Skip to main content
A Magazine for Sheffield

Sheffield Wildlife Trust: With green fingers and hearts

The year is 15,000 BC. The nomadic tribespeople of the Urn stand and admire their finished showpiece, a stone circle in Crookes. It has taken a month, but now all that hard handcraft has paid off. It stands etched in the landscape, giving Sheffield one of its first symbols of civilization. Utus, the head of his clan, has seen his dream realised. He has built his talisman, constructed to acknowledge and ward off the spirits of nature and provide a place of ceremony for his bloodline. His work is now complete, his family are now settled and they will continue to live and hunt in the land for generations to come. This ancient Bronze Age tribe is long gone from our midst, but still ingrained in Sheffield is its serene natural landscape setting in the heart of The Peak District. It has seen industry and commerce take over, but still shines though as the greenest city in Europe. Nowadays, our lovely landscape is in part tended to by the careful hands of the people at Sheffield Wildlife Trust. As part of a network of 47 trusts, they have one core mission - to help local people and wildlife. They are the single largest conservation and environmental group operating in the region and have created 11 sites within the boundaries of the seven hills. They also run a trading arm known as Wildscapes, which provides a high quality landscape and ecology consultancy service. Various training opportunities are on offer, with a wide range of NVQs in conservation, wild food and geographical information systems. They reassuringly have a strong backbone behind them and are more than well equipped, with support from the national Wildlife Trusts network and from Sheffield Council and Sheffield regeneration agencies on home turf. In a society that has been condemned to an impending carbon death by scientists - not a day goes by that we don't hear damning news reports of melting ice caps and the increasing temperature of the Earth - nature and our ecology are slowly disappearing into a swamp of nothingness. While politicians argue what can be done on a national level, Sheffield Wildlife Trust makes a valuable contribution right here and now. Their 50 dedicated employees work all out and there are no less than 4,000 members, always leaving an open door for others to play a part. For those of you who have a David Attenborough edge to their sword, there is more voluntary work than you can shake an oak branch at. The charity provides environmental training and food & health living development, offering an excellent range of opportunities on a casual or regular basis for people who are looking for work in the environmental sector or just want to lend a hand. From backroom media and marketing representatives to in-the-field outdoor volunteers helping on participation projects at the nature reserves, there is something for everyone. Regular events held by Sheffield Wildlife Trust aim to involve the public in their work, with a particular importance placed on involving families in play activities, practical conservation days and watch groups. With green fingers and hearts, you can help preserve this city, which has remained picturesque for thousands of years. )

Next article in issue 34

Sheffield Gangs: A History of Violence

Not so long ago, Sheffield was infamous for its gang culture, a story told in J.P. Bean's excellent local history, The Sheffield Gang Wars.

More articles