Manager of the Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust
© Sarah Poulter
This project is very much a collaborative vision for the future of Sheffield.
The north west of Sheffield is an outstanding example of a living landscape, rich in history, with diverse habitats abundant in wildlife, vibrant communities and strong traditions. In the 1950s, a Sheffield bus company, drawing inspiration from the area’s numerous reservoirs, established tours to visit the ‘Sheffield Lakeland’.
Inspired by the boldness of that vision the name has been brought back to life through the Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership. Many years have been spent developing the project, which means that there is heavy buy-in from local community, grassroots groups and strategic partners.
Sheffield's lakeland is much loved, but valued by different people for different reasons. Some “values” are well understood – its aesthetic beauty, its farming, forestry and its recreational opportunities for example. Others are highly valued by special interest groups, such as its internationally protected wildlife, industrial heritage and distinctive culture.
However, some aspects of Sheffield's Lakeland ecosystem services are only just starting to be understood – such as the landscape’s capacity to offer flood protection through natural flood management; the benefits access to the landscape offers for our mental and physical well-being; and the landscape’s capacity to mitigate or help us adapt to climate change.
The Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership will build a shared understanding of the multiple ways in which the landscape is valuable and will take action to record, manage and protect these for the future.
Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership is managed by Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, working together with Yorkshire Water, Sheffield City Council, Bradfield Parish Council, Stocksbridge Town Council, Natural England, the Environment Agency, South Yorkshire Archaeology Service, Sheffield United Community Foundation and representatives of landowners and local access groups. Many more organisations will come together to contribute and deliver projects over the lifetime of the Partnership.
The Partnership has been made possible by a grant of £2.6m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with matched funding from core partners to deliver a £3.4m package of partnership projects conserving and celebrating the natural, built and cultural heritage of north-west Sheffield.