Category: Uncategorized

Kids Summer Art Activities

Here’s a little timelapse of the lovely work they did in July

We recognise that children have had a tough time recently, so we’re offering some mindful art for local families. Led by Mhairi Stuart with Anna Haydock-Wilson and Amy Hutchings, pavement pastel and chalking will be on the following dates:

August 18, 19 & 20th 11am-12pm

Please bring an old cushion or towel for the children to kneel on and dress code is scruffy! We are fully insured and trained to work with children but we can’t take responsibility for infection spreading so please attend with your children. Bring a cuppa and relax or help with some gardening!

We will selct our favorite artworks and paint them in to create a permanant trail with some signage

The Hotwells Piazza is opposite the Rose of Denmark pub BS8 4QL and is an open public space.


Community Gardening Guidelines

We would love some help on the Piazza with weeding and watering, particularly through the summer months

On our notice board opposite the Rose of Denmark pub we have put up guidelines on how you can help. Here they are in this blog post

There are a few weeds that are particularly invasive and you can pull these up wherever you see them. Other self-seeding or wild-flower plants are great to leave as they attract bees and butterflies. If in doubt it’s best to leave them.

Over the years we have been learning which plants cope best in our urban climate and we very rarely need to water out planters, rockeries, sedum beds or rain beds, but during prolonged hot, dry spells we use the rainwater butts and occasionally put a local call out for people to bring water to the piazza

This map, by Zoe Smith, shows the garden areas that the local community, supported by Hotwells and Cliftonwood Community Association have created since 2014. The other areas are cared for by Bristol City Council.

If you would like to help with gardening, watering and litter picking we ask you to be responsible for your health in terms of protecting against the corona virus or skin allergies by wearing gloves or using hand sanitiser. Once you have pulled up weeds, please put them in our garden waste bins here. Water is available for plants from the rain butts. This is not safe for hand washing or for dogs to drink.

Here are some of the plants we have added over the years.

Many of our plants have been bought from the Riverside Garden Centre, supporting this wonderful local business. Others have been donated and scattered by locals or have self-seeded.

If you would like to plant something you are welcome. You can use an empty area of one of the planters or put something in the beds or rockeries we have created. Please be mindful that there are bulbs in the planters that need space to grow in the spring.

If you need tools to help or have any questions, please contact or

Community Gardening- Physically Distant, Socially Close

The Piazza is a big space and, although the planters are largely self maintaining, there is a bit of weeding, digging and watering that we’d love your help with. Throughout most of the year we have no need to water the plants, and when we do the rain butt is usually full. However, occasionally weeks can go by with no significant rain- like July 2018 and May 2020!

During these times your help is vital and I’d like to thank Lilia & Bori, Alex, Bob, Carol, Shilpi & Faruk, Julia, Marcia & Kean (for weeding) and everyone else who has rescued a few plants for us this week by bringing water down in a variety of whatever containers!

There is finally a bit of rain in the forecast and the temperature is cooling, but as the world warms, we can expect these dry periods to be more frequent. To make sure our plants (aka pollinators and carbon emitters) can survive dry periods we are installing another rain water butt, donated by the Whale family in Southville and HCCA are looking installing an emergency water supply. We are also paying close attention to the types of plants that thrive in dry weather and planting more of them.

But local volunteers are vital to keeping the Piazza green and tidy. We’ve created some basic watering and weeding guidelines so that anyone can join in. We will put these on our new noticeboard.

If you like sociability, or need some gardening tools, or don’t feel confident to garden alone, do contact us on our Facebook page or email Anna and she will arrange company.

Guidelines for Piazza Gardening


If we have very dry periods or you notice the plants looking parched can you help water?

There is a rain butt located behind the wall pictured here- please bring a watering can or a bottle to fill, or bring water from your home if the rain butts are empty.

It is best to water plants when the sun is not on them. This is tricky at the Piazza, so early morning or late evening are the best times.

The areas that the community is responsible for are:

  • The Maple grove and sedum beds
  • The rain garden
  • The rockery
  • The planters


We will be asking for help with weeding over the summer and Autumn once we have sorted out our garden waste

Litter picking

Unless you have a litter picker or some gloves we are not advising the public to help with this until further notice. If you do pick up litter the bins by the mural above are regularly emptied by Bristol Waste Street Cleansing team, who deserve a big thanks for all the gritty cleaning jobs in our city (below, picking up food as a thanks from Chai Shai)


Your Ideas

We welcome ideas for improving the space and making it work for everyone. These could be painting, planting, events or enhancing children’s play. Please get in touch

We will be posting more activities over the next couple of weeks.

New trees and new ideas for 2019

new trees

Former fountain with spring growth along original tile pattern

The council have planted a few more trees and HCCA have agreed plans and budget for more planters and benches. To help us with more designs and ideas for helping the space to thrive we’re setting up a Friends of the Hotwells Piazza group so that we can bring together locals, artists, skaters, gardeners, historians, environmentalists, women who love parkour and anyone else who fancies a natter and some tea and cake.

women love parkour

Last year we added sedum beds, a fern garden and a couple of rockeries by taking up the old Sun Ray tiles designed by Sylvia Crowe and we’ll continue to plant into the cracks to create more green areas on the site. For more details visit HCCA community projects

planting ferns

Sadly some places are bare and boring and close to the roads, so for these we’re adding new planters. We’ve been designing some that can be moved around and we’re also designing some ‘sociable seating’ with hexagonal planters in sunny spaces looking out to the lock gates and the river.

site for new planters

We have plans for the former children’s play area too. The concrete blocks will move so they work better for children, trial bikers and the kinds of kids who like to experiment with their scooter.

tagged with rabbits

As well as re-painting the floor games and marking route ways and play lines we’re hoping to commission more street art before the rabbits take over!

rosemary flowering

West Bristol Arts Trail 2018- Silver Bells and Cockle Shells

West Bristol Arts Trail is a lovely community event, attracting thousands of visitors to Hotwells& Cliftonwood over the weekend. The weather is usually kind to all those traipsing the streets (and lanes) of our community and the artwork rarely disappoints! 

collaborative painting design

Designed by Luke Palmer and painted by him, Kwase and Anna

At the Cumberland Piazza we have nothing to sell, only an invitation to wander round and look at our eclectic mix of street art, mural paintings and planted areas. This community led regeneration project was instigated by the late, great Ray Smith of Hotwells and Cliftonwood Community Association who invited Anna Haydock-Wilson to get involved in 2010 to see if arts could play a role in changing the site from a grey, empty, underused and vandalised space into a vibrant community space. It is a work in progress, but thanks to all the members of the community, artists, architects and landscapers we’ve had working with us, things have changed dramatically over the past few years.

This weekend you’ll be able to see the work of

  • The local community, who painted the pillars in tonal colours and help with community gardening days
  • Dave Bain who designed and painted the ‘hidden forest’ 
  • Amy Hutchings who created the Herons and the Hotwells Primary Mural and Women of Hotwells and Cliftonwood
  • Hotwells Primary and other local children who’s art work Amy beautifully transcribed
  • HCCA and Art within the Cracks who commissioned and collaborated with Amy 
  • Luke and Paris who have provided the piazza which some epic street art and patiently repainted over several bouts of tagging in increasingly inventive ways
  • Luke Carnaby and Thomas Sale who created a Pocket Park with play sculptures in collaboration with Anna and HCCA 

Anna will be around on Saturday and Sunday 3-5pm to talk about the project and help you make some ‘art’. Did you bring too many beach stones or shells back from holiday this summer?

shellsIf they’re not decorating your garden please bring them along and place them in our railings rockery. We can’t literally have silver bells to go with our cockle shells, but we will be experimenting on sunday, tying old keys to the railings to see what sounds they make.

If you have any ideas for more Art under the flyover, please come down at the weekend or email

Water and Wheelie Bin Bob, artwork by Hotwells children & celebrating Hotwells women

What an arid month it’s been! Our rain butt on the Piazza ran dry a couple of weeks ago and the lovely team at the Rose of Denmark, who came to our rescue in some dry weeks last year, were not able to help since the pub sadly closed last month. You may have spotted Wheelie Bin Bob transporting water to the Piazza for desperate plants, many thanks to him and others who may have overloaded bicycles with containers.


Our aspirations for creating green space that responds to changes in our climate lost out to the responsibility we felt to existing trees and flora, particularly the catalpa and dog wood shrubs we planted in memory of Ray last year, and we have hired a standpipe for the next four weeks from Bristol Water. It’s bound to rain now!


Amy Hutchings, who painted the lovely Herons and the Charles Place Playpark mural has been working with Hotwells Primary after school club (ELASC). The children have produced some beautiful drawings that Amy has copied onto the wall and invited them to come and progress the mural with stamps of flowers, grass, waves and worms. The mural is funded by Hotwells & Cliftonwood Community Association as part of Ray Smith’s legacy.




To extend the mural along the whole wall, Amy and Anna have selected Dinah Black, a freed slave, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelly, Ellen Craft, Eliza Walker Dunbar, Angela Carter and Sylvia Crowe to highlight what amazing women who’ve lived, passed through or improved the lives of people in Hotwells & Cliftonwood over the centuries. The idea was inspired by Jane Duffus’s Women Who Built Bristol and Bristol Women’s Voice, who published and are selling the book. Anna has also contributed some funding from Art within the Cracks of Women’s Lives. Amy will finish the mural over the next week or so- heat hasn’t helped progress. Let’s hope the taggers leave this one alone.

image1 (1)

The murals will be complete over the next week or so- heat hasn’t helped progress. Let’s hope the taggers leave this one alone.

Massive thanks are due to Carmel and Barbara who have been litter picking all around the area for the past month or so. They’ll be sharing news with us soon.

If you’d like to join in with projects at the Cumberland Piazza or in Hotwells and Cliftonwood generally, or receive monthly local new bulletins, please email


Winter 2018

The Piazza has seen some vandalism this winter with an increase in tagging and areas around trees with mosses, seedums and succulents, wild flower seeds and spring bulbs cleared and the debris dumped around the tree trunks.



In the short term we have painted over the tagging, artists have re-painted their work, we are applying anti-graffiti coating and we have cleared around the tree trunks to preserve the trees. We are waiting to hear from Bristol Waste about a proper clean of hard surfaces on the site that are gritty and slippy.

During 2018 we will be working with artists to design and paint artworks with young people cover all the tagged surfaces on the site and we will coat these to prevent future tagging. We’ve thought about a ‘tagging wall’ which might work for local teenagers, but we believe the taggers are probably in their twenties and not local.

This year we will also be producing some landscape plans and we’ll continue to ‘green’ the site. We’ll have a spring community gardening day- details to be confirmed.

Please ‘like’ our facebook page

Autumn Activity

September was very colourful at the Cumberland Piazza with a wide array of plants and people gracing the scene.

heron painting

Amy Hutchings painted some beautiful bird life with her three herons mural

piazza with portway

The Peaceful Portway event brought thousands of people through the site and some of them stopped to dance and learn from LiveGraft how to plant moss on concrete as part of our site greening programme.

moss 2.jpg

And we have added three interpretation panels telling the stories of the site from the beginning of the 20th century

interpretation panel

The West Bristol Art Trail is coming up on 14th & 15th of October and we’d love you to come down and see what we’ve done so far and help us plan for the future. On Saturday 14th from 12-4pm you can talk to some of the artists, write or draw your ideas for new enhancements and add to the colourful array by planting a seed or two of your own.

All materials will be provided and everything is free of charge. Please contact to find out more.

Peaceful Portway 2017 17th September 2-6pm

We’re delighted to announce that the Peaceful Portway event for September 17th this year is shaping up to be a wonderful occasion!

Art under the Flyover and HCCA are hosting a fantastic workshop free for all at the Cumberland Piazza we have Alex Patience from Live Graft on how to encourage plants to grow on tarmac and concrete and some live graffiti to enjoy.


New this year is the Brigstowe Village Band, who will entertain with singing and dancing at the Cumberland Piazza in Hotwells and invite you all to join in.

The Gurt Lush and Bristol MAN Chorus choirs are returning to sing and the Avanti String Quartet will once again fill the ‘Gallery’ under the Clifton Suspension Bridge with beautiful sounds.

The Rotary Club of Bristol are back and busy organising community activities and sharing the projects they support at the Sea Mills end of the road.

Weather permitting hot air balloons will rise out of the galley, some tethered for organised rides and others taking off on their journeys on the wind- a spectacular sight awaits us!

Bristol Festival of Cycling will be bringing their Carnivelo to join us too with demonstrations and workshops from BMX guru, Matti Hemmings, Cargo Bike games, ‘Spicycle’ providing vegan food, Bike Zebo with a stall and bike parking, and Lyons Davidson will have a  stand with information and giveaways.

Adult peregrine falcon (Helen Hall Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project)

We also welcome a friendship walk with the City of Sanctuary, a fantastic nature and history trail created by the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project with performers and story-tellers revealing the secrets of the gorge and tales of boats, goats, peregrines and tides.

The Climbing Academy will be with us enjoying the rare opportunity to climb in this unique landscape free of the rumble and roar of traffic.

Groundwork, the Avon Wildlife Trust, the National Trust and Bristol Water are all back to share their projects and local schools will get the kids out for fun-runs and bike rides.

Avon Gorge early evening (Phil Jearey) (1)

Even with all of that and more going on there’s still miles of peaceful Avon Gorge and River to enjoy, so put the date in your diary, 17th September 2017 2-6pm! Visit the Peaceful Portway our events page for more details. We will be adding more, so check before the day.

The Portway is fully accessible and safe for all users 

To get involved contact

We rely on volunteers to make this free event happen, so we welcome all the support you can give. To donate quickly and easily please click below

This event is also perfect for photographers, artists and Instagrammers- come down and share your pictures!

Sustainable Growth- Street Art and seedums

At the Hotwells and Cliftonwood Community Association we’re really keen on sustainability, whether it applies to growing our community through events and activities or growing food and flowers- AKA Carbon Absorbers or Pollinators.

On the Piazza this spring we’ve had several community gardening days and we’d like to thank all our amazing volunteers who have cleared, weeded, planted, mulched, watered and shared ideas. We have been entered into Bristol in Boom 2017 and we will be visited by their area judge on the 19th July, giving us a little incentive to get our planters looking really good.


We’ve also been given a gift by a collective of super talented and world renowned street artists who have created a vision inspired by the local environment.

And more gifts of plants by Piazza friends, John and the Rownham Mead Waterfront Garden team have donated cannas- we still don’t know who planted the incredible poppies!

Water has been an issue this spring with a couple of spells of hot dry weather coinciding with vandalism of our rain water butts. We are keen to sustain the planting on the Piazza with rainwater and have been experimenting with what plants survive and thrive in very dry conditions- seedums, lavender and gladioli seem to like the really dry, hot weather. For us this important as we face the threat of climate change impacts and want to explore how we can adapt.

To find out more, get in touch or come along on for the Peaceful Portway event September 17th 2017 when we will have a community ‘mossing’ workshop by Live Graft, arts activities for children and music, including the Brigstowe Village Band and Gurt Lush Choir

If you’d like to get involved join our piazza mailing list