The Steel Valley Project - history
The Steel Valley Project (SVP) in Stocksbridge began in April 1988. It was a direct result of the Stocksbridge bypass road being opened. At the time there was concern that members of the public would be able to see straight into the Steel Works which lie in the bottom of the valley and that they might well consider it an eyesore. It was feared this would give outsiders an adverse impression of the town. It was decided that a screen of trees should be planted below the bypass. As this involved some 100,000 trees, British Steel ,who then owned the Works,approached the Countryside Commission for a grant. The first landscape plan to establish the potential for enhancing the local landscape was undertaken by Weddle Landscape Design Consultants. This was used as a guide for the early schemes.
Since the first tree planting schemes the staff of the Steel Valley Project have initiated a wide range of projects within Stocksbridge. The aim is on the one hand to enhance the local landscape as well as its wild-life and plant-life for the enjoyment of the local population and visitors; and on the other to develop a skill base within the community both of paid staff and volunteers who can manage the town's varied landscapes and green spaces in the future.
The then Countryside Commission (now Countryside Agency) was willing to give a grant for the planting but suggested that rather than just give a one-off grant, why not pay the money into a small countryside project aimed at looking after these trees along the bypass and other areas of woodland in the Stocksbridge area. Stocksbridge Town Council and Sheffield City Council were both approached and agreed to join together with the Countryside Commission to fund into this project. The Stocksbridge Steel Valley Project was born.
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