We are a local community charity based at Blaise Castle Estate in North-West Bristol. We are dedicated to maintaining and improving its environment for both visitors and wildlife. 


The Friends of Blaise emerged as the spearhead of a local community protest in the very early ‘80s concerned by threats to demolish Blaise Castle due to it being by then in a dangerous state of neglect. Due to the efforts of those involved at the time the necessary funds were raised and the Castle saved for posterity. We have opened it to the public every year since (other than Covid year 2020). 

But we realised that the neglect which affected the Castle was also evident elsewhere in the Estate, so tackling that became our long-term aim. 

This was always going to be an ambitious target, but we have achieved a lot in terms of greater public access to parts of the Estate, greater biodiversity, greater awareness of its historical context – but only with the help of many, many volunteers over the years. They are our lifeblood and we are always grateful to have new recruits, either as full members (small annual subscription fee) or associate members who can offer a few hours a month or year working on site. 

The Friends of Blaise together.

Today we have a membership of approximately 300 members and while 40 years ago we were accepted by the Council with a certain reluctance (we were, after all, born out of a protest group!), times have changed dramatically. With the Council Parks Dept. now starved of funds and staff to adequately manage the Estate, there is a much greater degree of cooperation and joint decisions taken on a regular basis. 

We now act as the de facto caretakers of areas of the Estate – the Castle, the dairy Garden, the Kitchen Garden and the Rose Garden (through our sister charity Blaise Community Garden which has a 25-year lease on the 2-acre site). 

In addition, we have materially contributed to the Estate with everything from benches, railing and notice boards to Chandeliers for the Museum.


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