Bristol's Local Food Movement Important Moments

Welcome to Bristol and its diverse and thriving local food culture. For decades Bristol has been leading the way in food are a few highlights of how we got to where we are today. To keep your finger on the pulse sign up to the Bristol Food Network newsletter via the website (

1970-01-01 00:00:00

Bristol Friends of the Earth established

1976-01-01 00:00:00

Windmill Hill City Farm Opens

Windmill Hill City Farm is a charity that provides recreation, education and therapy using food, farming and the environment as a theme.

1980-01-01 00:00:00

St Werburgh's City Farm Opens

2001 – community garden and community orchard on two sites

1983-01-01 00:00:00

Hartcliffe Community Park Farm

Hartcliffe Community Park Farm is the largest in the country! Hartcliffe Community Park Farms board of directors are all local volunteers and live within the community. All farm members also live within the local community. the farm was founded 32 years ago back in 1983 by locals. Here at the farm we keep many animals, from sheep, cows, ducks, chickens to budgies and cockatiels. It is situated at the bottom of the Dundry slopes which is a wonderful back drop for the farm to sit in.

1984-01-01 00:00:00

Avon Organic Group Established

Established to promote organic food and growing in the Bristol area. They run an annual Seed Swap and various talks and events.

1985-01-01 00:00:00

Real Food Supplies Set up

Phil Haughton's first food company, only lasts a few years due to the recession.

1985-01-01 00:00:00

Soil Association Moves to Bristol

1986-01-01 00:00:00

Lawrence Weston Community Farm opens

Lawrence Weston Community Farm is a community-managed project that aims to improve the quality of life for local people and it's service-users. The farm does this by working with members of the local community, and others, to provide a range of innovative and exciting, educational, social, environmental, economic and recreational activities.

1989-03-01 00:00:00

Hartcliffe Health and Environment Action Group

Established in late 80s and set up a food coop due to lack of food access and supermarkets in the area. Still doing amazing work!

1990-01-01 00:00:00

Bristol Local Food Links established

Bristol Food Links is an umbrella organisation working to promote healthy, sustainable and affordable food across the City. Founded in the mid-90's, as part of Voscur, Bristol Food Links aims to bring together a variety of sectors to support community food initiatives in their work across the City. Bristol Food Links ran out of funding in 2005, and since early 2007 a small Task Group has been meeting to re-establish the organisation. In January 2008 Bristol City Council’s Environment and Sustainability Unit provided some funding to develop an organisational plan and funding bid for a new and re-energised Bristol Food Links. - See more at:

1990-01-01 00:00:00

Leigh Court Farm

Established with involvement from the Soil Association. Still going strong with a great box scheme, and a presence at local farmers markets, including Whiteladies Road.

1992-01-01 00:00:00

Better Food Campaign becomes the Better Food Company

Starts as a box scheme, then develops into a shop

1992-01-01 00:00:00

1992: Anti-Tesco campaign and direct action in Golden Hill, Henleaze

Protesters try to protect local economy and 24 acres of green space.

1997-01-01 00:00:00

Farmers Market in Bath: The first in a new phase of UK farmers markets

1998-01-01 00:00:00

Square Food Foundation Begins as QV Cookery school

Founded by award-winning food educator, Barny Haughton, Square Food delivers fun, hands-on, informative, sociable and above all delicious courses and workshops to adults and children. In June 2011, the cookery school was incorporated as a Community Interest Company.

1998-01-01 00:00:00

Horfield Organic Community Orchard Founded

Horfield Organic Community Orchard was set up in 1998. A small group of hardworking volunteers took on some very overgrown plots on the edge of an allotment association site in Bristol. They cleared the ground, composted like crazy, and over the years planted 100 different fruiting trees, bushes and vines. Originally set up as a project of Avon Organic Group, in spring 2011 a member-led group was set up to manage the orchard as an independent community food project.

1998-01-01 00:00:00

1st Bristol Farmers Market Established

Bristol Establishes first Farmers' Market

1999-01-01 00:00:00

Bristol Permaculture Group established

The BPG is a network of people around the city involved in a wide range of Permaculture activities. In a quest to reduce our ecological footprint, we share skills, ideas, resources and workshops, have workdays on projects, swap plants and seeds and occasionally get together for a pint.

1999-01-01 00:00:00

Re:Work founded

Started by putting people together over breakfasts

2000-01-01 00:00:00

Better Food Company occupies its current St Werburghs site

Looking for a scrummy cafe? Visit our St Werburghs store... Here at Better Food we believe in building a better, fairer food community, which is why we strive to make local, organic, ethical and fair trade goods more available to all.

2000-01-01 00:00:00

first Organic Food Festival in Bristol

Soil Association runs the first Organic Food Festival in Bristol. They last until 2011.

2000-01-01 00:00:00

Eastside Roots established on Network Rail land

This is a not-for-profit, volunteer-led cooperative focused on promoting gardening, skill sharing and community building in and around Easton.

2001-01-01 00:00:00

Easton Community Garden founded

The land was cleared of heaps of rubbish, brambles and all the stuff of dereliction in the winter of 2001 and has flourished ever since. We encourage wild-life and bio-diversity, use a no-dig, mulching method and grow naturally according to Permaculture principles.

2001-01-01 00:00:00

Better Food Company buys Barleywood Walled Garden to grow its own produce

2003-01-01 00:00:00

Organic Supermarket 'Fresh and Wild' Opens

Opens on the Triangle, in Clifton. Runs until 2008

2003-01-01 00:00:00

Beginnings of the Green Capital Group

2004-01-01 00:00:00

1st Tobacco Factory Market

Visit our thriving community market, with around 40 food and craft stalls, featuring a carefully selected range of produce, prepared, harvested, cooked, baked, designed and made in the local area. We have a strong emphasis on ethical, eco-friendly, fair trade, organic and local products, and believe our market is the ideal setting for you to meet the producers themselves, chat with them and ask questions.

2005-01-01 00:00:00

Bristol FOE launch Local Food directory

a Directory of where you can eat or buy local food in Bristol, written by shoppers who love to shop local.

2005-01-01 00:00:00

Project Agora established.

Agora recognises that human societies in the twenty first century face particular challenges. We need to develop ways of life that are not only just in terms of human relationships and properly concern our well-being, but which are also much more sensitive to our impact on the earth and its ecosystems.

2005-01-01 00:00:00

Annual Bristol Seed Swap and green fair established

2005-03-04 00:00:00

Bristol becomes Fairtrade City

Bristol became a Fairtrade city on 4th March 2005 with a celebration breakfast on board the SS Great Britain. The Bristol Fairtrade Network, a group of local volunteers and businesses who work to increase the use and awareness of Fairtrade in the city, was founded in 2004.

2006-01-01 00:00:00

1st Whiteladies Road Farmers Market

From May 2015, the market will be held every Saturday, from 8.30am to 2pm, at the junction of Whiteladies Road and Apsley Road.

2006-01-01 00:00:00

Slow Food UK Established

low Food is a global, grassroots organisation with supporters in over 150 countries around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and the environment. Get involved and read about our programmes.

2006-01-01 00:00:00

GRO-FUN (Growing Real Organic Food in Urban Neighbourhoods) set up

GROFUN (Growing Real Organic Food in Urban Neighbourhoods) was set up in 2006 to improve the public’s access to fresh, organic food. It teaches people to grow their own food, no matter how little space they have, and works with schools to help children take pleasure and pride in producing their own vegetables.

2007-01-01 00:00:00

FareShare South West Set Up

FareShare South West is an independent franchise of the national charity, FareShare. We work with the food industry to minimise fit-for-purpose fresh, frozen and long-life food going to waste, and send this food into organisations working with the most vulnerable people in the community. Thousands of tonnes of perfectly good in-date food are wasted in the South West each year due to packaging errors, out of date promotions, discontinued lines, veg not up to spec. and so on. At the same time, there are over 4 million people in the UK who cannot afford a healthy diet, among them homeless and elderly people, children, refugees and people suffering mental & physical health problems. FareShare South West aims to address this imbalance by redistributing quality surplus food to groups working with vulnerable individuals in and around Bristol.

2007-01-01 00:00:00

Work begins towards Green Capital bid

Partners in Bristol sign the green Capital Pledge. European Green Capital competition launched and work begins towards entering.

2007-01-01 00:00:00

Transition City Bristol launched

Transition Bristol is a volunteer-led initiative that acts as a support and enabler for city-level resilience projects in Bristol. Our current core team is made up of Ciaran Mundy, Angela Raffle, Simone Osborn, Kristin Sponsler, Jeremy LeFevre and Tom Henfrey. We’re not offering the solution – rather we believe that there are many solutions and that the skills, knowledge, creativity and experience of the community is where they can be found. What we want to see is Bristol’s transition from an energy dependent system to a locally resilient, sustainable, productive and vibrant city. We think decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels could be an opportunity to create a better standard of living than we have now, where community is more important than consuming.

2007-01-01 00:00:00

800 Fruit trees planted

Planted through a Transition City Bristol project and led by Sarah Pugh

2008-01-01 00:00:00

1st Love Food Festival

Love food festival established - now a seasonal event at different sites in Bristol

2008-01-01 00:00:00

Asylum Seekers Allotment project started

Run by Tim Lawrence, who also runs Barton Hill walled garden

2008-01-01 00:00:00

Bristol Food Network formed

Bristol Food Network C.I.C. supports, informs and connects individuals, community projects, organisations and businesses who share a vision to transform Bristol into a sustainable food city.

2008-01-01 00:00:00

Freeconomy Community established in Bristol

Using the website. Freeskilling sessions are held fortnightly at the Better Food Company’s newly opened cafe.

2008-01-01 00:00:00

2008 Bramble Farm Community Smallholding Established

Bramble Farm, a former overgrown bramble patch, is leased from the council by the six families, who are all from different walks of life. It was created in 2008 after the group removed bikes, car parts, trolleys and many brambles from the site - giving the farm its name. They grow a variety of crops, from asparagus to giant pumpkins and keep a variety of animals including pigs, chickens and ducks.

2008-07-01 00:00:00

Berries n’ Beans Seasonal Food Week established

2009-01-01 00:00:00

Montpelier Bean Feast Re-established

In 2009 a group of local residents got together to resurrect an annual Montpelier event from the Eighteenth Century. The modern day Bean Feast still has elections of mock dignatories, but also incorporates new elements, such as games, craft activities, live music and a local produce swap market. The main aim is to build community spirit and connections between neighbours, as well as spread awareness about local projects.

2009-01-01 00:00:00

Bristol Peak Oil Report published

2009-01-01 00:00:00

FoodCycle’s Bristol Hub opened

FoodCycle is a national charity that combines volunteers, surplus food and spare kitchen spaces to create tasty, nutritious meals for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation. They run over 20 projects across the UK, united by the simple idea that food waste and food poverty should not coexist.

2009-01-01 00:00:00

Bristol Sustainable Food Strategy published

2009-01-01 00:00:00

People’s Republic of Stokes Croft established

While we work to enhance the street culture of Stokes Croft, no work must damage the essential fabric of any of the property involved. We work to gain permissions where possible for works, but reserve the right to direct action where normal rights are deemed to have been been abrogated by the owners of properties through neglect, lack of concern or self-interest. The property owners we liaise with are increasingly receptive to the street art in Stokes Croft. The local populace have similarly taken on a curatorial role towards their Public Spaces. The last seven years of painting and positive direct action in the public realm has created a much more receptive attitude. Bristol City Council Clean And Green anti-graffiti teams no longer routinely buff out pieces of work – though we know that some of them would like to. It is the belief of PRSC that local government has lost the right to determine, from its lofty heights, the future of our area, after decades of lack of interest and lack of service. We welcome the support of government agency, but this support will have to meet our terms, as decided by ourselves through public debate.

2010-01-01 00:00:00

Metford Road Community Orchard Founded

At the end of the Allotments north of the stream at Redland Green is a wonderful wild green place, the Metford Road Community Orchard. It is steep, full of all kinds of fruit trees and bushes, has glorious views, and is home to masses of butterflies, other insect and frogs.

Bristol's Local Food Movement Important Moments

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