11 April 2016
The Gift that Grows project run by the South Yorkshire Forest Partnership (SYFP) has had a bumper month of tree planting in March with local residents, businesses and community groups all coming together to plant over 100 trees and add to Sheffield’s credentials for being the greenest city in Britain.
The Gift that Grows scheme, which began in 1991, enables residents, community groups, local businesses and schools to donate trees to the scheme and plant them across South Yorkshire.
Last month, local marketing agency Diva Creative celebrated their 18th Birthday in style by sponsoring and planting 5 Magnolia Sprengeri ‘Diva’ trees at Sheffield’s Sheaf Valley Park. SYFP Team members also planted two large Rowan ‘Golden Wonder’ trees.
Sheaf Valley Park is a newly reshaped green space for people living in the Park Hill area and city centre workers to visit and relax in. It has come a long way from the initial proposals for the park back in 2005, which included an amphitheatre, improved and new footpaths and an arboretum all set within a green infrastructure network. A key aim for the award winning park was better connected green links for pedestrians and cyclists. These links include the route from the station up the Cholera Monument and beyond via the new Clay Wood link to Granville Road and Norfolk Park.
The park is now maintained by Sheffield City Council’s Parks service, very ably supported by the Friends of Sheaf Valley Park who arrange events and litter picks on site and in the surrounding area regularly.
A ’City Arboretum’ was part of the initial plan and the planting that has taken place during March is playing its part in achieving that goal.
Amanda Pearce, Director at Diva Creative, said: “Planting these trees is a tangible, positive way to make a difference at a local level and acknowledge that, as a sustainable business, we can do something, albeit small, to mitigate our environmental impact.’’
The Gift that Grows also invited families who have sponsored trees over the years to a planting event which took place at Skye Edge Greenspace from where there is a fantastic viewpoint over the city. With the support of Ed Thatcher a Community Forestor from Sheffield City Council’s Parks and Countryside Service they planted over 100 trees ranging from two varieties of Oak, Alder, Cherry, Hazel and Rowan. These newly planted trees will provide a new more wildlife friendly, attractive and sheltered area for members of the community and visitors to the city to enjoy.
Graham Evans, former head teacher of Herries School attended the Skye Edge event with his daughter Ruth who is also a teacher. Graham is a long standing supporter of the Gift that Grows project.
Graham said: “I think the many environmental benefits that trees provide for people in Sheffield and across South Yorkshire make this a very beneficial project. I am looking forward to more tree planting projects in the future.”
Simon Green, Executive Director of Place at Sheffield City Council, said: “It is great to see this partnership working with South Yorkshire Forest Partnership and the Gift the Grows scheme. Our green heritage is important to us and we are always working hard to ensure that we help and support others, as well as ourselves to maintain it.”
Johanna Mawson, Director at SYFP, said “It is wonderful to see local companies and residents coming out to plant trees across the city and helping Sheffield remain the greenest city in Britain. It is important to help build a sense of community within the city and we are helping to do this by encouraging all residents, young and old, to help us plant new trees. These trees will also promote resilience to climate change by contributing to Natural Flood Risk Management, encourage biodiversity and improve air quality. Both the Sheaf Valley Park and Skye Edge Greenspaces are fantastic areas of Sheffield for locals and visitors to come and relax in and through partnership working they are getting better.
“We are keen to work in partnership with other organisations including the Council’s Community Forestry Team which also has a role in caring for the trees long term through their maintenance programme. By combining our different expertise, we can plant trees across the city for future generations to enjoy.”