Follow the trail of new walking map connecting Sheffield community gardens

Sheffielders are invited to follow the trail of a new walking map connecting 14 community gardens in Heeley and Meersbrook this weekend.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 6:00 am
Brooklyn Road community garden, organisers raised £130 and secured most of the plants through donations.

It’s the first time all 14 community gardens, which include Heeley City Farm and the Meersbrook Park Walled Garden, have been linked into a well-thought out and cleverly negotiated route, which takes about three hours to stroll through.

All 14 gardens will be staffed from 10am-1pm on Sunday September 26 so visitors can meet the people involved and see what’s been achieved through the volunteer led effort. The launch will take place at 1.30pm in the walled garden at Meersbrook Park.

Judy Stewart, a walking map organiser, said: “The pandemic has made us all think more carefully about our local green spaces and we’ve now got some amazing examples of local plots which have been brilliantly transformed from scraps of unkempt and often neglected pieces of land into wonderfully cultivated and well-used gardens with all sorts of bio-diversity.

Volunteers helped to turn a fly tipping site into Woodbank Crescent community garden.

“This map provides an opportunity for people to get out into the fresh air, move more by walking to each one and to visit places you’d least expect there to be a community garden. We want people to come and get involved in these gardens and help to look after them for years to come”

The gardens connected through this map were developed on unattractive or poorly maintained areas of land in Meersbrook and Heeley. Residents raised money and donations and gave their own time to help transform these spaces.

Some are decades old such as Kent Road Ground Force – a wasteland in 2001, after two years of work and £9,000 in funding it became an attractive green space with mosaics, a cherry tree and a majestic silver birch for goldfinches to cluster in.

Other gardens are the result of much newer projects, such as Brooklyn Road. This lockdown endeavour was previously known as ‘dog poo corner’ but is now a wildlife haven. Organisers raised £130 to buy pond liners, tools and seeds, but plants were donated.

Meersbrook Park walled garden, where the launch will take place.

The map can be found here: http://www.alexbatten.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Community-Gardens-Map_v13_digital.pdf or can be picked up from Sheffield Central Library, Meersbrook Hall reception on Brook Road, Meersbrook Park or Heeley City Farm.

Anne's community garden was created from a dump in 1995.
Hartley Street community garden is well used by people of all ages.
Judy Stewart, one of the event's organisers.
Work on Kent Road Ground Force began in 2001, and volunteers still take part in a clean up every year.