As the Heritage Lottery (HLF) funded Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Project (SLLP) comes to an end, the multi-agency partnership that came together to deliver the project has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue working together until 2033.
The new 10 year agreement is a commitment to working together towards common goals of nature recovery and increased landscape resilience.
Successes of the Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership
The SLLP was a £3.4 million, 5 year project, which delivered a wide range of benefits to the Sheffield Lakeland area, from natural flood management schemes and habitat creation, to the preservation of local oral histories and restoration of hundreds of metres of dry-stone walls. Nearly 73,000 people were engaged through the project, and more than 1,400 people volunteered their time, making it one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in the area.
Led by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, the partnership brought together statutory bodies, farmers, landowners and community groups to preserve and improve the natural and built heritage of the unique Lakeland area.
A new phase
Members of the partnership who have undertaken this new commitment included the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Sheffield Hallam University and Natural England.
With the HLF project funding coming to an end soon, the partnership is looking towards a new phase, building upon the successes already achieved and creating a legacy for the Sheffield Lakeland area.
Liz Ballard, CEO Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, said:
“Over the last five years, the work of the Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership has made a really positive difference to the people, cultural heritage and wildlife of the area. But given the continuing Nature Emergency there is still much to do and the Partnership is keen to continue to respond to that challenge.
“During the next 10-years we commit to contributing to the South Yorkshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy, working with our partners, land managers and the community of the Sheffield Lakelands to protect the unique wildlife of the area for future generations.”
Dr Jon Bridge, Associate Professor, Department of Natural and Built Environment, Sheffield Hallam University, said:
“Sheffield Hallam University has collaborated with the SLLP since its early stages through research consultancy, student projects, placements and volunteer activities. The opportunities this relationship has presented have greatly enhanced our students’ experience and provided the basis for a range of exciting and developing applied research initiatives.
“As a leading civic university, committed to transforming lives in the region, we are delighted to be joining the Sheffield Lakeland Partnership as it moves forward over the next decade.”
Anthony Downing, Catchment Coordinator, Environment Agency, said:
“The Environment Agency is proud to be part of the Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership which has been such a success delivering for nature and local communities.
“The partnership has been a great example of the strength of collaborative working to help us respond to climate change, increase biodiversity, reduce flood risk and connect people with the beautiful landscape around Sheffield.”
Peter Coddington, Yorkshire Water Conservation, Access and Recreation Team Manager, said:
“Being a Partner in the SLLP project has enabled Yorkshire Water to work at a landscape scale with a range of landowners and organisations to benefit people, wildlife and communities which could not have been achieved by working alone.
“The partnership has also facilitated the exploration of the potential for new, innovative projects with existing and new partners. Work such as the exploration of a ‘Landscape Laboratory’ with Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust would not have happened without the SLLP project”
Cllr Richard Williams, Chair of Communities, Parks and Leisure Policy Committee, Sheffield City Council, said:
“The Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership has delivered some impressive results during the course of the project – helping make significant improvements to our woodlands so they are more biodiverse and resilient. Now more than ever we appreciate the value of the natural world around us and the importance of these landscapes for providing varied habitats, reducing flood risk, cleaning our air and improving the wellbeing of our communities. In particular, we’re excited to see results of all the hard work to protect and enhance water vole habitats as they are one of the most threatened species in the area.
“We look forward to continuing the relationships established during the project, recognising the value of working together to achieve results for the environment and our communities at scale.”
The Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership reviewed and celebrated its achievements at an event hosted at Sheffield Hallam University today, following the publication of a working strategy to continue and enhance the partnership over the next 10 years.
Following the event a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by members of the partnership including Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Sheffield City Council, Yorkshire Water, Natural England, the Environment Agency and Sheffield Hallam University.
View the Sheffield Lakeland Partnership Working Strategy and Memorandum of Understanding here.
Main Photograph: Adva Photography / Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust