Putting the Sheaf back into Sheffield
Welcome to the Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust homepage.
And hello from the Survey Team at Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust
Sheaf Survey Part 1
The flood levels have receded and six of the Trust members: Sam, Alli, Viv, Martin, Cathy, Ric and Phil were able to start the first Sheaf walkover survey. Below in a green line is our meandering 3.2 mile walk in south Sheffield as we tried to keep as close to the river as possible.
Flood damage appears minimal, although locals notice the river bed has changed shape dramatically in places, with silt and whole islands below weirs having been washed away. It looks like the EA (Environment Agency) have been clearing out some of the brash that washed down, threatening to block the bridges and culvert entrances.
There are significant patches of knotweed in certain places which the River Stewards will be monitoring .
Tesco's wooden riverside fence is looking very dodgy in places after 25 years. The posts and rails are starting to rot badly in places and their cycle/footway lighting needs a good clean.
After fixing the railings perhaps they need to copy Sainsbury's green improvements and install some solar powered lighting...check out Sainsbury's solar roof on our aerial routemap above and compare with Tesco's!
A big new residential care home development is well underway next door to Tesco's though it doesn’t deliver any more of the Sheaf cycle-footway and the entrance to the development through the business park at Troutbeck Road could do with some landscape improvements . We hope to carry out some litter clearance through the surrounding shady woodland soon...when we find out who owns it. Let us know at email@example.com
Just off Archer Road is a fascinating little green pocket which must be owned by Network Rail...well worth a visit by intrepid urban explorers who might be able to get down the steep, slippery bank from Archer Drive to the old weir.
A new 'The Range' shop is being developed next door, who will be encouraged to help the Trust with more signage and woodland management.
The pleasant riverside footpath between Archer Road and Woodseats Road runs next to the well maintained Woodseats Close Office Park, where we could install a set of steps to get people down to the riverside and make future river clean-up visits a lot easier for our excellent volunteers. We'll be in touch with the highway authority about improving the lighting below the Woodseats Road pedestrian underpass. It was good to see lots of families getting active at the Climbing Works on Little London Road...another potential sponsor perhaps.
The next length of river winds it's way though the Centenary Industrial Park and is not easy to reach, perhaps explaining lots more banks covered with invasive plants, although the works car parks were reasonably well maintained.
Changes to this area could be dramatic when an electrified HS2 line is built and you can be sure that the Trust will be pressing for improvements to pedestrian and cycle access as well as riverside landscaping. Unfortunately the early HS2 public consultation in 2018 offered limited consultation and little useful information , however with today's survey work we'll be well placed to ensure the consultants take on board your suggestions at future events if you send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Cycle Dead End
The river channel through the former Abbey Glen Laundry site is heavily canalised with high entraining walls and little to soften the densely developed new-build housing. Some in-channel naturalisation may be possible here, although access is going to be pretty tricky.
Further along Little London Road at the rather sad looking, but well reviewed Laces Boxing Club there may be an opportunity to build a new footbridge linking through to Arnside Road.
We will also be looking to extend the dead-end Broadfield Office Park cycle-footway through here, so we'll be inviting Lavers to join the Trust as Corporate members with a view to adopting improvements to their section of riverbank and utilising some of their car park. Improved public access would hopefully deter some of the tipping occurring behind the riverfront houses on Abbeydale Road here.
Broadfield Park Beach
Our Landscape Architect Sam Thorne is working with local artists on installing some amazing new landmark artwork at the end of Leyburn Road. Together with some raised planters and a litter-lobbing proof fence this might reduce future tipping on the riverbank and eliminate the need for any more volunteer river clean-up schemes after our highly successful September event at Broadfield Park.
Sam has also volunteered to draw up a Broadfield Park masterplan, so look out for notice of public consultation when you'll be able to give us your views on river related improvements. We have already been joined by neighbouring metal trades company Firma-Chrome who are keen to extend the excellent river maintenance work they have already done behind the works on Saxon Road.
Trout and Sewage
The occasional angler has been seen on this section of the river and they may have left a couple of trout behind to ensure future generations of fish can enjoy our channel improvements, including the removal of low weirs along this section. A couple of fish passes have already been installed and are being kept clear of debris by nimble neighbours.
The fish will definitely not be enjoying the big storm water sewer overflows here, which carry dilute sewage into the river during heavy rains, though illegal foul connections into the river may be more of a problem. We hope to start a Citizen Science project on this issue in the future...if you have some suitable wellies and fancy a dry weather river bed walk with experienced surveyors then let us know! We'll also be carrying out an otter survey too. Let us know at email@example.com
Nearby, the River Sheaf runs in a very sad looking concrete canal between Broadfield Road and Virgin Active so Sam would also love to hear your suggestions for improvements: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We've also noted the need for a clean up under and around the footbridge between Broadfield Road and Saxon Road, and where the Meersbrook joins the Sheaf there might be another location for some landmark art and signage. We are grateful for the offer of sponsorship from local businesses here.