Saturday, 25 September 2010

Sheaf Valley Park

Work begins this September on a £760,000 project to turn a windswept hillside blighted by litter and junkies into an "exciting" park which will include an ampitheatre to hold outdoor performances of theatre and music, plus a new arboretum.

The project involves the area of open space between Sheffield train station and Park Hill flats, currently grassland with a small number of trees. It is little-used and is frequented by junkies who dump drug paraphernalia.

Sheaf Valley Park - part of a network of parks, woodlands and open spaces extending from Norfolk Heritage Park to the canal basin.

Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Sheffield Council's cabinet member for communities, said: "This is a great opportunity for this area. We don't think there is anything quite like this in Britain, and this project will help cement Sheffield's reputation as the greenest UK city with some of the liveliest city centre events.

"The public have been very enthusiastic about the idea of a City Arboretum during consultation and have suggested some of the trees that we will be planting.

"We also hope the amphitheatre will attract visitors, and local drama groups will have a new stage for their plays."

The ampitheatre will have terraced seating providing spectacular views across the city centre and towards the Peak District.

The arboretum plans involve planting pine trees, spring flowering trees, fruit trees, trees with good autumn colour and evergreens to add colour during the winter. A wildflower meadow is also set to be planted.

Well-lit routes will be created across the hillside, connecting South Street, Shrewsbury Road and the railway station, to improve access for the public.

A Sheffield Council spokeswoman said: "The arboretum will broaden the species of trees in the area to attract wildlife and to give more visual interest throughout the year. Native oak trees will be introduced as a reminder of the days when this land was part of the city's medieval deer park.

"A number of existing chestnut and sycamore trees, identified as diseased or in a poor condition, will be replaced." 

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