There's lots of online gossip about council plans to turn Stoke Park into a cow field. There are some interesting environmental and economic details, but we are more worried about the social costs of the plans.
Stoke Park is the primary off road motorbiking destination for North/North East Bristol. Southerners have the trails of Dundry, residents of Lawrence-Dubya have the wastelands of Severn Beach, but only here in Stoke Park is a place for residents to come with their family and go off-road.
Here's a lovely summer photo from a rare dry day last August, with a family all out enjoying a bit of motorbiking on the grass.
Nearby, some of the local motorbiking enthusiasts have been doing some trail work
The park connects with stapleton, you can get all the way to Lockleaze or Purdown camp. It is an integral part of off-road motorbike enjoyment of the city's greenery.
This is not compatible with cows.
Some people may say "good, the bikers shouldn't be there", but there is bugger all else to do in Lockleaze; every kid out there is someone who isn't stealing cars or taking drugs. And you know that advert for the army showing soldiers driving around off-road in a landrover in the dark? These bikers can do that -which is the kind of skill the army looks for when recruiting. Given a choice between the motorbikers of lockleaze and the cows of Stoke Park, my money is on the motorbikes.