A Journey Through The Ancient Commons of the Bristol Ring Road

PhD researcher Andy Thatcher (Film, University of Bristol) has been journeying through the ancient commons of the Bristol Ring Road over at Unofficial Britain.

Hinton Green (c) Andy Thatcher

Eastern Bristol is speckled with commons. Go way, way back and this whole area was part of the Kingswood Forest, a royal Anglo Saxon hunting forest. This means that all the little verges, scrappy bits of wasteland and neat greens that I am about to find around the Bristol Ring Road are relics of hard-won ancient rights and custom.

The day is getting on and I leave the car in the first car park I come to, promising the all-seeing gods of the Gallagher Retail Park that, when I return, I’ll placate them with something from the M&S food hall. This pilgrimage has been months in the making. Across the arterial road, a public footpath flows innocuously through the loud hulks of DFS and Buildbase. Its old walled hedgerows are still intact, and the blackthorn is exploding in slow motion with blossom, its dainty sparks the brightest objects on this drab afternoon. A few hundred yards on, the track opens out abruptly onto a clearing which is mostly fenced off with fat iron palings. They bristle with spikes ready to rip clothes and flesh.

Read the full post at Unofficial Britain.

Dark Ecologies: Art and Poetry at Nightfall

Join environmental historians Andy Flack and Alice Would, Bristol City Poet Caleb Parkin and audio-visual artist Kathy Hinde to explore darkness in their work and its connection to the more-than-human.

Tuesday 14th June 7.30 – 9.30pm. Glass Studio, St George’s, Bristol.


Andy and Alice’s research focuses on how attitudes to night-time have changed over the past several centuries, and the ways in which people have imagined what it means to be nocturnal.

Kathy’s work grows from a partnership between nature and technology expressed through installations and performances. Her work, shown internationally, offers poetic and reflective experiences that invite a heightened awareness of the world around us.

Caleb’s debut collection, This Fruiting Body (Nine Arches Press), morphs “human and more-than-human bodies in a post-human lyric disco lit with ecological thought” (Samantha Walton). It’s a playful invitation to a queer ecopoetics that permeates our bodies and speech, our gardens, homes, and city suburbs.

There’ll be opportunities to interact and talk about human and more-than-human experiences of night-time before Caleb and Kathy share work which explores these themes. We’ll encounter darkness, literal and metaphorical, with opportunities to ask questions. Then, the chance to move outside as night falls, discovering and – possibly – exceeding our human senses.

Doors open at 7:30pm for drinks and discussion, talks begin at 8:30pm.

£5 is our recommended price for this event. If this feels affordable and right for you then paying the recommended price will help us cover our costs.

There are limited number of tickets available for this session, please let us know if you are no longer able to attend: festival@bnhc.org.uk

This activity is taking place as part of the Festival of Nature 2022: https://www.bnhc.org.uk/festival-of-nature/events/