Steel City Volunteer at Sheffield’s Best Kept Secret!
Steel City Marketing Ltd, distributors of promotional gifts recently had the pleasure of a volunteer day at one of Sheffield’s best kept secrets – Sheffield Manor Lodge. Nestled in what was once labelled the worst estate in Britain, lies the historic remains of a once 2,500 acre medieval deer park and then Tudor powerhouse. The 16th century Turret House still stands and you can find out all about the intrigues and dramas of Mary, Queen of Scots time in captivity there. Sheffield Manor Lodge has been run by Green Estate for the past 20 years, and is a not for profit community interest group that aims to ‘grow engaging, adaptive and resilient urban places’.
“Following our previous volunteer days at Bluebell Wood Hospice and Whirlow Hall Farm, I wanted to make sure our next day would be just as rewarding. Most of the team here had never even heard of Sheffield Manor Lodge and the work they did to enrich the environment and community. We were not disappointed. It is a real hidden gem!” Explains marketing executive Jenni Burton.
The site has a vast array of carefully maintained Pictorial Meadows which are full of pollinators that help to support biodiversity. Within the Tudor grounds is an apothecary garden, used in community and school trips to get a hands on feel for medicinal and culinary herbs that were well known in Tudor times. There’s also the lavender labyrinth and planting inspired by Tudor gardens with flowers like Roses, iris and day lilies.
As soon as the team arrived, the Manor Parks Community Ranger Jayne Rotheram warmly greeted them and gave a tour around both the Manor Lodge and Colliery Hill sites. The stunning panoramic views across Sheffield and the Lower Don Valley immediately impressed. Not to mention the Rhubarb Shed Café where you can get a tasty bite (amazing brunches!).
With gardening gloves and tools provided and the sun shining, the group then set to work weeding the two main wild flower beds in front of the Turret House which make for an impressive aisle for wedding processions.
As Winston Churchill famously said “change is as good as a rest”, and everyone at Steel City felt revitalised by spending a bit of time out of the office together, in a different and beautiful environment. It was an instant morale boost, much needed during a very busy period in the business.
“The location, the task we had and the community ranger Jayne made sure we instantly relaxed. It was much needed and I would highly recommend!” MD James Biggin comments.
It also gave the team time to chat to Jayne about the work Green Estate do bringing green spaces to urban landscapes. Interestingly, the company are also part of the team behind the ‘Grey to Green’ scheme in Sheffield transforming the concrete area behind our office with a massive inner city rain garden (a place where the team at Steel City all like to walk to in their lunch break). It is full of colourful and inspiring flower beds, which were designed to filter roadside surface water to help purify and reduce downstream flash flooding. Alongside managing Sheffield Manor Lodge, they have also completely regenerated Manor Fields Park which has recently been awarded an international Green Flag. The 50-acre park which was once the former Deep Pits area and was plagued by joy riders and vandals, is now a place for the community to relax in and enjoy.
If you are in the Sheffield area and are looking for a corporate volunteer day or session, Steel City would highly recommend working with The Green Estate. They also have a Garden team of volunteers that meet every Tuesday from 10am – 2:30pm for those who want to get green fingered on a regular basis!
This article by David Bocking in the Sheffield Tribune gives an in-depth insight into the work The Green Estate have done at both Sheffield Manor Lodge and Manor Fields Park.
To find out more about volunteering and supporting Sheffield Manor Lodge head to their website: https://sheffieldmanorlodge.org/support-sheffield-manor-lodge/