Section: West England

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Cotswolds Ecosystem in Danger – Part 1 – Pesticides

George Richmond

According to a report by The Eco Experts, 15% of species in the UK are at risk of extinction. This includes 43% of birds and 12% of invertebrates, such as spiders, honey bees and ants. While 12% may sound fairly low, especially with the UK having 403 species of invertebrates, many of those at risk […]

TEDx Event at Beechen Cliff School, Bath

The Editor

Ed: West England Bylines writer Toby Hawkins, and his fellow students are hosting a TEDx event at their school, Beechen Cliff, on 14 October. We publish their press release here and encourage readers to support this event. A TEDx event is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and performances are shared with the community. […]

Musical Notes

Martin Griffiths

Ed: This poem from Martin is part of a collection of poems and illustrations which his wife, Pamela Richmond, has bound as her exhibition entry for ‘A Gathering of Leaves‘, the Designer Bookbinders International Competition, to be held at the Bodleian Library next year. We also show a picture of Pamela’s unique, leather bound Fine […]


Is Bristol Going Green Fast Enough?

Julian Greenbank

Bristol has promised to be green but will its actions back up the words? Can the many Green councillors in Bristol make Bristol really green? Watch Tom Hathway explain his hopes and fears around Bristol’s response.

Success for Stonehenge Campaigners

The Editor

Ed: The “Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site Ltd” issued the following press release on 30 July 2021. West England Bylines have supported the campaign with articles like this in June. SAVE STONEHENGE WORLD HERITAGE SITE LTD[1] High Court Judgement AGAINST A303 Stonehenge scheme! Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site is delighted the High Court has today […]

Cirencester Repair Café reduces Carbon Emissions

Bob Irving

Ed: If you read our article about how Cirencester’s Repair Café was set up, you’ll want to know how they got on. If not, you can read about the set up here. After months of preparation, Cirencester Repair Café opened on 27 November 2017 at The Bothy with a good range of repairers and of […]

Setting up Cirencester’s Repair Café

Bob Irving

We have a deeply throwaway society in the UK. It seems that the majority of us would far rather buy something new than attempt to fix something broken. Moreover, we’re encouraged in this by manufacturers, marketers and designers. Electronics are glued or soldered together, rather than screwed. Spare parts are difficult, if not impossible, to […]

The Value of Teachers (and Parents)

Guy Maughfling

“They f*** you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you.” Philip Larkin: “High Windows” Having teenage children can be a painful experience. They are breaking away from the family, discovering new interests, using technology […]

Cheltenham marks ‘Clean Air Day’

Will Luker

If you didn’t know already, the 17 June 2021 is ’Clean Air Day’ with events held across the UK to highlight why the planet needs clean up its act. Cleaning up our air is the obvious reason why this day is very important but it is much more than just talking about why clean air […]


Bristol – A Year on from Colston

Julian Greenbank

A Black Lives Matter vigil was held to mark the death of George Floyd and to protest against institutional racism in our own country. Thousands of people attended, but this isn’t why the city was in the news. A statue of Edward Colston, an eighteenth century MP and slave trader, which had stood watch over […]

Distinguished Opponents of A303 Stonehenge Tunnel to speak at Webinar

A reader writes...

Dear Editor, On 23 June, a legal challenge against the Government’s plans for the Stonehenge Tunnel will come to court. It is the last chance to stop massive and irreparable damage being done to the archaeology and landscape of Britain’s most iconic World Heritage Site.  To say that the status of Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage […]


Councillor Candidate on Oxfordshire’s “Fair Deal Alliance”

Julian Greenbank

The results of the 2021 elections were more interesting than people initially thought. While Conservative gains in the Hartlepool by-election and council elections were predicted by many, there were a few shock results. Dan Norris being elected mayor of the West of England Combined Authority (Bristol, South Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset) was […]

How do I feel after a Year of Lockdowns?

Bob Copeland

Angry, frustrated and now just despair! For decades successive Governments have recognised that a global pandemic was the biggest threat to our national security. Yet when faced with one, the government of the day was found wanting. Local Public Health Services had been critically weakened, and the National Health Service run down and demoralised. At […]

A Reader writes about his Stroud MP

The Editor

Dear Editor, I was very struck by the factual inaccuracies, false claims and exceptionally naïve assertions made by Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie in her House of Commons speech this week. According to her, “if the Opposition had been correct about Brexit, the sky would have fallen in by now and dementors sporting EU flags would […]

The Day the Music Died?

Jane Riekemann

Write to us at When Big Ben rang in the New Year at midnight on 31 December 2020 it sounded the death knell of the transition period, the end of the UK’s membership of the Single Market and the start of the hard Brexit most were dreading. The first few months of 2021 have been […]


Businesses in Gloucester Road, Bristol tell us how they survived

Julian Greenbank

>>> With Video <<< Write to us at With over a year since the pandemic struck, how have independent businesses managed to weather the lockdowns and other restrictions? We took our cameras down the iconic Gloucester Road in Bristol and asked some business owners how it was for them. We got quite differing responses; two […]

Space to Breathe

Will Luker

Write to us at Political thinking in the UK is divided. Talk about current affairs, often enough leads to polarised thought. On all sides of the political divide and however we all vote is something that now seems to damage friendly debate. The political temperature especially during a pandemic and after a divisive referendum, is […]

Youth Ambassadors

A reader writes...

Dear Editor, On a relatively unremarkable, dreary lockdown Tuesday in mid-January, over 100 people in Cheltenham joined virtual workshops organised by Cheltenham Borough Council and local charity “Vision 21” to talk about climate change, emissions reduction and solutions. The resulting formation of the CheltenhamZero partnership aims to provide a collaborative group to support the council’s […]

Rural Communities cut off by Cuts!

George Richmond

Rural communities are a small proportion of our society, with only 17% of people living in rural areas in the UK, including myself. However isolation and loneliness are real issues for many in these communities. The pandemic has highlighted this isolation further and our post-Covid recovery offers a clear opportunity to tackle these issues. The […]

The “Colston Four” could become the “Mangrove Nine” of Bristol

Melissa Chemam

This Monday, 25 January 2021, four Bristolians went to court. Their crime: Tearing down the statue of the celebrated benefactor of the city from the 1700s, Edward Colston, merchant and slave trader. The event occurred in Bristol city centre during the most prominent Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest, on 7 June 2020. A demonstration that […]

What’s on in West England Bylines Area

The Editor

Virtual events in your area from Oxford to Bristol and Hereford to Salisbury Ongoing               Well Child / Virtual fun for kids            Party Animals 26 January Oxford for Europe Jonathan Lis 27 January           Grassroots for Europe / Webinar          Gina Millar / Will Hutton 28 January           New Scientist / Big ideas in Physics      Ten Keys to Reality          2 February […]

The Disappearing Dogs of Lockdown

The Editor

Campaign for Wiltshire Police to Crack Down on Dog Theft  Liz Webster, Prospective Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon has launched a campaign to crack down on dog theft in Wiltshire amidst the worst ever year for dog thefts.  Criminals have taken advantage of an increase in demand for dogs caused by the […]


Jon Hill

West England Bylines would like to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year. We hope that you and your families can celebrate in some way and that you stay safe and well. We would like to celebrate a year in which we have made our voice heard […]

Love Local, Shop local, Eat Local

Martin Griffiths

When so much of our food and food influences have their origins in foreign fields, why should we shop local, buy local and eat local? International travel, Commonwealth legacies and European freedom of movement have developed our taste for a diverse range of flavours. Everyday products such as tea, coffee and spices, which were once […]

Can we regenerate and transform our towns by putting people at the centre?

Rick Page

The combined impact of Covid and on-line shopping on our town centres and those working in retail is clear as it is devastating and the evidence continues to mount with the demise of Arcadia and Debenhams to name but a few. It is also likely that post-Christmas other retailers will also fall and High Street […]

Legal Action launched to Save Stonehenge

The Editor

The news that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has green lighted a major expressway through the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS) has bewildered, outraged and shocked people across the country and around the world.  The independent panel of planning inspectors for the A303 road scheme by Stonehenge concluded that the massive infrastructure would cause “substantial harm” […]

Upcoming Events in the “West England” Area

The Editor

Here’s a selection of upcoming events (some virtual) in our area – from Bristol to Oxford and Hereford to Salisbury. 8 December Oxford for Europe’s next Webinar An Evening With Chris Grey – “His blogs on relations with the EU have become the stuff of legend, and he has 50,000 followers on Twitter.” 12 December […]

Covid-19 and the Excluded Three Million

The Editor

Tewkesbury Labour Party is highlighting the dire straits of those people for whom the government’s Covid-19 support packages do not apply. And there are nearly three million of them. West England Bylines supports this action. Here are some extracts from their 19 November 2020 press release.                                        The plight of the nearly three million people who […]

Bristol Student Rent Strike forces U-turn on Bursary Withdrawal

The Editor

West England Bylines was informed that Bristol University were threatening students with taking funds from their bursaries to cover unpaid rent. The University sent an email to all students demanding rent arrears. The email said: If the debt remains outstanding and overdue for payment on 26th November 2020, the University will use some or all […]

The Stonehenge Alliance aims to stop the A303 tunnel

The Editor

The Stonehenge Alliance has been campaigning for several years to prevent the A303 tunnel scheme harming the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge. Prior to the ministerial decision on 13 November, Stonehenge Alliance issued this Press Release. Press Release: Wednesday 11 November 2020 In advance of a decision on the Stonehenge tunnel scheme, expected on Friday […]