Sheffield playing field gains protected status to preserve it for future generations

Youngsters cut a ribbon at Ochre Dike Playing Fields to celebrate its new protected status
Youngsters cut a ribbon at Ochre Dike Playing Fields to celebrate its new protected status
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A playing field in Sheffield has been granted protected status to preserve it for future generations.

Ochre Dike Playing Fields, in Waterthorpe, was recognised by the environmental charity Fields in Trust, which works to protect open spaces across the UK from development.

The new sign and plaque

The new sign and plaque

A plaque marking its new designation was unveiled at the site, close to Crystal Peaks shopping centre, during a ceremony on Wednesday (January 18).

Councillor Mary Lea, Sheffield Council's leisure chief, said: "We are very lucky to have so many beautiful green spaces here in Sheffield: The Outdoor City and we know how valuable they are to our residents.

"People in the local area have fought hard to protect the playing fields at Ochre Dike and I’m pleased that their passion has been rewarded in this way.

"Today's ceremony, along with our recent award from the Fields in Trust, demonstrates our commitment to protecting the outdoor spaces that make out city so great.

Ochre Dike Playing Fields is Sheffield's third open space to be recognised by the Fields in Trust charity

Ochre Dike Playing Fields is Sheffield's third open space to be recognised by the Fields in Trust charity

"I'd like to thank everybody involved for helping us to preserve this wonderful site so that it can be enjoyed for many generations to come."

Ochre Dike was actually added to Fields in Trust's list of protected sites in 2015, after local residents teamed up with the council to campaign for its inclusion.

But the official plaque was finally unveiled at this week's ceremony, where a tree was also planted and a new sign installed to mark the occasion.

The ceremony came six weeks after the council secured a national 'Partner of the Year' award for its work with the charity to protect the city's 800-plus green open spaces.

Ochre Dike is one of three Fields in Trust sites across Sheffield. The others are Weston Park, which was designated a 'Centenary Field' in memory of those who lost their lives in the First World War; and Woodhouse Mill recreation ground, which was dedicated as a Queen Elizabeth II Field as part of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

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