Restoring The Downs to its Intended Use

Restoring the Downs

There are two separate issues affecting the Downs, and both require different approaches to resolve them;

1. Unauthorised Encampments (UAE’s) 

Involving groups of Travellers trespassing onto the land of the Downs, and remaining in-situ for extended periods of time.

Issues associated with many of these incursions include: trespass, human
waste, littering, fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour and the creation of a no-go
zone for Bristol residents who would like to use the Downs as they were


2. Van Dweller Encampments 

Involving individual and groups of people using both licensed and unlicensed Camper Vans to reside on the highways on and around the Downs.

Issues associated with this activity include: human waste in the nearby bushes and surrounding area, littering, anti-social behaviour and the creation of a no-go zone for Bristol residents who frequently use the Downs as they walk to their houses to local amenities.


‘Respect The Downs’ demands that the Mayor of Bristol and Bristol City Council urgently undertakes the following:

    Unauthorised Encampments (UAEs)

    • Changes its traveller management policy to re-balance residents’ rights with those travellers.
    • Provides full transparency and accountability regarding their current
      traveller removal process involving affected residents from the point of
      Impact Assessment through removal.
    • Streamlines the legal process associated with traveller removal from the


    Van Dweller Encampments

    • Extends and enforces 5-hour restricted parking limit to all roads around the Downs and extends the no-return time period.
    • Introduces a a blanket “No overnight sleeping” Traffic Restriction Order that covers all  highways on and around the Downs.
    • Vigorously and consistently applies its Van Dweller Policy to all parts of the Downs.
    • Provides a managed site for Van Dwellers to use when they visit Bristol.