Repair College Green after the Youth Strike

Bristol welcomed Greta Thunberg to the city for the Youth Climate Strike today and thousands turned out to see her and to stand in solidarity for climate action. 

The weather however wasn't on our side and it rained. A lot! And now College Green is a bit muddy. Contribute some funds to help Bristol City Council restore the grass in time for spring time picnics in the sun!

A joint meeting was held this week to discuss the recovery of College Green.
As a result of the fundraising initiative #TurnCollegeGreenGreenAgain, Bristol parent Jon Usher, Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate, Wildlife Rebellion and Bristol City Council are discussing repairs needed following the march led by Greta Thunberg. At a meeting it was decided that a nominated charity would receive the monies from the campaign to be held in trust.

Jon Usher said the support has been unprecedented. “The fundraising campaign raised £15,000 which will pay for these repairs. The fact that we raised so much so quickly was totally unexpected and I’m grateful to all those that contributed their own money to the cause. I’m delighted that this new collaboration will show how Bristol can come together to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies in Bristol fashion.”

Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for Communities, Equality and Public Health said: “The area is already beginning to recover and the damage has not been too serious. Further inspection is required in a couple of weeks to determine the work required and in the meantime I’d ask that people stay off College Green so it can properly dry out and recover as quickly as possible.

“We are very pleased to be working closely and positively with our city partners. A meeting with representatives of the Cathedral who are the owners of the land is planned for next week and further details of the work to be undertaken and how the money will be spent, will be available then."

The Acting Dean of Bristol (Canon Michael Johnson) said: “We are delighted and deeply touched that people have given so generously to the restoration of College Green, and we look forward to discussing ideas with our partners from Bristol City Council, Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate, and Wildlife Rebellion.”

UPDATE 20TH MARCH
Press Release

CROWDFUND TO RESTORE COLLEGE GREEN FOLLOWING
GRETA THUNBERG-LED BRISTOL YOUTH CLIMATE STRIKE EXCEEDS ITS TARGET
AND BRINGS TOGETHER LOCAL PARTNERS TO HELP TACKLE THE ECOLOGICAL
EMERGENCY

#TurnCollegeGreenGreenAgain campaign passes £20,000 target, with additional
funds raised going towards reimagining the space to support more wildlife and
increase biodiversity as well as future support for the youth climate movement.
Following unprecedented support from Bristol residents, the #TurnCollegeGreenGreenAgain fundraising campaign raised £15,000 in the space of just  5 days following the Youth Climate strike event. Green energy company Good Energy has separately donated £10,000, in Bristol Pounds, helping to exceed the original target. The Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation will act as custodian of the College Green fund to ensure the money is appropriately spent.

The crowdfunder was set up immediately after the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate march on
28th February by Bristol parent Jon Usher, and it was initially feared that College Green
would need re-turfing. The Green had been left muddy by over 15,000 people who had
come to join the march led by Greta Thunberg. However, the damage has been largely
superficial, and the Council anticipates a series of relatively low-cost remedies. The funding
raised will pay for 100% of these repairs, with the surplus contributing to biodiversity
improvements on College Green and in other parks and green spaces across Bristol.

The fund has been so successful in raising additional money that it requires an ongoing
solution for its management. Jon Usher has nominated the Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation
as a registered charity to receive the money. The Foundation will work with the various
stakeholders to ensure that there is transparency over where and how the money is spent.

Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of Trustees for the Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation, said "As
a charity we aim to enhance nature and biodiversity in our parks and green spaces while working with the community to give them a say in what happens in these much-loved
spaces. We are thankful to all the donors and very pleased to be able to help ensure that
funds that were so generously given to this appeal are properly spent and accounted for. It
is important that any spending plans consider long-term maintenance so that there is a
lasting legacy from Greta Thunberg's visit."

Organisers of the College Green event, Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate and other local
partners have come together to discuss ideas for using the additional money raised. The
partners include Wildlife Rebellion, Avon Wildlife Trust, Bristol City Council and the owners
of the land, Bristol Cathedral who have welcomed the initiative. The Bristol & Bath Parks
Foundation will take on a co-ordinating role for the project also helping to extend the reach
of the funds raised. Some of the ideas already discussed include introducing wildflower
areas to increase pollinators and encourage biodiverse habitats on College Green, while
retaining its role as a popular public event space and creating a sustainable legacy for the
city.

Good Energy’s contribution is expected to support the restoration of College Green and
wider ecological benefits in the city, as well as the future efforts of Bristol Youth Strike 4
Climate in engaging young people in the climate emergency. The company will also be
encouraging staff to volunteer to help with the restoration and rewilding activity in Bristol.

Bristol parent, Jon Usher said: "I'm delighted that the contributions of over 1,400 donors will
have an impact on the long-term plans for College Green providing a real legacy from
Greta's Bristol visit. Entrusting the £15,000 raised to Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation will
ensure the money is spent responsibly. I'm looking forward to getting involved in planting
with my daughter where we can, as well as watching College Green recover over the
coming months thanks to the amazing partnerships we've been able to build over the past
few weeks."
B
from Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate said: “It would be great to have more green
space around Bristol and increasing biodiversity is an urgent issue as we are losing more of
our wildlife every year. Getting £5,000 from Good Energy is amazing for us as an
organisation as it will help us to fund future action.”

Chris Packham, TV naturalist and co-founder of Wildlife Rebellion, said: "This is a
superb example of community spirit and people coming together to make a positive impact
for green spaces across Bristol. We’re excited to be working alongside Bristol Youth Strike
4 Climate and partners to help transform College Green into the best it can be, for wildlife
and for people."

Juliet Davenport, CEO and Founder of Good Energy said, “We actively encouraged our
people to join the strike with Greta and Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate because tackling
climate change is Good Energy’s entire reason for being. Given we were there on College
Green we felt we had a responsibility to help with the restoration.
Now the fundraising campaign has received such a positive response, with the potential not
just to fix the minor damage done, but to blossom into support for wildlife in the city and
the future of the youth climate movement, throwing our weight behind it becomes a no
brainer too.”
- Ends-

Donations

  • James Cride 
    • £10 
    • 4 mos
  • Martin Andersson 
    • £10 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • £10 
    • 4 mos
  • Lin Tuff 
    • £5 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • £15 
    • 4 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Jon Usher 
Organizer
Bristol, South West England, United Kingdom
Robert J Acton-Campbell 
Beneficiary
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