A Sad Day – MetroBust Funding approval announced

Very disappointing news in todays Govt. Budget & a very sad day for Rising Up and all who think MetroBust is a BAD idea.  Despite rumours that the Treasury were not going to fund the scheme – they announced today that they will.

2.48 Bristol bus rapid transit scheme – The government has granted full approval to the North Fringe to Hengrove metrobus scheme, allowing construction to commence next month.

For a while it was looking hopeful, ….but then we heard one of the MP’sCharlotte Leslie withdrew her objection due to political pressure. The true story we just don’t know…maybe if she is your MP you can ask her!?

This is a blow but not the end…stay switched on & tuned in! Get in touch via email if you want to get involved. Please contact the Council if you have issues with the way they are / have treated the land and wildlife habitat- we are truly appalled.

Huge thanks for all the support & love.

Rising Up – clears up the rubbish!

Rising Up would like to respond to recent press coverage, particularly BBC Points West, which has accused activists and protesters of leaving the Stapleton allotment site in a bad state. We would just like to make it clear that the “mess” left behind after the occupation was caused by bailiffs, rescuers, security and bulldozers smashing up what was an orderly camp including trees sits, a kitchen, sheltered areas, benders, tents and a composting toilet.


The items we brought on site were all practical and part of daily life. Many Rising Up supporters have commented on the Rising Up Facebook page about the Points West report including supporter Fiona Stedman who stated “The reportage of this clearance of the camp is very biased and does not show the shocking vandalism created by the machines involved in the clearance nor how the site had been maintained by the protesters prior to the eviction. Disappointing local journalism.”


Rising Up spokesperson Belinda Faulkes states that “Activists made a huge effort to tread lightly on the land and strove towards an organised and tidy camp set up. Activists even cleared up fly tipped waste, which the council had left on the smallholding land for over a year, putting it into massive dump sacks to be taken away. Metal scrap found on the land was also collected and made into a piece of art.


As we understood it we have been evicted and are not allowed on the land due to the possession order to remove items. Despite this some of us have gone back to the site to retrieve possessions to find that many of them been crushed or have disappeared into the mess left by the bulldozers.

Rising Up showed the upmost respect to the wildlife whilst on site attempting to limit impact on the local ecology. We condemn the mindless destruction of wildlife habitat carried out during and since the eviction.


This unnecessary destruction goes against any works guidelines for this wildlife rich Conservation Area– such as those set out in the MetroBus works documentation – we call for this to be stopped and investigated immediately.

Rising Up have submitted a statement for the full Bristol City Council meeting this evening. The statement contains a demand for the immediate cessation of works on Stapleton allotments until clarification on funding approval, planning consents and conditions and correct adherence to environmental management and mitigation. There is an urgent need for transparency and adherence to due process. We want to stop this road but we also have strong reasons to suspect that due process is not being adhered to and the Council and Planning department must be held to account. “

BBC coverage – Not the true story!

The BBC coverage has given a very negative image of the Rising Up camp and the state of the land. We would just like to state that the “mess” left behind after the occupation is due to bailiffs and bulldozers smashing up what was an orderly camp with trees sits, a kitchen, sheltered areas, benders and a composting toilet. The destruction of wildlife habitat has been mindless and very upsetting.

We were very respectful when we had a camp set up and even cleared up a huge amount of fly tipped waste which the council had left on the small holding land for over a year. We were under the impression that we were not allowed on the land to clear up due to the possession order. Some of us have gone back to the land to retrieve possessions to find that they have been crushed or have disappeared into the mess left by the bulldozers.

BBC and BCC – all part of the same establishment!?

Rising Up – the next chapter

After six weeks of successfully protecting Stapleton Allotments in the Avon & Frome Valley Conservation Area from destruction, Rising Up activists and campaigners are now seriously concerned about the wellbeing of the land and wildlife no longer under their watchful eye.

Yesterday at around 6pm the last of the tree protectors were brought down from the trees to applause, cheers and tears from emotional supporters. The 4 day complex and drawn out eviction demonstrated the persistence and ingenuity of the activists as well as their resolve to protect this land for as long as possible. It was also a display of the strength of their conviction that the destruction of the land and trees for the M32 MetroBus road is wholly unjustified and totally unnecessary.

The eviction, although generally peaceful, was marred by some instances of aggression and assaults on activists, mainly by security. These have been logged and will be reported to the Council in an official complaint.
Rising Up utterly condemn the mindless damage to the wildlife habitat during the eviction including bulldozers crashing through woodland copse and bramble, and scrub – all prime wildlife habitats, has been no evidence of surveys or techniques, which would mitigate and lessen the impact on reptiles, bats and birds in this wildlife rich Conservation Area.

Today Rising Up submitted a statement to Bristol City Council Officials, including the Mayor, for the Full Council meeting this Tuesday. The statement demands the immediate cessation of works at Stapleton allotments until a) the funding for the route is secured b) The planning and development conditions and full consents have been clarified as well met to ensure no breach of planning regulations. c) There is clear evidence and assurance of that any works carried out will be done so under environmental management plans, adhering to legislation and planning control. Thus mitigating the impact on wildlife and their habitat, which so far there has been no evidence of.

We would like to express our gratitude to the many people who have supported and taken part in this direct action, without whom this would not have been possible. We would like to reassure people that although we are no longer in occupation, we remain committed to our aims; to protect the land at Stapleton allotments, to stop the MetroBus road and to challenge the flawed decisions and processes that have allowed this development to take place. We will also continue to raise awareness of the important issues of food security, land, community and earth rights.
This is not the end of this story by any means – just the next chapter, we will continue Rising Up…watch this space!

From the tree tops to the world – We continue Rising Up.

Today marked six weeks of Rising Up protecting, supporting and loving the land, trees, wildlife and community at Stapleton allotments and Avon & Frome Valley Conservation Area

After 4 days of a complex and drawn out eviction, due to the persistence and ingenuity of the activists, all of the tree protectors have now been brought down. The eviction has been a generally peaceful but at times challenging experience, with some instances of aggression and assault on protectors, which have been logged and will be reported.

The mindless damage to the wildlife habitat has been deeply upsetting, with no evidence of surveys or techniques, which would lessen the impact on reptiles, bats and birds in this Conservation Area, also to be reported.

The Rising Up campaign has reached heights we could only have imagined, motivated by love and respect for the land but also by the support and solidarity from the community, both locally and at large.

Tenacious protectors have climbed high, stood their ground and told their story, from the treetops, to the world! The strength and resilience of our actions have come from the diversity, creativity and conviction of activists, campaigners and supporters who range from professionals to students, activists to politicians between – 3 weeks to 96 years old! Our issues of land, community and earth rights have touched the hearts and minds of many.

Although we are no longer occupying the land, we remain committed to our aims; to protect this land, to stop the MetroBus road and to challenge the decisions and processes that have allowed this development to take place.

This is not the end of this story by any means, we will continue Rising Up…watch this space!


Day 44: 10 am A call out for people to come on site – the Poplars are full of rescue team – a telephone call from the tree squirrels as asked for more people to come and witness and celebrate our Solidarity & Achievement. DON’T DELAY COME NOW! Solidarity SUnday 6 Mother Earth Day special

Day 43 22:00 An incredibly emotive and challenging day…beginning with a physical assault of a female protestor as bailiffs came over their fence line and attempted to cut a line sending up hot tea and food to the protestors – police were called.
Then the “rescue” of our mighty Oak protectors – these sacred 70-100 year old trees have been at the heart of our protest and seeing and feeling them closer to their potential demise was a heart wrenching experience.
Protestors , supporters, families with children watched in horror as these “rescuers” smashed through the bird rich woodland glade removing smaller trees, beautiful blossom filed branches and vegetation . Some protestors overcome with anger rattled and knocked down some fences…an action maybe not agreed with but understood by all.
Having been told that they would not attempt the poplar trees until Sunday it was a surprise when suddenly at dusk the rescue team with a ladder stormed in, quickly got to the bird box and lowered down one protestor from the roof after cutting her from chains. It was already getting dark and there were concerns for safety….but then all fell quiet and the supporters and protectors breathed a sigh of relief as the trees are under our protection for 1 more night…

Video: with Oak protectors now on the ground http://bambuser.com/v/5349857

Day 43: 8.45am: “Rescue” of people from the old large oaks is about to begin. One determined squirrel is currently suspended in mid air between the oaks and the poplars on a line dangling in a hammock! Come down and bear witness and show your solidarity.

Respect Existence or Expect Resistance & Rising Up!! http://tinyurl.com/mddjyzw

Day 42..just! 11.59pm. An eventful day with conifers and towers gone and the ent toppled! it was heartbreaking watching the diggers tearing up what has been wildlife habitat , perfect for slow worms and tearing down the water tower and other building that was suspected bats at one point. There was a horrible “rescue” from the water tower with pain inflicted upon the person being “rescued” such a tying his hands behind his back with a cable tie, grabbing his face and his crotch.all caught on film and will be documented as being assaulted as with others. Despite all of this twee dwellers, though cold and tired are in good spirits, welcoming the food and other treats sent up to them ( even hot water bottles!). Tomorrow is another day in the trees – hoping the weekend will draw more people – come down Bristol!

Day 42 1.45pm. The tree protectors in the conifer trees ( not the woodland) have been “rescued” . Two of them chose to scurry down without assistance then one jumped over the herris fence in true squirrel ninja style!
The oaks and the poplars are still full and in high spirits. We managed to get a charged camera up to one so we are hoping to get some good ariel shots of the action soon!
Again, more people on site would be really welcomed and the comradeship between supporters is strong.
We strongly urge people to call Bristol City Council and demand evidence that they have carried out ecological surveys for bats, reptiles and birds ( especially with hibernating bats & slow worms & nesting birds) that their digger & dozer probably have disturbed or even killed! Tel : 0117 922 2000. u might want to Tweet or email Mayor G!
Day 42 7.40am..The dawn chorus was joined today by the twitterings of tree folk, all well fed ( thanks skipchen!)& nestled high in the trees anticipating the arrival of other climbing people – though this time not to join them but to bring them down.
So far all is quiet on the site, now the drone of the all night generators has stopped and there is respite from the glaring spot lights ringing the entire fencing. We are one tree dweller down after a security guard rugby tackled one protestor who had descended from a tree which resulted in suspected broken ribs and a badly sprained ankle. This is being reported as assault. But replacements quickly sprang into action scurrying over fences and up trees in true squirrel style!
Today we hope for respect both from the bailiffs and contractors both for the people, land and wildlife which yesterday was very sadly in question on many, (but not all) occasions. We are calling all Rising Up supporters to come to the site…the support, cheer and motivation you bring is vital – as are the observing eyes and mouths -which can avert and witness any wrong doings. Join this Rising Up – Resistance is Fertile, come sow your seeds!


4.10pm. Update: The attempted eviction is still going on – all of the tree sits are still full of people who are all fine & in good spirits – giving us a show of acrobatics and dare devil climbing here & there!

The heroic person in the meadow tunnel has after 7 hours been brought out – waved an arm but was on a stretcher- hopefully OK. Other people still locked onto trees on the ground and gate!
They have crashed diggers and bulldozers through bird rich wooded area and have managed to swamp one of their bulldozers after digging through a culvert, which 2 people then chose to lock themselves to! ..
Some security and bailiffs have been OK others heavy handed and dangerous – at one point they were about to use an axle grinder to remove a D lock from someone’s neck until we shouted that they could kill him! One woman was pulled around and one bailiff tried to drag her out of a tree – in a totally unsafe manner – all captured on video.

It is a media frenzy, but the usual Rising Up way the atmosphere is somewhat jovial and there is nothing to fear… if you are spectator on the ground. Photos and videos about to be posted. Rising Up call for more people to come down to the site to show their solidarity and witness this spectacle
– COME & SHOW YOUR SUPPORT & SOLIDARITY TODAY! – It is something you will never forget and a story to tell for years to come!

10.30am update Many of the protestors, including legal observers on the ground have forcibly been removed – dragged off by heavy handed bailiffs , one on one, showing completely unreasonable force, one female protestor had her top pulled up whilst a bailiff smoking a fag dropped ash in her face. A bulldozer has started illegally demolishing buildings which have asbestos roofs and a digger has gone through a bird rich woodland area razing trees – despite it being bird nesting season – making this both a worrying and illegal act. Bristol Council “Green Capital” ..hold your head in shame! The world is watching.

8.38am Update: EVICTION IN PROCESS ( ABOUT 1 HR IN) around 70 bailiffs on site – have been very heavy handed dragging off legal observers and other people – 1 on 1 ( they should be 2 people). A climbing team is there and have set up a station and medical tent. Very few police on site – most on the road. They have brought in a digger and an amphibious vehicle and set up medical area…hope not to be needed. All of the tree sits are full and some people still on the ground! COME DOWN , BRING CAMERA, BANNERS, NOISE AND GOOD VIBES!

Possession is nine tenths of the law! – Second Possession Order granted

Possession is nine tenths of the law! Bristol City Council granted second Possession Order for Stapleton Allotments.

This afternoon Judge Denyer QC ruled in favour of Bristol City Council‘s application for an immediate Possession Order for land at Stapleton allotments currently occupied by Rising Up.  Five members of the Rising Up collective stood in court to defend their right to temporarily be on land, without legal representation,  due to a lack of legal aid.

The QC dismissed the arguments of human rights, the necessity to protect the land from destruction and potentially dangerous and unlawful development.  The Rising Up spokespeople cited legislation, case law, public and political support as well evidence of potential breaches in planning and procedure and the need for time to mount a legal case. These were all dismissed in a distinct demonstration of how property rights take precedent over human rights and the rights of nature.

Food security, the rights to protest, the rights to home and family life and to subsist in a sustainable way have once against come into direct conflict with capitalism and short termism. The council have failed to hear, acknowledge and explore the concerns of many, and have prioritised the economic gains of a few private companies – under the guise of a “sustainable” public transport system.

Rising Up Spokesperson Danny Balla states: “Today was a clear indication that the system is broken and reflects why we are currently facing many serious environmental and social crises. In the courtroom we witnessed a failure of the judicial system to facilitate the rights of people to challenge contentious and potentially unlawful decisions.  Judge Denyer even stated how the avenues “to judicially review local planning authorities “are a somewhat illusory right” due to costs involved.

We are once again forced into a position of ethically and morally sound, yet unlawful behaviour by continuing to defend this land. This planning and legal process has been a clear fabrication of any real space for alternative and sustainable thinking.  Riding roughshod over the wants of needs of local people, nature and the future generations of Bristol.”

Today, justice has been obscured by the law, but our determination to resist has risen.  Bristol is Rising up!

Second Possession Order Hearing 10th March – LEGAL SUPPORT SOUGHT!

On Tuesday March 10th am – we are facing our second High Court Possession Order hearing. Despite some legal advice and support we do not anyone who can represent us in Court – again!


If you missed the news – this request came about as there is a new section of land Bristol City Council want add to the potential eviction area – they made Feed Bristol give up ( temporarily) the land with the line of Conifer trees! They have also added another area on the adjoining smallholding to the land they want to possess!

PS – hello to the snoops from Burgess Salmon who represent Bristol City Council — we see you like our posts for  the fact you have put them in your evidence against us. As official sponsors of Bristol Green Capital we wondered if you fancied  defecting and coming to work for us in light of the fact that  we are trying to stop or Real Green Capital from being destroyed for a commuter bus route…think it over!

The heart of Rising Up in the heart of Westminster!

Despite the huge challenges we face – this situation brings about the most amazing things! Latest : Massive gratitude and respect to the local MP Kerry McCarthy for stepping up and taking what is at the heart of Rising Up into the heart of Westminster! The response was somewhat disappointing but some very interesting points raised to be looked at further.

You can read the address here. Urban Food Growing at 4.28pm (you might need to scroll down)


Feedback your thoughts to Rising Up / Kerry McCarthy or your own MP! – See our 10 Things you can do page.