Welcome to friends of Ecological Owlthorpe

Although planning permission to build on plot (F) Owlthorpe Grass Land Grazing Project, was originally refused, it is very disappointing to see that Sheffield (LPA) have now reintroduced plot (F) with a proposal to build 150 new properties on the 22 acres of the Grassland Grazing Project.


When first developed our oasis received government funding under Natural England Higher Level Stewardship Agreement. The history of Owlthorpe appears in the 1086 Doomsday Book. Sickles and scythes were manufactured to support the farming industry. Water was pumped from the mines into the Ochre Dyke. With 12,243 trees & hedgerow plants planted also 64,000 bulbs & 1,500 square meters of wildflower seed sown our oasis is a wild life sanctuary. The map below shows Hedgerows/ditches + grassland of high environmental value . For more information, please visit our website: https://ecological-owlthorpe.org Surely it is difficult to understand why Sheffield (LPA) wish to destroy our open space, used and loved by the local community.

If allowed to proceed this project would completely destroy the Owlthorpe Grassland Grazing Project which is a major component of the award winning Owlthorpe Heritage & Nature Trail a rural Oasis in the urban southeast of Sheffield. The trail was opened with an official event on March 16th 2012 by children from three local primary schools assisted by David Caufield - Sheffield City Council Officer, Clive Betts MP for Sheffield South East and Sheffield City Councillor Helen Mirfin-Boukouris.

Between 1980 and 2002 Sheffield lost 75.7% of its unimproved grasslands, therefore our grasslands are a valuable environmental resource. The project's objective is to manage our grasslands and safeguard the wildflower and wildlife for future generations to enjoy. The grazing project is part of a programme of strategic planting to link up the green corridors of Sheffield .

Three fields designated Phase 1, 1A, and 2 totalling 22 acres of grassland have been enclosed by 1.5km of post & wire fencing with 50 strainer posts, & 750 intermediate posts installed. Stock proof hedgerows have been planted to replace the fencing at the end of its life. Seven field gates and four kissing gates have been installed. New water pipe work and three drinking troughs have been installed.

The fields in Phases 1 and 1A have been designated as sites of important nature conservation (SINC). Reports from Sheffield City Ecological Unit Survey of March 1994 show the SINC grassland were species rich in wildflowers, such as Bird's foot-trefoil and harebell.

Hedgerows & Dry stone Walls

The "Enclosure Acts" passed by Parliament from 1750 to 1850 changed the face of Britain 's rural landscape. In Yorkshire and Derbyshire, the movement towards "enclosure" is exemplified by the miles of dry stone walls and hedgerows which straddle the landscape. The walls were constructed by wall builders who moved from job to job, and landowner to landowner.

SCC has facilitated large amounts of work on dry-stone wall carried out by volunteers supervised by Sheffield Landscape Trust (SLT)

New hedgerows have been planted in the green spaces of Owlthorpe. Wherever possible they have been planted along the lines of ancient hedgerows, based on information obtained from old maps. Trees have been planted, with the assistance of SLT, by local children from 3 local primary schools & community volunteers.

Which lasts longer? The life of a dry-stone wall is reckoned to be 200 years. However, some hawthorn hedges have been dated as 400 to 500 years old.

Please read our editorial in the Yorkshire Bylines.


E-Mail: ecologicalowlthorpe@gmail.com

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