many clubs use the river, the Clifton Rowing Club among others, having their own boat-houses there. Sea scouts also make full use of the water for their nautical training and camp in the adjoining fields.

The Shallows were so called because in olden times, before there were any weirs or locks, the tide came up to Saltford and where the road is low, there was a ford, or shallow place, where one could cross to the Kelston side of the river. A swift stream ran down the middle about a yard wide, which had to be jumped. The road is now very much higher than it was then, when it was often flooded. There was a flood path for foot passengers and it led through No. 2 Willow Cottages and up the field at the top of the Rectory. The door has been nailed up for a good many years but for a long time there was a strong piece of chain and a padlock on the inside of the stair door.


The document also describes the brass mill, the Jolly Sailor and other pubs, St Mary's church, the railway station,and some of the sporting activities including the golf club. You can download the full online document we have produced from this direct link:- "Our Village" (pdf opens in new window). For future reference it is in the Online Museum, 20th Century (page 2, "Miscellaneous").

February 2017

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Plans for Keynsham High Street one-way trial

Members may wish to be aware that B&NES Council has announced details of the one-way trial for Keynsham High Street.

The trial scheme is in response to public support for the idea; residents in Keynsham wished to see an improved shopping experience, with reduced traffic making it quieter and less congested. If the trial is successful, it would enable permanent improvements to be made such as widening of the footways to give pedestrians more space.

As part of the Keynsham, High Street trial, the following changes will take place:

  • A one-way system will work southbound on the High Street from Charlton Road towards Bath Hill.
  • A new bus stop will be added southbound, while a cycle contraflow will be created northbound towards Charlton Road.
  • At the end of the High Street, all southbound traffic except buses, taxis and bicycles will need to turn left down Bath Hill.
  • The current roundabout at the top of Bath Hill will be removed, creating a junction here between the High Street and Bath Hill/Temple Street. There will be no right turn into the High Street for traffic coming up Bath Hill.

Ashton Way will remain two-way to all traffic. If the trial is successful, implementation of a permanent one-way system would enable more significant changes to be made to the High Street in future. These could include widening of the pedestrian areas and additional street furniture such as more public seating.

Construction is expected to start in Ashton Way on Monday 27 February, with the trial layout expected to come into effect in May.

During the trial, B&NES will be undertaking a paper-based and online consultation process with the public about how they would like to see the space on the High Street developed. The project web page at www.bathnes.gov.uk/keynsham will feature news and updates regarding opportunities to get involved in this process.

February 2017

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Saltford Heritage Centre: SPC backs PCC

St Mary's Church Hall (2016)

At its February meeting Saltford Parish Council approved a grant of £1,000 to St Mary's Parochial Church Council towards the cost of redecorating and other related internal improvements in the church hall as a venue for hosting Saltford's Heritage Centre.

The PCC has already started to make progress on decorating the hall and the financial assistance generously provided by the Parish Council demonstrates its support for this project to help Saltford as a community gain a better knowledge and appreciation of its heritage.

As reported previously, SEG and the PCC are working together with the aim of having the early beginnings of the Heritage Centre ready for the Saltford Festival in June (2017).

February 2017

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Healthy sustainable food in the West of England

If we do not permit the Earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food either - Joseph Woodkrutch

Those SEG members who are involved with public catering and food procurement/supply may wish to be aware that a West of England Food Procurement Group has been set up by the 4 West of England local authorities to provide leadership on healthy and sustainable food procurement.

Membership includes procurement, catering and public health staff from the four West of England local authorities - Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset - along with representatives from local supply groups and other partners. The group works together to exchange information, share best practice and identify initiatives and actions to support healthy and sustainable food procurement across the West of England.

If you want to know more visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/sustainablefoodprocurement where guidance, tools, local suppliers and information on awards to support healthy and sustainable food procurement can be found.

February 2017

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Discovering Roman Saltford: Geophysics survey report published

The geophysics survey in Saltford underway again, November 2016.

On 6th February 2017 SEG published the final report complete with expert analysis from our colleagues at Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society (BACAS). SEG assisted BACAS complete the geophysics search for a Roman dwelling in November 2016.

Below is a geophysics image from day 2 of the survey; as can be seen there is evidence of a major building (villa?) measuring up to approximately 70 metres in length and 40 to 50 metres in width that appears to have been discovered. This discovery in the parish of Saltford of a major structure that is probably Roman is a first for recorded history in modern times.


To the left (west) of the building are two large ditches running east-west. These might be for retaining livestock, irrigation or some other purpose.

As described in the final 2016 report, in the north western corner of the field an area of magnetic disturbance appears to indicate a structure but magnetometry has not provided a clear image. A trackway running up the west side of the field is also visible over part of its length. There also appears a pair of short, intense strong lines on the east side of the field, approximately 45 metres in from the field margin. It is not obvious what these represent, possibly the sides of a washing pool.

In the east portion of the field, a series of east - west lines, unevenly spaced, may be part of an earlier field system, perhaps medieval.

One of the LIDAR images from the survey final report.
Processed data shows Coffin Field & surrounding area.

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) imaging was introduced for the 2016 survey report (courtesy of Andy McGrandle of BigAnomaly). This usefully provides complementary information in the form of landscape archaeology revealing many features of archaeological interest in the surrounding fields including evidence of an earlier and ancient field system, possibly Roman, and other features (mounds and other structures).

SEG is very grateful to the landowner, Adam Stratton, for allowing access to the field, to BACAS for carrying out this geophysics survey, for the assistance of survey volunteers from BACAS and SEG named in the report and to Andy McGrandle of BigAnomaly for the LIDAR imagery.

SEG is now in the early stages of discussing with BACAS the next steps for revealing more about this important find.

You can find the final survey report that includes technical data and imaging in the "Roman Saltford" section of our Online Museum.

February 2017

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Incentive to recycle more as waste collections go fortnightly in November

With all waste or pollution, someone somewhere pays for it...

Here is the latest informatiomn from B&NES Council on the change to fortnightly waste collections:-

Most households across Bath and North East Somerset will be changing to every other week collection for their rubbish from 6 November. B&NES will be providing a 140 litre wheeled bin for the storage and collection of rubbish. B&NES realise that one size does not fit all, so in a small number of cases where a 140 litre wheeled bin is not suitable for a property, or family situation, they may provide a larger bin or a re-useable rubbish bag to contain rubbish for collection.

Recycling collections, including food waste will remain weekly and the emphasis from B&NES will be on encouraging everyone to use this weekly service to its full potential.

From 9-13 March all households will be sent a personalised letter informing them how the changes will affect them - most letters will be included in the envelope with your Council Tax Bill.

This letter will let you know whether B&NES has allocated your property a wheeled bin or re-useable rubbish bag for rubbish collection, and the frequency of your rubbish collection. The letter is for information and no response will be needed. If you are concerned that the container B&NES has allocated is not appropriate for your specific property, or if despite recycling all you can, you feel that your household will not manage with the allocated container you will be able to complete an online query form.

Why are B&NES introducing the changes?

1. To keep our streets cleaner

Containing rubbish in a bin or re-usable bag will prevent animals and birds ripping open bags and making a mess which is unpleasant for everyone and costs us to clear up.

2. To recycle more

B&NES have a very comprehensive recycling collection where you can already recycle 17 different types of household waste every week. We know that some residents can recycle more than they are currently doing - about 75% of a household's waste can be recycled using the current collections, but B&NES still find that over half of an average rubbish bag consists of items that could have been recycled. Local research shows that if you recycle all you can you will still have space left in your rubbish bin when collected every other week.

The change will help to encourage everyone to use their food recycling collection - only about 50% of households currently use this. About a third of the waste in black sacks currently is food.

3. To save money

Every lorry load of waste costs £1000 to dispose of whilst every lorry load of recycling earns an income of £100, so reducing the amount put out as rubbish is essential.

You can find out more at www.bathnes.gov.uk/recycle.

February 2017

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Are you or your organisation a keen recycler? A chance to star!

How do you do it in your home/school/workplace?

B&NES Council need all kinds of resident recyclers to star in their campaign in 2017. Instead of using generic pictures, they want real Bath and North East Somerset residents! They want you to show how you recycle, to encourage others to recycle more, and to help people get ready for the change to every other week rubbish collections starting in November.

They want your stories, photos, videos and recycling tips to share with others and are keen to hear from individuals and groups - including schools, families, housemates, work groups - and show how you do it in your home/school/workplace.

They want to use your photos and stories mainly for their social media campaign. If there is anything unusual about how you recycle and/or you have a fun way to recycle or a humorous tale to tell please also get in touch with them by email wastecampaigns@bathnes.gov.uk - they welcome creative ideas. You can send your photos/stories/tips/videos to them or nominate recycling star(s).

January 2017

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Don't buy it, Borrow It!

Did you know that the average drill is only used for 13 minutes during its entire lifetime? Bath Borrow It has been set up by TimeBank Plus in Twerton and will offer people in B&NES the opportunity to borrow a range of useful items which are needed only for occasional use, such as tools, household and gardening equipment, catering utensils, camping items, children & baby equipment, etc. - it could be anything from a hedge trimmer to a sewing machine, a gazebo or a chocolate fountain!

The Bath Borrow It project will provide a way to reduce waste and clutter, make better use of resources and help people to save money.

Details can be found on the timebankplus.co.uk/wp/ website. They are currently advertising their Wish List of items for loan. The telephone number for enquiries is 01225--442813.

January 2017

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The Grey Herons in Saltford

Grey Heron by the River Avon, Saltford.

Grey Herons (species name Ardea cinerea) can frequently be seen along the River Avon in Saltford - especially searching out fish near the weirs, and visiting gardens with ponds. This prehistoric looking bird with its dagger like bill, long legs and S-shaped neck is one of our most unmistakable all-year round residents.

Their carnivorous diet consists principally of fish, but also small birds such as ducklings, small mammals like voles, and amphibians. After harvest, Grey Herons can sometimes be seen in our fields, searching out rodents. Similarly, after floods, they visit fields where various marooned fish and flooded land animals are easy pickings.

The Grey Heron is not currently a threatened species; in fact it is increasing its range, and is now more abundant in Britain than it has ever been since monitoring of heronries began in the 1920s. This may be due to an increase in winter temperatures and less persecution. Over the last half-century herons have become noticeably less shy in Saltford, again probably reflecting lowered persecution.

Here are some interesting facts about herons:-

  • With a wing span of around 6ft Grey Herons are the largest birds most of us will ever see in our garden.
  • In medieval times the heron was a favourite quarry of falconers who valued its great flying skills and ability to evade the falcon's stoops
  • Roast herons were also popular at medieval banquets: the young birds, called branchers, were thought to be the best to eat.
  • Herons are sociable birds when nesting, usually nesting in long-established heronries. It's not unusual for a single tree to hold as many as 10 nests although herons also breed solitarily.
  • The biggest heronry in Britain is currently at Northward Hill in Kent, an RSPB reserve. Numbers here have peaked at over 200 nests, but the current total is around 150.
  • Heronries are usually in tall trees. However, reed-bed heronries are not unusual, and they will also nest on cliffs, bushes, and sometimes even on buildings or bridges.
  • There are a number of small heronries within a few miles of Saltford, but none within Saltford itself. During the time when the young are in the nest (late spring and early summer) the adults can be seen flying between heronry and feeding area.
  • A number of British heronries also have Little Egrets (species name Egretta garzetta) nesting alongside the Herons. The Little Egret is a scarce but regular visitor to Saltford, particularly during floods.
  • 4 or 5 eggs are laid towards the end of March, though often earlier in mild winters. Both parents share the incubation of the eggs, which takes 25 to 26 days. The young are fed on regurgitated fish and fledge after 7 to 8 weeks.

Information sources:
www.rspb.org.uk, www.arkive.org and Will Duckworth.

January 2017

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Saltford Weather Station

River Avon in Saltford breaking its banks after prolonged rainfall, November 2012.

2016 was the hottest year globally on record, according to NASA, and of the 17 hottest years ever recorded, 16 have now occurred since 2000. We know that extreme weather events such as droughts, storms and floods together with changing weather patterns are becoming increasingly the norm.

Members are reminded that SEG's Saltford Weather Station on our Climate Change page provides the 5-day local weather forecast, flood alerts, and a direct link to the constantly updated river level here in Saltford.

January 2017

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Can you help SEG find this 1860 painting?

1860 painting of the River Avon

This (old) monochrome print of a Constable style painting of the River Avon was amongst the Percy Sims collection of Saltford photographs. The late Percy Sims was the author of the well known 1976 book 'A History of Saltford Village'.

The image is in our History of Saltford project's Online Museum but SEG would very much like to trace the actual painting so that we can photograph it in colour and thus share it in its full glory with residents and others. Do you know who has this particular painting? If so please contact SEG's Chairman.

January 2017

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Sale of last remaining 2017 Saltford Calendars

The Saltford Calendar 2017 (front cover)

SCA are selling the last remaining unsold calendars for half price (£3) from the SCA office on the 1st floor of Saltford Hall on weekday mornings from Tuesday 3rd January. If you missed out on getting a calendar or want some for friends and family you can take advantage of this special low price while remaining stocks last.

As production costs have now been recovered future proceeds from this joint SEG/SCA initiative are split 50/50 between SCA and SEG to help further their voluntary work supporting the local community.


December 2016

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Saltford Heritage Centre: Starting to take shape

St Mary's Church Hall (2016)

Whilst the development and planning for the centre is still in its early stages, discussions and planning behind the scenes continue to take place for this volunteer run community resource.

SEG should like to thank everyone who took the time to answer our short online survey from 14 September to the end of December 2016. Although the response rate was fairly low, and thus typical for surveys of this nature, the enthusiasm for the idea of establishing a Heritage Centre at the Church Hall in Saltford, for SEG's history project and the range of supportive ideas and comments were encouraging to read.

All respondents were in favour and 98% would visit the centre at least once or twice a year with 38% interested in visiting the centre more than twice a year. Whilst SEG's Online Museum had the highest single preference (35%) for finding out about Saltford's history, those preferring the Heritage Centre or having no preference was 57%. Most respondents (36%) were in the 35-44 age range.

These comments from the online survey are typical of the responses we have received:

"Ideal venue for the local and wider community"

"It's a great idea, for local people and for visitors"

"It's important that the Heritage Centre doesn't become just a collection of artefacts... Outreach to our local schools and other cultural centres, e.g. the Brass Mill, would help keep it fresh"

"SEG's history project is great; the heritage centre would complement the online material"

We are in regular contact with the Parochial Church Council as plans unfold for the church hall's redecoration and other internal improvements, and we shall aim to keep residents and SEG members informed as plans develop further. We aim to have the early beginnings of the Heritage Centre ready for the Saltford Festival in June (2017).

December 2016

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SEG publishes image of the oldest painting of Saltford

The Miller's House (later Jolly Sailor), c.1728. Courtesy of Carl Say.
A larger version of this image is in our Online Museum.

SEG has published just before Christmas this fascinating painting for everyone to see as part of our history project. Many residents were dismayed to see this painting leave Saltford in 1993 after it had been in the Jolly Sailor for some 265 years.

The original painting itself, oil on wood panel, was over 5 feet wide. We have scanned to a high resolution a small and rare photograph taken of the painting in the 1990s, digitally cleaned and colour corrected it, and the resulting image is now on SEG's website looking magnificent (the image above is a small version).

The following describes the painting and its historical context and is from our Online Museum where you can see a much larger version of the painting:-


Measuring 167.2cm x 64.2cm (5' 5.75" x 2' 1.25") and dated at c.1728 by art experts and industrial archaeologists, this is the oldest known painting depicting a Saltford scene.

The lock had been opened in 1727 when the Avon Navigation was opened linking Bath to Bristol. It is thought that the house became an inn, the Jolly Sailor, from the 1740s; the first recorded landlord, from 1749 to 1789, was Francis Hunt.

Despite its simplicity and stretched perspective the painting is an important industrial and social historical record for the River Avon and Saltford. It provides a rare depiction of activity on the river soon after the locks had been built by Bristol-based civil and mechanical engineer John Padmore that allowed river traffic to bypass Saltford and Kelston weirs.

As the somewhat grand house is central to the picture it is thought that this painting may have been commissioned by the mill owner at the time, Mr Faux.

The painting depicts the miller's home (central building), the paper mill itself (left-hand building) that had formerly been a leather mill, the drying house (right-hand building), and the new Saltford Lock.

In the central foreground is the lock island with steps, the original lock gates and beams. On the river can be seen a variety of boats including a wherry (left of picture, with square sail), passenger and other pleasure boats with red flags, small rowing boats, a cargo carrying barge with sail (centre within the lock) and a barge pulled by men (right).

This was before landowners along the river permitted horses onto their land for pulling barges. Concerned that heavy horses would damage their land, horses for pulling barges were not allowed access. However, lobbying and a petition from local manufacturers along the river led to the passing of the Amendment Act of 1807 (47 Geo III c.129) that allowed for a horse towpath along the river.

The painting shows a sense of prosperity for the Bath to Bristol area, sustained by the industrial activity of the many mills along the River Avon and the amount of river traffic including for pleasure use that had become possible by the new navigation as a result of the installation of locks.

This new navigation enabled the river journey by wherry in 1728 of Princess Amelia the daughter of King George II from Bath to Hanham through Saltford - details of her journey can be found in our Online Museum as well as an account of the destruction of Saltford Lock by rioting Kingswood coal miners in 1738.


A larger version of the painting can be viewed in our Online Museum on the 18th Century page.

December 2016

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You can contact Saltford Environment Group by email as follows:-

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Secretary & Website Deputy Editor: Debbie Cini

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Our March Newsletter is out:-

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Special Features:


   Geology, Saltford's

   Green Belt Inquiry 2013


   Railway Path Habitat Project

   Saltford Wombles (tackling litter)

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