Sheffield park transformation continues as three tonnes of mud removed to reveal secret bridge

A Sheffield Friends of group has continued work to restore a city park back to its former glory, removing tonnes of mud and planting new flower beds.

By Steven Ross
Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 6:00 am
The team painted the children's maze and are now looking for sculptures to install around it.
The team painted the children's maze and are now looking for sculptures to install around it.

The Friends of Whirlow Brook Park group has expanded, now with roughly 120 friends and 30 regular volunteers who have worked to transform the park in recent months since the group was first formed for that purpose.

One of the greatest efforts in the rejuvenation was the recent clean up of the park’s ponds – a team of 25 volunteers removed three tonnes of mud and debris to reveal a small bridge hidden beneath that they didn’t know existed.

Maggie Girling, marketing and publicity officer for the Friends group, said: “We cleared loads of mud and scrub from in and around both ponds and Joe, the park gardener, cleared it all away in his truck.

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Friends of Whirlow Brook Park now has roughly 120 friends and 30 regular volunteers.

"The park is beginning to look more cared for and we hope people will appreciate it and enjoy it with friends and family.”

The group has painted the children’s maze which they started restoring in September, and are now looking for affordable sculptures to install alongside it.

Budding sculptors from the Sheffield area who may be able to help are invited to get in touch.

Another big operation involved sprucing up the sunken garden which has become overgrown and infested with weeds.

A small bridge was uncovered during the clean out of the ponds.

Sheffield Council’s parks department flattened the area using a digger and now Friends Of Whirlow Brook volunteers can plant two symmetrical beds and side borders, filling them with scented shrubs and plants.

The group has also formed a small, but very enthusiastic history team to research Whirlow Brook Park’s past.

They found that the hall for which the park is named was built in 1906 by Percy Fawcett and that many other properties in Sheffield from the period are connected to the Fawcett family.

They also believe that the rock garden and ponds were built by the famous landscaping firm Backhouse of York, and if they can prove this they hope it will help them gain funding for further development work on the ponds.

A volunteer removes mud from the ponds.

All of these works are dependent on volunteers, and there is one more volunteer day taking place before the end of the year, on Saturday December 4.

A volunteer days schedule for January and February has also been released.

The dates are as follows: January 8, January 18, February 5, February 21.

The sessions start at 9.45am and volunteers do not need to book in advance.