The first of the Landscape Institute’s green infrastructure study days kicks off in Sheffield with a site tour of Manor Fields Park.

LI members at Manor Fields Park, Sheffield
LI members at Manor Fields Park, Sheffield

WRAP and the Landscape Institute are currently running a new series of study days, to complement the LI’s recent Local Green Infrastructure campaign. The of these was a site visit to Manor Fields Park in Sheffield to look at how GI has been developed at a policy level and implemented locally.

Over 40 LI members attended the day, which involved a tour led by Ian Stanyon, landscape architect at Sheffield City Council. The tour began at the recently opened Manor Fields Gateway entrance to the park, which has transformed what was once a car park into a hard landscaped area, characterised by steel and stone (a nod to the area’s local landscape character) for both parking, gathering and farmers’ markets.

The new gateway is the final link connecting the park to the city. It’s been achieved by opening up the frontage onto City Road, which is a major tram/ bus route into the the city centre, and will make the park a must go to location.

Once inside Manor Fields, the group was able to explore the landscape interventions that have been introduced. Development has been done slowly so as to get the local community on side, rather than them suddenly waking up to see new interventions that hey are not used to. It has connected communities on either side of the open space where the area had previously been seen as unsafe thanks to a lack of lighting and footpaths. In addition, the decrease in vandalism implies an increasing sense of local pride in the work that has been completed.

The tour also highlighted the value of good partnerships, understanding the users of a space and building confidence and trust. Even subtle landscape interventions can turn negative landscape into a positive experience, said Stanyon. He went on to outline how it had increased trade in local businesses around the park and reduced costs (thanks to SuDS, and that the park’s success was down to introducing slow, manageable improvement with a dedicated site team.

The site visit was followed by presentations from Ian Stanyon, Sue France from Green Estate, Alexandra Shilkoff, Sheffield City Council, and David Hackett, WRAP. All presentations are available to download at: https://www.landscapeinstitute.org/wrap/index.php

Next GI study days

The next GI study days will include site visits to Bury Mount in Towcester, Eastern Curve in Dalston and finally Dalzell Estate, Motherwell. More information can be found at https://www.landscapeinstitute.org/events/index.php

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