Now things are looking up for Northern Slopes

September 27 2019
Now things are looking up for Northern Slopes

A final plan outlining a future vision for the Northern Slopes is set to be revealed this October.

A consultation was launched in February by the Northern Slopes Initiative (NSI) – the volunteer community group behind the plans – where park users and residents were encouraged to share their ideas about how they envision the slopes in 10 years’ time.

Spread across three sites in Knowle – the Bommie, Glyn Vale, and the Novers – the slopes have grown as a popular place for local people to walk, exercise, forage and socialise.

They are a haven for wildlife and present some of the most stunning views across the city.

By developing a plan, the NSI – which has worked over the years to conserve, maintain and enhance the area – hopes that by 2030, the slopes will be a ‘nature reserve for the health and wellbeing of people and wildlife’.

It will have remained in public hands, free from housing developments, free for the public to use. But Len Wyatt, secretary of the NSI, says that the group is relying on support from the local community in order to make the vision a reality.

He said: “We’ve got great ideas for the slopes – we just need more people about to help us. If we want the slopes to become a nature reserve, people need to work with us.  We particularly want to encourage young people to get involved.

“Also, if the slopes are looked after, then people will feel less inclined to litter and fly-tip.”

Over the years, the group – often referred to as the ‘guardians of the slopes’ – has made great strides in tackling fly-tipping.

Pedestrian entrances to the slopes have also been made more visible and welcoming, and new signs have been placed throughout to inform users of all the fruits that can be foraged.

And there are a number of activities regularly taking place on the slopes to encourage people to socialise and enjoy the outdoors, including Young Rangers, a group for 16-25 year olds to develop groundwork experience, My Wild Child toddler group, Green Gym, which runs nature conservation activities to improve physical and mental health, plus many walks.

For more information, visit or join the Facebook group ‘The Northern Slopes’.

The plan is due to be released at the start of October. Visit

Seven ways to support the Slopes

1) Visit the Slopes

2) Get involved in one of the activities on the Slopes

3) Post your support for NSI’s work on your social media

4) Make a financial contribution to NSI’s work, if you are able

5) Invite NSI to talk to your group or organisation

6) Join the Facebook group ‘The Northern Slopes’

7) Subscribe to NSI’s free newsletter by emailing

Photo: NSI secretary Len Wyatt (left) and chair Bob Franks pictured on the Bommie with the new foraging sign (designed by local illustrator Ruth Whiter) which is displayed across the slopes