1 December 2016

They’re the lifeblood of Sheffield: The Outdoor City, known for their varying landscapes from manicured beauty through to rugged greenness.

And now Sheffield’s parks – and those who work to keep them so special – have been recognised with two more national accolades, at the annual Fields in Trust awards.

At the fifth annual awards ceremony, which took place yesterday at Lord’s cricket ground in London, Sheffield City Council came away with prizes for the Fields in Trust Local Authority Partner of the Year, and a Showcase award for Weston Park WW1 Centenary Field.

The aim of Fields in Trust is to protect key open spaces, preserving parks, woodlands and recreation grounds for generations to come. The awards recognise and reward the efforts and achievements of Fields in Trust sites – and those who work on and for them – to make them the best they can be.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “We know that Sheffield’s green spaces are among the finest not just in the country, but in the world – as New York City’s parks commissioner Mitchell Silver confirmed on a visit to Weston Park and the Ponderosa.

“But it is still lovely to have this recognised at national events such as the Fields in Trust Awards, where parks experts from across the country can come together, share ideas and learn from each other.

“I hope that Sheffielders will continue to use and enjoy the city’s parks and perhaps take the time to seek out new beauty spots near home. With just over 800 green spaces across Sheffield, including 95 parks and recreation grounds, there must be several places that most people have never even been to.”

Sheffield’s three Fields in Trust sites include Weston Park, which is the city’s only Centenary Field. Centenary Field status recognises all those who lost their lives in the First World War.

First opened in 1875, Weston Park was one of the first municipal parks in Sheffield. It has recently benefited from an extensive restoration project, partly thanks to Heritage Lottery funding, and has been granted national Green Flag Award status.

Sheffield City Council nominated Weston Park as the city’s Centenary Field site, not only due to its landscape and its status as a visitor destination, but also due to the siting of the York and Lancaster Regiment memorial within the park, which commemorates the loss of more than 8,800 soldiers during World War One..

Woodhouse Mill recreation ground is another Field in Trust, after being dedicated as a Queen Elizabeth II Field as part of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

And Ochre Dike Playing Fields in Waterthorpe is set to officially mark its Fields in Trust status at a ceremony to be held next month.