REVEALED: Sheffield's best parks, according to duo who should know

Jenni Sayer and Laura Appleby visited 100 parks together during 2017 (photos: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)
Jenni Sayer and Laura Appleby visited 100 parks together during 2017 (photos: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)
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An intrepid duo who have visited 100 parks and green spaces across Sheffield in the last year are ready to share their secrets.

Jenni Sayer and Laura Appleby set themselves the challenge for charity of checking out every patch of greenery across the city during 2017.

The pair rated Whinfell Quarry Gardens as one of Sheffield's best hidden gems (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)

The pair rated Whinfell Quarry Gardens as one of Sheffield's best hidden gems (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)

They may have failed in their mission, having underestimated the abundance of parks, woodlands and other green spaces across Sheffield, which they now believe to be around 800.

But they still clocked up an impressive century, reaching three figures with a visit to Meersbrook Park on New Year's Day, and they are not ready to stop yet.

The friends, who have been blogging about their adventures and asking readers to donate to the mental health charity Mind, now have the 150 mark in sight.

The pair hope their travels will encourage more people to visit green spaces beyond their immediate neighbourhood, and they are looking to develop an app making it easier to do so.

Laura (front) and Jenni hope to take their tally of parks to 150 this year (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)

Laura (front) and Jenni hope to take their tally of parks to 150 this year (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)

Jenni said: "We've had a fantastic time visiting every corner of the city and seeing the incredible diversity of green spaces, many of which we never even knew existed.

"It's also been great meeting some of the amazing people who put so much time and energy into maintaining those parks, woodlands and nature reserves.

"Most cities have individual parks, but the great thing about Sheffield is how the green spaces really blend into the city.

"We want to get more people exploring parts of the city they haven't seen before, because there are so many secrets to be discovered.

Jenni and Laura are raising money for the mental health charity Mind (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)

Jenni and Laura are raising money for the mental health charity Mind (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)

"We'd love to use what we've learned to develop an app giving people useful information about green spaces in their area, like whether there's a café, toilets and other facilities, and enabling users to share their knowledge."

Jenni, aged 31, of Meersbrook, and Laura, aged 33, of Norfolk Park, are old friends who work together at Ruskin Mill Trust, a charity supporting people with learning difficulties.

They set themselves the parks challenge having had so much fun discovering new places while following 'The Herd', a trail of painted elephant sculptures dotted around the city, in 2017.

To mark their milestone of 100 parks, the pair have compiled a list of their favourites so far for everything from stunning views to great playgrounds.

Concord Park is one of Sheffield's best connected parks, say the duo (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)

Concord Park is one of Sheffield's best connected parks, say the duo (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)

* You can keep up to date with the duo's adventures, and donate to Mind, at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/shefparkproject or by following @ShefParkProject on Facebook and Twitter.

FAVOURITES OVERALL

Meersbrook Park

Manor Fields Park

Weston Park

BEST NAMES

The friends hope to develop an app to help others find out about Sheffield's many parks and green spaces (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)

The friends hope to develop an app to help others find out about Sheffield's many parks and green spaces (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)

Jaunty Park

Spider Park

Tongue Gutter

MOST HISTORIC

Norfolk (first free public park in Sheffield, opened in 1848 with land donated by the Duke of Norfolk)

Wincobank Hill (site of a prehistoric hill fort)

General Cemetery (contains the graves of many important Sheffield residents)

BEST FLOWER BEDS

Coronation Park

Beauchief Gardens

Mortomley Park

BEST CAFE

Stannington Park (Reserved Café Bistro)

Millhouses Park Café

Forge Dam Café

HIDDEN GEMS

Whinfell Quarry Gardens

Frechville Pond

Glen Howe Park

BEST CONNECTED

Herdings Park (tram)

Firth Park (bus)

Concord Park (car)

BEST ARCHITECTURE

Stocksbridge Clock Tower Memorial Gardens

Firth Park

Weston Park

BEST VIEWS

Parkwood Springs

Meersbrook Park

South Street Park

BEST EVENTS

The Ponderosa

Norfolk Park

Richmond Park

BEST FOR CHILDREN

Rivelin Valley

Millhouses Park

Manor Field Park

FRIENDLIEST

Heeley People's Park (when we visited we found an envelope attached to the green sign with a good luck card and seeds inside)

Olympic Legacy Park (we haven't visited yet, but they have been great supporters and will be our 101st!)

Ecclesfield Park (had a lovely friendly vibe and clearly was well-loved and used)

The pair in Ecclesfield Park (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)

The pair in Ecclesfield Park (photo: Jenni Sayer/Laura Appleby)