Troopers Hill Woods


Adjacent to Troopers Hill LNR is an area of council owned woodland. This area is known as Troopers Hill Woods or Crews Hole Woodland and covers 4.79 Ha (11.8 acres).

The woods are bounded by Troopers Hill LNR to the east; Crews Hole Rd to the south; Lamb Hill to the west and Malvern Rd and Troopers Hill Field to the north.

 Location map

Troopers Hill Woods - Lower PathSeveral paths lead through the woods - you can explore them by following the Woodland Trail or the waymarked routes from the Hill and the Field to Crews Hole Road.

Lots of wildlife lives in the woodland, including deer, foxes and owls and you may be lucky enough to see some of them.

This area was used to tip builders rubble in the past, so there may be hazards if you leave the main paths.

Dogs are welcome on or off lead, but please keep dogs under control so as not to disturb the wildlife, especially in the Spring when there may be young around.

On this page:
Waymarking August 2018 | | Woodland Management Winter 2017/18 | Path to Crews Hole Road | Woodland Trail | New Path 2008/9 | History |

Waymarking August 2018

Thanks to funding secured by the Avon Frome Partnership, some additional waymarking was installed in the Woods in August 2018 as part of our Ways to Nature Project.

The waymarking highlights the routes from the top of the Hill and The Field through the Woods to Crews Hole Road. It follows the various paths created since 2008 as described below.

The waymarking was installed in response to various comments we received that the routes were difficult to follow, particularly the section of the path from the rough parking area on Crews Hole Rd below the main flight of steps.

 Plan showing woodland paths and waymarker locations.
 Details of woodland waymarkers.

Woodland Management Winter 2017/18

Also thanks to the funding from the Avon Frome Partnership, works were carried out in Troopers Hill Woods during the winter 2017/18 to further improve access.

The work was based on suggestions made by Friends of Troopers Hill and recommendations from an ecologist.

The first stage in December 2017 included the removal of some large buddleia bushes that were blocking the lower path and some selected thinning of trees to enhance the ecology.

We were also able to open up the overgrown route into the woods from the entrance between the Field and the Hill - 'Top of the Hill'.

This was a track originally constructed when the woods were used as a tip in the 1960s & 70s. The work was carried out for Bristol City Council by Green Mantle.

Woodland Path & Steps to Crews Hole Road

This new path gives an alternative shorter route to Crews Hole Road from the Hill than the route via Lamb Hill. At the bottom, next to the rough parking area on Crews Hole Road (next to the new houses at Old Lamb Inn Close) the entrance is through a wooden fence chicane next to the large gate. At the top, walking away from the Hill on the lower woodland path, the new path goes down to the left just after the 'Not Lost' waymarker on the Woodland Trail.

There are a lot of steps on the path and as with all the paths through the woods it is not surfaced, so the path is unfortunately not suitable for the less able.

In early 2015, through Bristol Parks Forum, we heard about an opportunity to use the ParkWork team on Troopers Hill if we could find funding for any materials they would need.

ParkWork offer training and skills development for people who need additional support to secure permanent employment.

We knew that, following the initial clearance of the route as part of our Stepping Forward Project (described below) the steps on the path needed to be built to a higher standard. This semed to be an ideal project for ParkWork.

At around the same time we heard that Beese's were kindly giving us a further donation this year and with their support we therefore agreed to use the majority of this donation to fund the materials to allow this work to go ahead.

Work on the steps started on 18th August 2015. ParkWork aims to give each group on placement an opportunity to aquire a range of skills and therefore construction of the steps was carried out by a number of groups over the following months.

ParkWork then did some further work to create the new entrance to the path near the rough parking area on Crews Hole Road, this was completed in July 2016.

We were pleased that Didac Ltd agreed to provide, free of charge, a wooden sign to mark the entrance from Crews Hole Road which is near to their Woodwise Academy, this was installed in 2017. Then in 2018 we installed some additional waymarking on this path (see above).

Woodland Trail

As part of our Stepping Forward Project in 2012 there were a number of activities to make the Wodland paths easier to use.

 Following workshop sessions working with local people, we created and installed (with the help of Community Payback) carved waymarkers on the wooodland paths to mark a 'Woodland Trail'. Follow the link below for more details.

Woodland Trail >>

 Teams doing Community Payback cleared some of the undergrowth and rubbish from the path edges. This helps prevent the paths from becoming overgrown in summer and make them easier to walk. However, we want to retain the country feel of these paths, so we will not be surfacing them.

 The steps down into the woods from the Field have been rebuilt by TCV (formerly BTCV). These steps lead from the new bench alongside the track at the edge of the Field into an open area in the woods, from here paths lead on down to the lower path of the Trail. Air Balloon Hill School made use of these steps on a visit in December 2014.

 We were able to use some of the contingency money from the Stepping Forward Project to use Community Payback to establish a route for the path down to Crews Hole Rd.

This path was built with 'rustic' steps but has since been improved by ParkWork as described above.

 We have done some work to improve the appearance of the entrances to the Woods from Lamb Hill, including replacing the missing kissing gate and trying to discourage fly-tipping.

You can read more the Stepping Forward Project via the link below.

Stepping Forward Project Main Page >>

New Path 2008/9

Clearing the path Feb 08 With the help of pupils from John Cabot Academy, who are taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, we opened up a path through the woods from the 'Gillian's Glade' opposite one of the red benches on Troopers Hill Field down to the lower path. This work started with two enthusiastic pupils in 2008 and was continued in 2009. It was carried out as part of our regular Work Parties and at separate additional sessions. The steps on this path were rebuilt in April 2012 as part of our Stepping Forward Project.


The area of Troopers Hill Woods in 1953

In Elizabeth's Emra's time (early 1800s) the much of the area that is now woodland probably had a very similar habitiat to that on Troopers Hill LNR today. There were some cottages and probably some market gardens. Malvern Rd and the adjoining streets were developed in the late 1800s, but the steep sides of the Avon Valley remained undeveloped.

On 21 Dec 1956 the area was purchased by Bristol City Council from the estate of the late EW Smith for use as a 'Tip'. The photo above, taken from the tar works, shows it as it was in 1953. The land was just over 12 acres and was described as 'Allotment and rough pasture land with one cottage in Lamb Hill and the sites of 3 other cottages'. The purchase price was 2,120. You can read about the cottages and some of the people who used to live there on our Memories Page.

In the 1960s and early 1970s the site was 'Malvern Road Tip'. There was an access track across Troopers Hill Field from the end of Summerhill Terrace. We don't believe that any domestic waste was tipped on the site - just building rubble and excavated material. Several different people have told us that material from the excavation of the underpass at Old Market was tipped there. There is a story that one of the lorries over-turned rolled down the bank and is now buried. We have also heard that Crews Hole Rd had to be closed for a while because the tipped material began to slide down the hill. The tip extended into the adjacent quarries on Troopers Hill itself.

Once the tipping had finished some trees were planted to help stabilise the site and over time other trees and shrubs established themselves. We can now enjoy walks through woodland that is about 30 years old.

Troopers Hill Woods in June 2007

On this page:
Waymarking August 2018 | | Woodland Management Winter 2017/18 | Path to Crews Hole Road | Woodland Trail | New Path 2008/9 | History |

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