Sheffield’s Green Oasis: Volunteers Unite to Cultivate Wetland Haven

(L-R) Steve Birch, Development Director at SHC; Alex Best, Development Manager at SHC; Howard Young, Senior Development Manager at SHC; Ross Reed, Sustainability and Quality Manager at Britcon; Rob Macvean, Works Manager at Britcon and Ted Talbot, Director of Space at The Green Estate Community Interest Company.

The SuDS initiative will create a wetland habitat at Manor Fields Park, enhancing biodiversity and improving the park experience for visitors. Local community groups like The Green Estate assisted with planting new flower meadows as part of this effort to manage stormwater runoff and reduce flood risk in the area.

Local volunteers and community groups assembled to help complete some of the planting at Manor Fields Park in Sheffield, which is set to benefit from a new wetland habitat.

Delivered by Sheffield Housing Company (SHC) – a partnership between Keepmoat, Sheffield City Council and Great Places Housing Group – the Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme (SuDS) initiative at Manor Fields Park is designed to ease pressure on Sheffield’s watercourses and sewer network.

It is part of plans to build 148 new homes in the city – at Harborough Rise and in and around Manor Park Avenue – and will also create a ‘wetland’ environment that will enhance biodiversity and improve park experience for visitors.

The Green Estate Community Interest Company, which manages the park, worked with volunteers to help sow some of the new flower meadows which will enhance the park for all visitors and improve the habitat for nature.

Howard Young, Senior Development Manager at SHC, said: “It is brilliant to reach this point in the project, especially after the challenging weather conditions we had to contend with. This would not have been possible without the patience and understanding of park users and the hard work of the team involved in its delivery – our contractor Britcon and The Green Estate.”

“Not only do SuDS schemes help ease flood risk and pollution, but they also create environments that support wildlife and can be enjoyed by the local community.”

There are a number of SuDS schemes in Sheffield, which includes ‘Grey to Green’ in the city, which is the largest retro fit SuDS initiative in the UK and also the UK’s largest inner city ‘Green Street’.

It is anticipated that the SuDS habitat at Manor Fields Park will be completed this spring, with The Green Estate taking over its management and care.

Roz Davies, CEO of The Green Estate, said: “Our Green Flag Award-winning Manor Fields Park is a fantastic demonstrator of partnership working to tackle the challenges of climate change in a way that brings joy to people and helps nature to thrive! When complete, this scheme designed with local communities will bring even more added value and benefit!”

The SuDS will reduce the flow of water in Kirkbridge Dyke in Manor Fields Park when there is increased flow due to heavy rain.  A permanent shallow basin and new wildlife habitat will be created, which will hold small volumes of water and enhance biodiversity. During a storm, the water level within the basin will temporarily rise, before being slowly released afterwards into the watercourse.

The new capacity created further downstream will then accommodate more run-off water from houses, roads and pathways, thus alleviating pressure on drains and sewers.

Creating upstream water storage above the points of discharge from new developments is not typical. This new approach is a result of the watercourse and sewer modelling undertaken during the Three Brooks Flood Project – part of the Sheffield Flood Risk Management Plan.

Established in 2011 with an ambitious target of building 2,300 properties on a total of 23 sites by the end of 2026, SHC is Sheffield City Council’s joint vnture development company with private developer Keepmoat and Great Places Housing.

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