Steel giant to welcome visitors to Sheffield

IT might not be the Angel of the North, but this 10ft tall cast iron sculpture of a steelworker is set give visitors an eye-catching welcome to Sheffield.

The four tonne piece, overlooking the Parkway from a corner of Bowden Housteads Woods, has been created by local artist Jason Thomson.

He was helped by children of Athlestan school who gave him their ideas.

Visible to motorists travelling on the Sheffield Parkway, it is intended to mark the woodland gateway to Sheffield - celebrating the city's industrial past and its green heritage.

The woodland is part of South Yorkshire Forest which covers an area of 195 square miles, including parts of Sheffield,Barnsley, Rotherham.

Richard Walker, of the South Yorkshire Forest Partnership said at today's launch of the sculpture: "Bowden Housteads wood is one of over 60 ancient woodlands that are still present today in Sheffield. These woods date back to at least 1600 and are not only of huge environmental importance, but provide the city with a wealth of industrial and cultural heritage.

"This piece will no doubt inspire motorists to sit up and take note of the beautiful woodland that lines the parkway, and will become a beacon marking Sheffield's wealth of woodlands and open space.''

Lord Mayor, Councillor Diane Leek, who attended today's unveiling said: "Sheffield's reputation as one of England's greenest cities would seem to be something of a secret. The Steel Man will play an important role in getting this message across to potential visitors to our beautiful city."

The sculpture was commissioned by Sheffield Council's Heritage Woodland team, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Sheffield Council, the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and South Yorkshire Forest Partnership.