Ripples of approval as Sheffield park corner transformed

Firth Park Ripples in the Pond. Firth Park Ripples in the Pond  landscape designer Ian Stanyon

Firth Park Ripples in the Pond. Firth Park Ripples in the Pond landscape designer Ian Stanyon

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A QUIET corner of a famous Sheffield park has been transformed thanks to the dedication and hard work of a variety of community groups.

The Ripples on the Pond project at Firth Park has regenerated the old boating lake and the surrounding area into an attractive new environmental zone.

It has created a wetland area fed by a natural spring in the park and a decking area for observing wildlife.

There is also now an amphitheatre for events, a boulder canyon for climbing and general play, and for those who just want to relax, comfortable seating to take in the views of the new greenery.

New entry points and footpaths have also been created to allow easier access to the park.

The site was officially opened by Joan Barton, who has just stepped down as councillor after 34 years representing Firth Park. She planted a weeping willow tree and was joined by Lord Mayor Coun Sylvia Dunkley and Brightside and Hillsborough MP David Blunkett.

Coun Dunkley said: “The Ripples in the Pond project has provided a wonderful new amenity for the Firth Park area. The local community had a significant input into the new facilities.

“The council has enjoyed a successful working relationship with the Park’s Friends Group over the last 10 years and this project is evidence of all the hard work they have put in to improve and promote its use.

“Their support has helped to secure funding from a variety of sources to transform the site into a superb multi-use facility.”

The Friends group worked with the North East Community Assembly and local people on securing thousands of pounds of funding for the initiative.

Support came from ERDF Making Places Profitable, Viridor Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the Graves Charitable Trust, the BIG Lottery and Sheffield Homes.

The opening ceremony also featured music from the band Son Para Todos, activities for children and maypole dancing with youngsters from the Brushes Busy Kids Club.