Sheffield park group appeals for volunteers to help transform historic green space
A Sheffield Friends group is holding volunteer sessions next month for locals interested in helping to maintain and develop a flourishing park.
The Friends of Whirlow Brook Park are holding volunteer days over October and November as volunteer numbers continue to grow following successful sessions held in August and September.
The group has helped to develop the park, especially the sunken garden, by working with volunteers and Sheffield Council, after starting to focus on it earlier in the year.
Shelagh Woolliscroft, the Friends steering group chairman, said: “One of the best things about FoWP is the opportunity to meet and work alongside interesting people in peaceful surroundings, knowing that together we will have created something for others to enjoy.
"I really look forward to our volunteer sessions and was thrilled to be told that we had 19 people on one.
"The young children’s play area was cleared of debris and weeds and plans are afoot to repaint the maze.
"So much to do and only two volunteer sessions a month! We could do more if we could find more people to lead the sessions.”
One volunteer session targeted the children’s play area, with weeds and overgrowth cleared, a stone path unearthed, and the maze scrubbed ready for repainting.
Other work included clearing the sunken garden with the help of Sheffield Council and their digger, as well as removing two large conifer plants which were damaging a wall.
The group has worked with Soroptimists International, Abbeydale Rotary Club, the council, and individual volunteers in order to rejuvenate the park.
The upcoming volunteer days will take place at 9.45am at the crass square on the following dates: this coming Saturday October 2, Monday October 18 and Wednesday November 17.
On October 18, the council along with volunteers will be grubbing out the area around the lower pond which has become very overgrown.
Those interested in volunteering do not need to book ahead, just turn up and bring sturdy shoes, gloves, a drink and hand sanitiser.
Volunteers should not come to sessions if they feel unwell or have been pinged by the NHS Covid app.
The park is marking its 70th year in 2021.
Whirlow Brook Park was formerly part of the home of Sir Walter and Lady Madge Benton Jones, who lived at Whirlow Brook Hall in the 1920s and established the beautiful gardens around it.
When his wife died in 1938, Sir Walter moved to the family seat at Irnham Hall, Lincolnshire, and later sold the site to the Graves Trust and Sheffield Town Trust for £15,000 with the express wish was that it became a public park.
After much work it did become a park in 1951 – and Sir Walter’s great-grandson, Sir Jamie Benton Jones, visited for the very first time at its 70th anniversary celebrations in June.
To find out more about volunteering sessions and how to get involved, visit https://friendsofwhirlowbrookpark.org.uk/events/ The best autumn walks in Sheffield, P30