Some of our favourite campaigns

What we're shouting about

Part of Sheffield Environmental's remit is to support campaigns that are being run by various organisations both locally and nationally that impact the Sheffield Area. This page features some of those campaigns along with ones lead by Sheffield Environmental. All of the campaigns that we support are promoted through Twitter where possible. Please note that we are anti fracking and while we support the ongoing campaign work of the various anti fracking groups in the area, we haven't included any individual campaigns within this page as of yet.

#ProtectAncientWoodland & #SaveSmithyWood

Sheffield Environmental's primary campaign is a dual campaign calling for Sheffield City Council to turn down a planning application a motorway service sation to be built in Smithy Wood an ancient woodland in Northern Sheffield. Which coinsides with a wider campaign lobbying the UK Government to give statutory legal protection to all ancient woodland across the UK. In the UK an ancient woodland is an area of land that has had continuous woodland cover since 1600 or when records began if it can be proven to have been continuous before this time.
Located by Junction 35 of the M1 in the North of Sheffield Smithy Wood is largely on a site owned by St Paul's Developments. In 2014 their development partner MSA Extra submitted a planning application to build a motorway service station within a large section the woodland, in that they want to off set the trees they cut down by planting saplings outside the site.
Without Smithy Wood's s Acient Woodland status which makes it nationally important for nature conservation in it's own right, it was recorded in the 1400s as providing wood in the form of charcoal as fuel for the Sheffield area's first recorded metal works as reported by Mel Jones. This pioneering industry helped drive Sheffield's position forward to become the world's premier manufacturer for steel production.
Today Smithy Wood filters noise and air pollution from one of the UK's busiest roads; the M1 Motorway that cuts through part of the site. The various different woodland habitats within SmithyWood have created ideal conditions for invertebrates making it a woodland of regional importance for them.
The trees here remove far more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere anually than any plantation could for a number of years as the trees are already mature and they have already locked carbon away within their trunks and the soil. The vast majority of this carbon will be released when they are removed in the form of carbon dioxide.
Added to this the Government's Prefered route for HS2, the new UK's High Speed Rail Line is proposed to cut through the remaining fragment of this woodland and one of the new plantations intended to mitigate for the loss of Smithy Wood, which renders theat mitigation as obscelite. For more information on why Smithy Wood must be saved see the Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust's website
As part of our campaigning to #SaveSmithy Wood we have created a folder filled with Reasons to Save Smithy Wood and ran two Thunderclap Campaigns spreading the word of our campaign capturing the attention of various high profile supporters such as TV Naturalist Chris Packham and Natalie Bennett Leader of the Green Party. The second campaign captured the support of more people both driving our message further around the world.

#Protect Ancient Woodland

In England and Wales Ancient Woodlands are woodland sites dating back to at least the 1600s or when records or mapping of that site began, in Scotland that date is 1750. Ancient Woodlands are nationally important for their conservation value because of the wealth of wildlife that they support. They are vital for removing carbon dioxide and locking it up within their trunks and then in the soil on the woodland floor. They are vital to modern day life and the Woodland Trust are running their Restore Woodlands and are leaders of the Tree Charter Campaign which has more than 50 affiliated conservation organisations.
The campaign to Save Smithy Wood is far from NIMBYism, it is just one fragment of our remaining ancient woodland cover that is under constant threat from development and vandalism that still has no genuine legal protection. Since World War 2 we have lost 50% of our ancient woodland cover in the UK meaning we are loosing this precious resource at a faster rate than the tropical rainforests. According to the Woodland Trust UK ancient woodland cover stands at only 2%, they are seen as one of our most important wildlife habitats, with their ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere it seems ludicrus that we continue to lobby other governments to save their forest, yet we we continue to destroy so much of our own. Our woodlands and the trees they comprise of are probably the single most evocative symbols of nature conservation, as a country that claims to be a world leader on all issues we must be seen to be playing our part in looking after wildlife and the planet. They don't just support wildlife, many of them provide a wealth of employment opportunities and for those of us who know how to look at them a valuble educational tool for our looking back on our history and keeping our society sustainable in the future.

The Petition

We are currently resting the petition calling on the UK Government to give all ancient woodland statutory legal protection, the first came to an end in September 2016 with 16,705 signatures. Last time we got a response from DEFRA that was less than satisfactory.

The Tree Charter

We aim to start a new petition in the future, in the meantime the Woodland Trust are leading the Tree Charter in co-operation with more than 70 organisations across a range of sectors. The campaign seeks to give greater protection to woodlands and trees across the UK by drawing the strength given to it by the people across the UK who've added their signatures.

Smithy Wood Action Team
Litter Picks

The First Sunday of the Month; 10am-12noon
(Except August)

If you'd like to help us show Sheffield Council that we still care about Smithy Wood and want to protect it for future generations, this is your opportunity to do it in person. We meet each month to pick litter from the roadside verges around Smithy Wood. These mainly focus on Smithy Wood Road and Cowley Hill. If you would like to join in please bring your own gloves and strong boots or wellies, we have bin bags and litter pickers. Please note that while we want to show that we want to save Smithy Wood, it remains privately owned with no official public rights of way. Although maps appear to show permissive rights of way. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page to keep up to date as details for monthly picks may be subject to change

Meeting point; Smithy Wood Road (S61 2SE)

Hen Harrier Day

Now in it's fifth year Hen Harrier Day is a nationwide series of events run in co-ordinated by Birders Against Wildlife Crime while drawing support from some of the of the biggest names and organisations from the environmental sector. It calls for the illegal persecution of Hen Harriers and other birds of prey to be brought to an end for the health of the British Countryside. This year we brought Hen Harrier Day back to Sheffield's Devonshire Green, the only one of these events to be held in a City Centre. The Official Hen Harrier Day website features coverage of previous events, news of forthcoming work, a shop and information on how you can support their work.

Space for Cycling, Sheffield

A campaign run by Cycle Sheffield calling on Sheffield City Council in particular to make the city a safer place for all road users, especially cyclists. Each year in the Spring or Early Summer cyclists take to the road en mass along a planned route to show the people of Sheffield that cyclists want to be able to get around the city safely, without being worried about collisions with motor vehicles, trams and limiting restrictions caused by obsticles of varying nature. To find out more about the campaign and ways that you can take action in your part of the city please visit the Space for Cycling Sheffield website.

Next event TBA

Butterfly Conservation's
Big Butterfly Count

The Big Butterfly Count is a nationwide survey, run by Butterfly Conservation with the aim of at helping us assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and has rapidly become the world's biggest survey of butterflies. Over 52,000 people took part in 2015, counting over 580,000 individual butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK .

The Big Garden Birdwatch

Garden Birdwatch

More than 519,000 from across the UK contributed to Big Garden Birdwatch in January 2016, counting 8,262,662 birds.
The RSPB use the Big Garden Birdwatch to help build a picture of garden wildlife across the UK, what the threats are and how those threats can be avoided.
You can get ready for next year's Birdwatch by giving nature a home in your garden or green space. Little things you can do can give wildlife a safe place to feed, breed and thrive.

Do Something Great

All year round

The BBC's Natural History Department in association with many conservation organisations across the UK are calling on the good people of the UK to give up some of their time to help nature. Either as a nature recorder, a litter picker or carrying out essential maintenance on a nature reserve, it all helps wildlife and the environment. Visit the BBC's Do Something Great page to find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved. #DoSomethingGreat

Hal of Hallamshire

'and Friends'

Like most places around the world Sheffield has a rich heritage of local folklore, of little creatures that would haunt those passing up and down lanes. These include the boggards of Boggard Lane in Oughtibridge, the hobgoblin of Hob Lane a little further north, the Spring Heeled Jack that once famously illuded local Police officers in Attercliffe. Of course the Wantley Dragon is the most famous of these characters, as we can't resurect the dead we've recruited Hal of Hallamshire as the first of several characters to help retell these stories.

Do you know any specific stories from Sheffield Folkore relating to "the Worm of Grenoside," "the Witch on Wharncliffe Crags" etc. If anyone can add anything to the Ghost stories featured in Sheffield's listing on the Paranormal Database listing, it would be greaty appreciated.

If anyone has seen any artwork in public places such as paintings and sculpture it would be great to see those too, please get in touch via Facebook and Twitter with any images and stories.

Anti Frack Sheffield; FrackedAli

Sheffield Environmental is strongly against fracking, certainly in its current form to such an extent that Fracked Ali provides the face for much of our campaign work on the issue.  Complete with his own Twitter Feed @FrackedAli, why not follow him and see what he gets upto? He's already been seen on Look North when they covered the protest at Marsh Lane in early 2017.

If you aren't happy about the idea of fracking and would like to join one of the anti fracking groups in the Sheffield Region check out our AntiFrack Sheffield page .