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Listen to Steve England on Shepherds Way

Shepherds Way , radio programme BCFM Radio 93.2 fm

On Wednesday , 11th December, Steve was invited into the studios of BCFM radio to appear as a guest on Shepherds Way. If you missed it you can listen to either the whole show by clicking on this link to Shepherds Way (note, the section that Steve appears in starts approximately at 18:00) or you can just hear Steve’s bit by clicking below.

This is a summary of the topics touched upon in the interview:

  • Introduction to Steve
  • Steve describes how he has been involved formally for 5 years but has had a personal interest since childhood.
  • A brief history of occupation – Stoke Park first occupied by a Bronze Age camp. Later, an Elizabethan mansion was built in 1563, then partially destroyed in the Bristol riots of the 1800’s and rebuilt. From around 1900 it was used as a sanatorium
  • Network of cellars under the Dower House
  • The Orangery
  • The scrubland around the BT Tower was originally a beech and oak woodland that was cut down to supply wood (for rifle butts?) for the Franco Prussian war.
  • Lack of skylarks and cuckoos for the last 20 years due to surrounding development
  • Managing the woodland – 104 different species of mushrooms so far identified
  • Duchess lake originally built in 1768 but filled in when the M32 was built. It was reinstated in the 1990’s and in recent years many species of birds have returned.
  • Before being occupied by Sir Richard Berkeley – there was a monastery of St James there.
  • Purdown quarries
  • Urbanisation – a management plan has been put together to balance the needs of people and wildlife over the next 5 years.
  • Fossils – spent 5 years studying the land of Walls Court estate while it was being developed for housing.
  • The future?  Steve believes Stoke Park Estate now has a positive future since it has been acquired by Bristol Council
  • <break at around 40:00>
  • Thanks and goodbye to Steve (program continues)