Welcome to Friends of the Avon New Cut

Friends of the Avon New Cut (commonly known as FrANC) was formed in 2006 when a group of local people got together in order to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the Avon New Cut including its history, geology and wildlife and its role in the development of Bristol’s Floating Harbour.

FrANC now has a membership of over 190 who share a keen interest in helping both the natural environment of the Avon New Cut to thrive and its visitors and local people to enjoy this green corridor in the heart of Bristol.

To read more about our activities go to Overview under What We Do, and for information about joining FrANC or taking part in one of our events, go to About FrANC.

The Avon New Cut

The Avon New Cut (often referred to simply as the New Cut) is a tidal waterway approximately 1.8 miles long which runs from near Temple Meads station to the Cumberland Basin.

It was excavated between 1804 and 1809 to act as a tidal by-pass in order to create Bristol’s Floating Harbour.

New industries grew along its banks and passenger boats used the New Cut until the late 1930s.

Today, the New Cut remains vitally important to the function of the city and forms part of Bristol’s flood defences.

With a tidal range of up to 11 metres it provides a constantly changing vista and a wonderful wildlife habitat.


Rich in flora and fauna there are over 100 species of flowering plants,  including the rare ivy broomrape, featured in FrANC’s logo.

There are in excess of 30 species of trees along its banks, including one or two fig trees which are believed to have grown from fruits discarded by passing sailors in times gone by.

More than 30 species of birds have been seen along The Cut including the grey heron and the cormorant, while Butterfly Junction provides an important habitat for moths and butterflies on an abandoned industrial site.

In 2015 the Avon New Cut was designated as one of Bristol’s Local Nature Reserves.

The New Cut is full of interest and you’ll find lots more in The Avon New Cut section.