Reprinted from Newsletter 129, dated 2009 August

Chairman’s notes

John Brunsdon

Bushy Coombe must be one of the town’s most visited beauty spots, having a made-up footpath to the Tor that avoids the now dangerous alternative alongside the A361. Its owners, Rory Weightman and his wife Mani, live at the top of the coombe in the converted barn or coach house, which is listed Grade 2 and was at one time considered “at risk”.

Recent works by our society include more tree guards and maintenance at a nearby orchard. The town council put up a standard-design bin for dog litter.

At Bushy Coombe Gardens, off Bovetown, a recent planning application for a rear balcony was passed, although recommended for refusal on grounds of overlooking. Councillors debated that overlooking already existed, not least from the public footpath across the coombe, and also that later houses built at the side of Edmund Hill had balconies and were in the Regency tradition of Clifton and Bath in this respect.

Bushy Coombe is run as a nature reserve with resident badgers, visiting deer and a range of birds including buzzards. Bramble bushes have been allowed to grow, which in turn protects wildlife. While sapling trees have grown up, uncontrolled growth of brambles will reduce wildflowers such as vetches, which support Blue butterflies. A balance is necessary, so some clearance will take place.

Cows graze during the summer and have their calves, adding to the pastoral scene, with views up to the Tor and back across the town to the coast and beyond.