MORE than 100 trees being planted above Sheffield railway station will form the UK’s first city centre arboretum, or living tree collection.
The 112 trees, of 18 different species, are being planted alongside 12 just-completed sandstone terraces which make up an amphitheatre on the hillside above the station, below Park Hill flats.
The amphitheatre will soon be open for public events with a stunning view over the city centre and out to the Peak District, as part of the redevelopment of Sheaf Valley Park
South Yorkshire Forest Partnership has provided the trees, and donors have funded additional specimens through a ‘Gift that Grows’ programme.
Simon Ogden, Sheffield Council’s head of city development, said: “The plantings are another step towards turning Sheaf Valley Park into one of the most interesting, versatile and attractive green spaces in central Sheffield.”
Local resident Toby Hyam, who lives nearby, said: “I think it is unique in the UK, and perhaps Europe, for a city centre park to sit so close to the major transport interchange.
“The hillside steps and amphitheatre will be magnificent new features of the city.”
He added: “I just hope the route through Sheffield train station will be kept permanently open without any form of barriers so these fantastic new facilities can be accessed freely by everyone, 24 hours a day.”
The project is being paid for by the European Regional Development Fund, the Government’s Housing Market Renewal Programme and private sector funding. A grant from the South Yorkshire Forest Partnership has also been put towards planting an avenue of sessile oak trees on the hillside.