Wednesday 25 March 2015

More than 50,000 trees have been planted across Sheffield since the start of the year, in an ambitious project to create the next generation of public woodland for the city.

Around 30 hectares of woodland habitat have been created at 17 different sites, all accessible to local communities and including footpaths, glades and open space.

The final planting session of the project, in which the 50,000th tree of this year’s programme was planted, took place at Longley Park today (Wednesday, 25 March) with students from Sheffield College’s Hillsborough campus.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield is cementing its reputation as the UK’s premier outdoor city, and this ambitious woodland creation project is further proof of our commitment to our beautiful landscape.

“Even before this project took place, Sheffield was one of the greenest cities in Europe, with around two million trees – four for every single person.

“I look forward to seeing these new woodlands grow and thrive, thanks to the hard work of volunteers and all those involved in this vital project, and seeing generations of future Sheffielders walking, running, riding their bikes and enjoying family days out in our fabulous green spaces.”

Tim Shortland, community forestry manager at Sheffield City Council, added: “This establishment of new woodland will create amazing woodland legacy for future generations and, in the shorter term, will provide a diversity of habitats for wildlife.

“These 17 new woodlands will maintain the cities woodland legacy, increase biodiversity, clean the air and create new amenity opportunities for communities across our city.”

The new woodlands have been created at Acres Hill (Mather Road), Addlington Rd (Parson Cross Park), Black Bank Open Space, East Park Fields (Brunswick Fields), Flockton Park, Greenhill Park, Jaunty Park, Longley Park, Manor Laith Rd Green Space, Skye Edge Open Space, Manor Playing Fields, Ochre Dyke Playing Fields, Richmond Heights, Westwood Country Park and Worrall Recreation Ground.

Funding for the £136,000 project has come from the Forestry Commission.

The first planting scheme of the project took place at Worrall Recreation Ground on Saturday 17 January, where 200 native broadleaf trees were planted by Sheffield City Council’s Community Forestry team and the Ranger Service, with much-valued help from Worrall Environmental Group, local residents and children.

Chris Grice, the local Forestry Commission Woodland Officer, said he was delighted to have invested grant aid in the project, and added: “Sheffield City Council recognises the value of trees to people, wildlife and the economy and we welcome their ongoing work to plant more trees and manage the woodlands of the city sustainably.

“We look forward to supporting further woodland creation and management in Sheffield.”