Cathedral pledges to 'rewild' public space – a year after Greta Thunberg paid a visit


The cathedral green in central Bristol will be “rewilded” a year after environment activist Greta Thunberg visited Bristol.
Bristol Cathedral's rewilding project has already begun in College Green

Bristol Cathedral has pledged College Green will be transformed following a major fundraising effort by the public. 

The land was left damaged after an event where the teenager spoke to a crowd of thousands in the pouring rain. 

Local resident Jon Usher raised more than £15,000 while Good Energy contributed £5000 to repair and reimagine the space. 

The land will now accommodate meadows alongside the Cathedral with flowering trees, wildflowers, and native hedgerows. 

The Very Revd Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol: “It is a great joy to be hosting this wild space on College Green in the shelter of Bristol Cathedral, with all its diversity of plants and the promise of insects and birds to enhance the area. 

Greta Thunberg poses with Bishop Viv of Bristol in 2020

“As Christians we recognise the importance of care for all Creation and to being good stewards of our buildings and land. 

“This exciting project creates a different kind of space for us to nurture in partnership with others and we look forward to working with the Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation and the City Council in the planting, maintenance and care of this green space.”

Plants will hopefully attract bees, butterflies, and insect-feeding birds to Bristol city centre. 

The Diocese is currently responding to calls for further action on climate change, having declared a “Climate Emergency.”

Isobel, who speaks for the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate group which had organised the original speech from Greta Thunberg, said: “College Green has always been significant to Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate, and we believe the meadow will act as a continuous symbol of the power and hope felt so fervently at our strikes. 

“The meadow is a great step in reimagining intensely used inner-city green spaces.”

More information: 

  • The meadows will include strawberry clover, cowslip, white campion, and tufted vetch. These will join common poppy, cornflower, and yellow rattle.
  • The City Council’s Design Group and Parks department are supporting the project and are informed by the University of Bristol’s Urban Pollinator Project.
  • The money raised by the public is managed by Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation. 
  • They have worked on this project alongside the Cathedral, the City Council, Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate, and the Avon Wildlife Trust.
  • The already existing wildflower meadow, planted by Avon Wildlife Trust’s My Wild City project and supplemented by Buglife’s Urban Buzz project, will be incorporated into the new meadows.