Events & News

Forthcoming events

Volunteer work-sessions take place every few weeks; sometimes weekend mornings, occasionally weekday evenings. 

Get in touch via our Join page if you'd like to take part and to sign up for email updates about events and news.

Bees & Goats- June 2024

The goats are back!  Poopy and Loopy.  🐐 Have a look over the Camden Meadow railings and say Hi to them.  They're very friendly.

Our new bee-keeper, Pete, has been in action.  Both hives are healthy, and if the weather continues fine, we'll see some honey this year.  Watch this space... 🐝

Camden Meadow - Update, Feb 2024

We’re in the quiet time for Camden Meadow, so an opportune point to reflect on the year past and the next to come.

Now in its third year, Friends of Camden Meadow have continued to manage, care for and nurture the land known as Camden Meadow at the Lansdown gateway to Camden.  We’ve conducted numerous work sessions to maintain and enhance the space, amounting to over 80 hours of volunteer time (and sweat!).  We’ve gathered another good crop of new members from the surrounding community, taking us to about 45 (all of whom either actively help out or contribute financially, per our membership policy).  And we've invested significant funds (from our own fund-raising) in new equipment to optimise our work on site.

Continuing our partnership with Street Goat in Bristol we've enjoyed three salubrious visits from everyone's favourite four-legged friends, now a firm fixture in Camden’s roster of community's highlights (if you fancy a go at goat-herding, just get in touch - yodelling skills not essential).

Sadly we didn’t get any Camden Meadow honey this year (nor did anyone anywhere else really, it’s been too wet) but we do have a great new beekeeper in place who comes to us with over 20 years’ beekeeping experience.  So, if anyone can coax some honey out of them, he can.

At Christmas we continued our annual tradition of erecting those lovely fairy lights along the Camden Meadow railings and flood-lighting Bath’s biggest Christmas tree in the centre of the Meadow.  And we enjoyed our third, truly wonderful Christmas busk with Bath Guitar School on the pavement outside Camden Crescent.  The students were awesome, as ever, and everyone loved the addition this year of local 'dad band', Paper Jam.

Looking to 2024, we'll enjoy our little rest over the cold period, then get some work sessions organised in early Spring - tidying and nurturing the expanded Meadow, surgically cutting back some of the invasive and rapidly growing laurels, more goats visits (of course), potentially a third beehive, hopefully some honey, and a couple more apple trees planted.

We’re always up for new people getting involved, just get in touch.  It’s a great way to meet people, do a bit of good locally, and keep busy.  Just hopefully not as busy as the bees.


John Long

Chair, Friends of Camden Meadow

Insta: camden_bath

October 2023

An autumn strim for the enlarged Meadow area.

And goats!  Back at Camden Meadow.  Do stop at the railings in front of Camden Crescent and say Hello to them.

May 2023

Goats!  Back at Camden Meadow.

Meet Edward (sporting the smart black collar) and Evelyn (red).  As before, both on loan from our friends at Street Goat, Bristol..

They’ll be with us for a good 6-8 weeks, helping us maintain the land in a natural, sustainable way, and reducing the need to use power tools.

Do stop at the railings in front of Camden Crescent and say Hello to them.  They’re super friendly, and lots of fun!

Please don’t try to give them any food.  Goats have fussier diets than most people think, and some foods are quite bad for them.  Plus they’ve got a lot of nettles and bindweed to get through!

We have a rota system to pop in on the goats each morning to check they’re OK and have water etc.  There is room for an extra pair of hands, so if you fancy joining Bath’s very exclusive goatherd team, please use our Contact page to get in touch.  The site is challenging in places, so you’d need to be physically fit.  It takes about 30mins.  An ability to yodel is not essential.

For a video of Edward and Evelyn arriving yesterday, check out: https://www.instagram.com/camden_bath/

December 2022

Our Christmas lights are back, and better than ever.  Bath's biggest Christmas tree, surely?!

October 2022

Three gorgeous goats arrive for weed control duties 🐐

The brown / blonde one is a Golden Guernsey, the other two are a Saanen Dwarf cross. They're all dinky and super cute. No names yet. But go have a look over the railings and see what you think!

September 2022

Camden Meadow honey!!!  🐝🍯

Our first ever harvest, from Hive 1 (hive two is still quite new so we are leaving it to settle for a year).

Local, organic, gorgeous!

(This year for our volunteers only - next year we hope to be able to sell some within our local community.)

June 2022

The boys are back in town.  Back by popular demand - Gilbert & Brownie, the return!  They'll be with us for 4 / 5 weeks, or so.  It really just depends on how much food there is for them - quite a lot currently, so it may be longer.  Pop along to the Meadow railings and say Hi to them.  (Just please don't feed them.)

People often ask where Gilbert and Brownie come from.  Answer:  they normally live at Brown's Folly, and are owned by the lovely folk at Street Goat, who you can read about here.

If you'd like to help look after them, contact us via the Join page, here.

April 2022

Spring time, and the meadow is really coming to life.

March 2022

Below, beehive inspection - we have a few thousand, and they're doing well...

Below, Gilbert and Brownie goats take up residence 😀

It's taken 2 years (our founder, John Long, started down the road to this vision prior to setting up Friends of Camden Meadow), 3 false dawns, and hours and hours of searching, negotiating, form filling, and labouring - but it's all been worth it...  working with urban farm cooperative Street Goat, we now have two handsome, friendly goats on our Meadow.  Do go and have a look at them from the railings above the Meadow - but please don't feed them - contrary to popular belief, goats do not, and cannot, eat everything.

Above:  From R to L - John Long (founder and FoCM leader), Gilbert Goat, Brownie Goat, Emily, John Lindup (Co-Lead), Jenny.

And we're not the only busy bees!

An update on our Bees from Camden Meadow Beekeeper, Tullio...

Waiting out the cold months of winter, every beekeeper is anxious for the weather to warm so they examine the state of their hives. I was finally able to lift the lid on Hive 1 for the first time since October this week and find out how many bees had survived the winter. Lots was the answer, in their thousands, in fact I was a bit surprised to see so many. Sometimes winter can for various reasons decimate a colony's numbers and keepers can find all they have is a handful of bees. After giving them a few puffs of smoke I started removing and examining the brood frames looking for the queen principally or evidence of a queen, eggs and larvae. I didn't spot the queen, sometimes you don't but I did see uncapped larvae as well as capped brood, but no eggs. Neither did I see a queen cell, a new queen in the making so the evidence would suggest there is a queen somewhere in the hive, so hopefully I'll spot her next week.

January 2022 - beehive foundations, three native fruit trees...

And a little more tree maintenance.

(With big thanks to Cllr Ricard Samuel & Cllr Tom Davies for financing the beehives from their local discretionary budget.)

 

December 2021 - a Christmas tree for Camden, and the Bath Guitar School xmas busk (with warming mulled wine on the house).

October 2021 - glorious views opening up, and an enlarged meadow area.

September 2021 - our lovely new information board attached the the railings at the Camden Crescent bus stop.  With thanks to Cllr Samuel and Cllr Davies for funding it from their discretionary budgets.

7th September - progress...

Sunday 1 August 2021  - a little more coppicing of the rampant hazel, opening up the meadow area a little more, and beginning to see some views over to the Avon Valley.

April 2021  - Our first working party!  Coppicing a few hazels and creating the 'dead hedge' (a way of dealing with arisings which avoids taking material off site, and creates habitats for creepy crawlies and small mammals).