Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of contributing to a new film being made about the landscape, nature and history of Sheffield General Cemetery. Naturally I was there to talk about trees, and talk I did – for two and a half hours! All of which will be edited down to a five segment.
It was a real honour to be asked: the General Cemetery rates highly on my list of places to appreciate urban woodland and it is large enough to contain ‘wild’ patches that function as wildlife habitat.
The film will be launched at Heritage Open Days 2020, which I’ll be posting more about later.
Last Wednesday met up with Green City Heritage to make a short film for this year’s Urban Tree Festival. In it we explore the urban woodland within Sheffield General Cemetery, observing appropriate physical distancing guidelines by using a selfie-stick! We are so fortunate to have this fine mature woodland, with many an interesting species, within walking distance of the city centre.
Despite the urban setting the cemetery is a biodiversity hotspot and is popular with both wildlife and people alike. This is why I have chosen to add this location to my list of places for leading guided walks, which I hope to resume later this year.
23 of the War Memorial trees on Western Road in Crookes, Sheffield, are due to replaced as part of the Streets Ahead PFI contract to upgrade the city’s highways. Other memorial trees on adjoining roads are also under threat. Most have been condemned because they are displacing kerb stones and damaging pavements, making access more difficult.
Standard solutions exist to address these problems, solutions that are routinely used in many cities but sadly not in Sheffield.
While stone-built monuments are given protection in law – and desecrating them is a crime – these trees have no special legal status and the Council stand by their decision to fell. They intend to plant new Memorial Trees elsewhere in the city; many think that these trees, invested with so much symbolism, cannot simply be replaced.
Planted a year after World War I ended, these trees mark a particular moment in our collective history and there is nothing more apt than a living memorial to honour the dead.
Today 200 people gathered to celebrate these trees, now in their 99th year, and to peacefully ask Sheffield City Council to reconsider their plans to fell them.
For more information on these and other notable trees that are facing the chop visit: Save Sheffield Trees.
Come join us for our next walks in Ecclesall Woods, which will be taking place on:
Sunday 29th April at 2pm Sunday 20th May at 10.30am and 2.30pm, as part of the ‘Spring in the Woods’ event.
To see photographs and comments from previous walks visit our Facebook page. To book a place on the walk please use the contact form, stating how many places you would like to reserve and the walk date.
Meet 10 minutes before the walk start time outside the main entrance to the Discovery Centre, Ecclesall Woods, Abbey Ln, Sheffield, S7 2QZ.