Crox Bottom is a little nature reserve, just off Hartcliffe Way, where the Pigeonhouse Stream runs from the lake at the Lakeshore luxury flats, down to meet and run under Hartcliffe Way, and then join up with the Malago. There are paths to go for a dog walk, which follows the stream to a wildlife pond, with small weirs and bridges.
Crox Bottom is an interesting and pretty area, it is very similar in feel to Manor Woods Valley, which is just down the road. However, Manor Woods Valley is very well cared for by the community, whereas Crox Bottom is a really lovely small walk, but unfortunately doesn’t have a community group to look after it.
The nature reserve is teaming with wildlife. The stream and pond at Crox Bottom caters for a variety of wildlife and you will be able to spot many different birds and families of ducks swimming along. There are even picnic benches by the pond to watch the happenings of the pond. There are also areas for a doggy paddle and the weir makes a pretty sight, looking like a small waterfall.
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‘Until the suburbs of Hartcliffe and Withywood were developed in the 1950s Crox Bottom was a part of a continuous rural farming landscape that stretched over Dundry to the outskirts of Bedminster. Crox Bottom Farm, with its cowsheds and water mill, survived until 1962.
The Pigeonhouse Stream (which runs through the site) as well as the Malago, drains some 12 square kilometres of the Dundry Slopes. During periods of high rainfall these streams were prone to cause flooding on their lower reaches. A ferocious storm in 1968 saw extensive flooding in Bedminster. A flood prevention scheme built in the 1970s created storm water interceptors which divert much of the flow of the streams down underground pipes to the River Avon. One of these interceptors is at the Crox Bottom section of the Pigeonhouse Stream.
The early 1970s also saw the arrival of the Wills cigarette factory and administrative HQ. As part of that development, Crox bottom was extensively remodelled. The course of the stream was considerably altered but additional landscaping and planting was substantial and of high quality. A sizeable area outside the Wills site was laid out as a public open space and this is what is now known as ‘Crox Bottom’. The two lakes were, in part, designed to collect silt, before the water enters the storm water interceptor.
Wills factory and offices closed in 1989. The factory was eventually demolished and its site has since been redeveloped as a retail park. The old administration block has been redeveloped as housing creating approximately 350 apartments.’
ParkingPark on at Imperial Retail Park or on street parking at Durville Road
Paws for thoughtSmall walk, busy roads at either end of walk
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