Let's give green campaigner Ethel Haythornthwaite a plaque and a Town Hall tribute, says Sheffield MP Clive Betts
Long serving Sheffield MP Clive Betts has added his name to our campaign for a blue plaque in memory of city green pioneer Ethel Haythornthwaite.
Sheffield South East MP Mr Betts, who has represented the city for 29 years, also wants to see a paving stone in her honour outside the town hall.
The Star is campaigning with Campaign To Protect Rural England, Peak District and South Yorkshire, for the plaque in honour of Ethel, who campaigned to create access to the countryside around Sheffield.
Mr Betts said: “Now more than ever, we must celebrate our green spaces, as we become ever more conscious of the effect that climate change is having on our landscapes and wildlife.
"Moreover, the events over the last year and a half has shown us the important of local green spaces, and that ensuring public access is vital for people’s mental and physical wellbeing. Mrs Haythornthwaite played a major part in ensuring that such spaces still exist for public use today.
"As such, I believe that she ought to be remembered for her brilliant environmental work, and I also believe that a plaque and paving stone would go some way in ensuring that her achievements are celebrated.”
Following her first husband’s death in World War One she began to take countryside walks for health and became a pioneer in terms of securing everyone’s access to nature and ensuring that local green spaces were protected for the good of all.
Her work included founding the group that would become the Friends of the Peak District in 1924, and in 1928 she fronted the appeal to save Longshaw Estate, now looked after by the National Trust, from development. Later on in her life she would also go on to help acquire land around Sheffield that became the city’s green belt.
In 1945, she was appointed to the UK government's National Parks Committee and helped to make the case for the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949, which consequently led to the founding of the Peak District National Park in 1951. She also helped make green belt land part of national government policy in 1955.
CPRE has created a crowdfunding appeal, https://gofund.me/9554fe8c, to finance the plaque. Click here to donate