The Downs, Bristol
|Type||public open space|
|Area||412 acres (1.7 km2)|
|Status||open all year|
The Downs are an area of public open limestone downland in Bristol, England. They consist of Durdham Down to the north and east, and the generally more picturesque and visited Clifton Down to the south.
Durdham Down is the north and east part of the Downs, extending to Westbury Park and Henleaze, with an area of 85 hectares (210 acres). It is owned by Bristol City Council for the benefit of the people of Bristol.
Clifton Down is the part of the Downs southwest of the southern part of Stoke Road, between Sneyd Park and Clifton and extending to the edge of the Avon Gorge, with an area of 82 hectares (202 acres). It is owned by the Society of Merchant Venturers.
Since an Act of Parliament in 1861, when Bristol Corporation acquired Durdham Down, the Downs have been managed as a single unit by the Downs Committee, a joint committee of the corporation and the Merchant Venturers. They have been designated common land since the early 1970s by Bristol City Council.
They are used for leisure, walking, team sports and sightseeing (especially at the Avon Gorge cliff edge). There are permanent football pitches, used by the Bristol Downs Football League, the lowest tier any club has ever joined in order to be promoted to the Premier League. There are also temporary attractions on the Downs, such as circuses and the annual Bristol Flower Show.
In 1982, 6,000 people assembled on the Downs, in response of to a local newspaper advertisement placed by the makers of the new breakfast television show TV-am. The 6,000 people were used to make the words 'Good', 'Morning' and 'Britain', used for the opening titles of the TV-am show, of the same name. It took 2 hours to get the people into place, and another 2 hours to shoot.
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