The Connecting Steps project aims to introduce people who are not currently accessing the countryside to the west of Sheffield city, by working with existing community groups which work with vulnerable, BAME or isolated individuals.
The Sheffield Lakeland area covers approximately 145km2, encompassing 10 reservoirs, moorland, rivers, farmland, villages and four Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust reserves. It is an outstanding example of a living landscape, rich in history with diverse habitats abundant in wildlife, vibrant communities and strong traditions.
We hope to enthuse, engage, help and support these groups through facilitating visits (via public transport where possible) and including nature-based activities to promote well-being, such as wild art, foraging, photography, mindfulness, flora/fauna ID and visits to SLLP partners, for example Our Cow Molly and Stoneface Creative.
Where possible, groups can take part in conservation skill days, such as dry stone walling and habitat management. Connecting participants with their local green space and communities is another important outcome of this project.
Groups we have, or are currently working with, include SOAR, MCDT, Refugee Council, Sheffield ME & Fibromyalgia, the Sheffield Universities, MIND, ZEST and Solace.
Wellbeing through nature connection is an important aspect of these visits to the Lakeland area; more about this can be found on the Trust’s Wild at Heart webpage.
For community groups a toolkit can be found here giving ideas and guidance to help groups visit the SLLA independently.