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Centenary Riverside

From steel works to wetland wildlife haven.

The management of our nature reserves would be impossible without our amazing members and volunteers. Together we take care of almost 600 hectares, across Sheffield and Rotherham. These are places where you can enjoy nature and where our conservation work helps the wildlife you love to thrive. Thank you. 

Centenary Riverside is a 4.5 hectare wetland reserve nestled alongside the River Don. The site consists of a beautiful wildflower meadow bank brimming with butterflies and insects, and a series of ponds and wetlands that attract a huge variety of birds, mammals and insects.

This site is excellent for butterflies with 23 different species having been recorded, and is also home to a variety of damsel and dragonflies. Sand martins can be seen darting around in the summer and moorhens and reed warblers nest amongst the reeds.

The site was developed on one of the largest steel foundries in the area. Known as the Seven Sisters, it produced 550,000 tons of steel a year. But when the foundry closed in 1993, the site became overgrown. In 2006, Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust took over the wasteland and transformed it into a wildlife haven.

The site’s industrial heritage has not been forgotten and glimpses of the past can be seen around site; from ‘Steel Henge’, to the concrete building foundations, now key island habitats for many important species such as kingfisher.

Centenary Riverside also plays a key role in Rotherham’s future; designed as a floodplain, it forms part of Rotherham’s flood alleviation scheme which holds back potential flood water and protects industrial and residential areas nearby.

If you need to get in touch with us about Centenary Riverside, please email us or call us on 0114 263 4335.

Volunteer Work Days

Regular volunteer days on site – come along for a whole day, or join us for an hour.

Practical volunteer days at Centenary Riverside are held on the second Monday of every month. Tasks vary from footpath improvements and access work, to habitat and vegetation management. All volunteer days start at 10am and finish at 3pm. Gloves, tools, and refreshments are provided, but please wear suitable outdoor clothes and boots, and bring some lunch and drinking water if you’re able to join us for the whole day. Meet at the entrance to the reserve on Riverside Way at 10am.

For more details about our next volunteer work day, visit our events page.

Kingfisher perched on a branchYour donations make it possible for us to care for Centenary Riverside nature reserve.
Thank you!

Access Information

Getting There

  • Public Transport
  • Bus X1 (Steel Link towards Maltby) from Sheffield city centre/Meadowhall Interchange. Alight at Bradmarsh Way, the reserve is a few minutes walk away. Proceed across the first roundabout and turn left on Riverside Way, the entrance is on your left. Find more details on the Travel South Yorkshire website.
  • Directions
  • From Sheffield city centre head for Savile Street and then take the A6019 onto Meadowhall Way. Follow Meadowhall Way and Blackburn Meadows Way to Sheffield Road (A6178) for around 1.5 miles, turn left on Riverside Way. There is limited street parking on Riverside Way, but plenty in Rotherham town centre.

Accessibility

  • The reserve will sometimes be closed during periods of wet weather as the site is a flood plain. If in doubt please call Sheffield Wildlife trust on 0114 263 4335 to confirm accessibility.
  • A network of surfaced paths allows wheelchair and pushchair access across the top flood defence bank. The access furniture on the entrance doesn’t currently enable some of the larger powered wheelchairs to access the reserve. Further informal paths maximise access around the reserve, and there is also a boardwalk crossing the lagoon.

Other Information

  • Dogs are permitted on the reserve.
  • Cycles are permitted on the designated cycle paths within the reserve. Download our map of the reserve for more information.