Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust Launched

A new organisation dedicated to putting the Sheaf back in Sheffield (as well as the Porter Brook) has been set up, joining a strong community of conservation organisations in The Outdoor City.

Launched with a special screening of inspirational documentary ‘Lost Rivers’ last month, some 220 people filled the largest screen of the Showroom Cinema to learn more about this brand organisation.

Sheffield Waterways Strategy chair Simon Ogden introduced the aims and activities of the trust, while other speakers also included a host of local people and riverside business owners who already support the trust, including Anthony Wood (Star Print) and Alex Barlow (Triple Point Brewery) , Heeley City Farm founder  John Le Corney, Martin Gorman chair of Friends of Sheffield Castle, Paul Gaskell of Wild Trout Trust and riverside resident Viv Thom.

The Trust believes that now is this the time to  focus on Sheffield’s two most abused and hidden rivers  – the lower reaches of the Sheaf and Porter, large sections of which remain hidden. Some will probably remain so for several years to come, but there is plenty for the new Trust to do now and for people to get involved with.

Culvert over the Sheaf

Reasons for ‘why now’ include climate change and more frequent flood risk, a chance to reverse the loss of bio-diversity locally, addressing Sheffield’s growing city centre population and creating new opportunities for non-polluting active travel and recreation, such as cycling and walking, making activities associated with the countryside more accessible, adding further to The Outdoor City offer.

The potential to remove culverts, which have come to the end of their structural life or are subject to redevelopment, offers a fantastic new opportunity to uncover Sheffield’s urban waterways, tapping into the fascination of these hidden and unintentionally beautiful spaces under the city.

The trust will;

  • Press for rivers to be accessible and visible where they flow through public spaces like Broadfield Road or Heeley Millennium Park.
  • Start regular clean-ups combined with a renewed campaign against tipping and abuse.
  • Work to persuade river bank owners to give up a little land for the river so that existing sections of walk and cycleway such as at Broadfield Business Park, don’t end abruptly.
  • Mobilise public support for the Council and Environment agency to fully implement their policies on river de-culverting and public access where development takes place.
  • Organise walks and talks to explore the rich natural and human history of our rivers including more of the very popular urban caving tours.
  • Fight for light-wells into the station culverts to attract fish and partial naturalisation as part of the multi-million works planned for the accommodation of High Speed services over the next ten years whilst looking after the bat colonies which hibernate in some sections.
  • Where rivers must stay hidden for the time being, mark their course through art and interpretation.
  • Work with others to raise around £1.4  million pounds to create the Sheaf Field Pocket Park at the confluence of the Sheaf and Don, at the heart of a regenerated Castlegate where Sheffield was born  900 years ago.

 For more information on the Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust visit:




  1. Nick
    Great stuff. We all like to enjoy ourselves beside waterways.

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