Favourite Things: We shouldn’t take our green spaces for granted

David Bocking is a photographer turned journalist, who started talking to the people he was taking pictures of, then writing about them.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 8:16 am
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 8:18 am
David Bocking and daughter Emily at Burbage Edge

The 56-year-old dad and former Stradbroke College student writes regular features for the Sheffield Telegraph, and is involved with many organisations across the city.

Among the many strings to his bow is being a foster carer, and writing about it, a Parkrun volunteer, and a champion of Sheffield’s great outdoors.

A pie dinner at The Broadfield.

He modestly claims to own a saxophone, rather than play it, in a reformed band. 

David is Sheffield born and lives in Greystones with his family.

As told to Ellen Beardmore. 


The Outdoor City

If Stanage Edge and Kinder Scout were in the Home Counties they would be nationally recognised attractions – people still stumble on Stanage on their way past without even knowing it is there.

There are also beautiful woods like those at Ecclesall and Wharncliffe. We take having these incredible green spaces on our doorstep for granted.

What makes Sheffield different is that here the outside is part of everything, it’s not just that it is a city with green areas on the outskirts of it. You can get out to the moors here on your own steam as well if you want to.


Abbeydale Road

In my mind this has slowly but surely become a really interesting part of Sheffield.

It does that completely on its own without a huge amount of support. Everyone knows about and goes to Kelham Island but I think this deserves the same recognition.

It’s developed with people from all around the world living close to it and students as well. 

There are three places I really love to go to on Abbeydale Road which are Tea with Percie, which does the best tea in Sheffield, Bragazzi’s which I think a lot of people say does the best coffee in Sheffield, and The Broadfield pub which does some of the the best pies in Sheffield.

All of those are within a ten or 15 minute walk of each other.

Tea with Percie is a community cafe, you go in and it’s full of locals just popping in, sometimes they go behind the counter and help too. 

And talking of pies, we also love Pie Eyed. 


The people

There are a lot of public servants and public heroes in Sheffield. 

By public servants I mean all the nurses, doctors, council officers – they get it in the neck all the time – everyone who goes in every day and does their best to make Sheffield a better place through their work.

On the other side of the coin there are so many people in Sheffield giving back to the city, they might be litter picking to clean up their area or running a Friends group,  helping put on Parkrun events or working with conservationists in the Peak District on protecting the heather and the wildlife that lives there.

Sometimes it's just about having those conversations about what can be improved too, you don’t have to go out and litter pick, you can go out and talk to people.

Find out what you are interested in and then go and get involved however you can.

People volunteer all over the world but I do think that is something which is particularly special and a big part of life here. 

There are so many organisations too which make a massive difference, especially when it comes to the city’s natural side.

The National Trust,  Peak District National Park, the Eastern Moors Partnership, they are all full of people who whether they volunteer or they work there are absolutely dedicated to protecting and conserving the wonders we have.

We shouldn’t take them for granted, we should always remember those people who are out there on the front line keeping these places of natural beauty at their best for the rest of Sheffield to enjoy. 


See next week’s Telegraph for Favourite Things with family blogger Naomi Cooper.