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Our river walkover survey

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Members of the S&PRT have been spending their Saturday mornings exploring on foot the route of our hidden rivers Sheaf and Porter as they flow, hidden behind factories and houses through the city. There have been a number of surprises like a several hundred metre section of riverside walk complete with street lights and railings behind a builders merchants which has never been opened to the public!

We’ve recorded our Sheaf and Porter walkover comments and ideas, all the way from Tesco on Abbeydale Road to the City Centre on a public google map which you can zoom and pan here. It’s not finished yet as we’re socially distancing but do have a look and send your email comments to or message us via our Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust Facebook page. We’ll add them to the survey.

So here’s one of the grotty bits outside the Q Park / SPAR multi-storey car park at the junction of Shoreham St and Suffolk Road. Many generations of buildings, long since demolished, have left their mark on this neglected length of the Porter Brook at the gateway to Sheffield, and now it lies in a ragged ditch, filling with rubbish and scarcely worth a glance, apart from the strange geometry of the retaining walls, which I hope someone may be able to explain.

But maybe it’s time has come! Our next volunteer clean up (sadly delayed due to the coronavirus) will tackle the litter and some of the invasive weeds. We’ll let you know when we’re able to start and perhaps you could join in and get to know us better.

So how can we transform this unsightly gateway to the City Centre? We’d really like your ideas on what could be done to improve the site, apart from getting rid of the ghastly wheelie skips that the retailers seem to think are a great way of decorating their ring road frontage. Here is a sketch idea for a new pocket park to get your grey matter out of self-isolated boredom.

No handrails drawn up yet, but this could be a new way down to the riverside and a much easier way of taking our guests along the Trust’s Hidden Rivers tour by avoiding the back breaking, welly flooding, head banging Shoreham Street culvert. Lots more, steeper rocks from our favourite Pennine quarries and some grass perhaps. But where is the art!!! Given the wall entrained, deep cut rivers forced on our inner city we are keen to hear about ideas for artwork on these stone/brick/concrete structures…you can only go so far with plants, gabions and murals.

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