Sheffield gardeners launch campaign in fight to keep community “haven”

17 March 2022

Sheffield residents have been fighting to keep their community garden as Sheffield City Council is calling for it to be dismantled.

Steve Raven, 60 and his wife Linda, 55, moved into their house on Crag View Crescent, Oughtibridge, six years ago and started tending to the communal space there.

Over the years they have planted bulbs and seeds with the community donating plant pots, chair planters and ornaments, and benches for residents to sit and chat.

Flowers in community garden

Steve said: “It lifts people’s spirits, everybody loves this garden, people come past on the bus and wave, we’re quite popular in the area, we talk to hundreds of neighbours.”

But recently the garden has received an anonymous complaint and the couple say they have been told by the council that the area should be returned to its original state.

Neighbour Ellie Judge, 55, said: “It’s just a wild haven, it’s lovely, there’s wildflowers, tulips, daffodils. It is a safe place to come and enjoy the fact you can sit outside, have a bit of peace and chat to a neighbour.”

“Why take something that is wild and wonderful and a blessing just to plough it up and turn it back into a communal area? We want it to be a community area.”

Residents say they have been told that they need to apply for the land’s status to be changed from that of a communal space to a community garden.

However, they believe that the garden has always been used as a community space, after finding photographs dating back to the 1940s showing a brass band playing there.

Ellie said: “The garden has been here forever, since the houses have been built, it’s always been a community garden, we have pictures going back to show how the wildflowers grew.”

They have now launched a petition calling for the garden to be retained which has already gathered 123 signatures.

Linda said: “We don’t want to sit inside our bungalow all day, we want to sit outside, enjoy our garden and chat with our neighbours.”

The council has been contacted for comment.

To sign the petition, click here.

Written by Carla Biteanu

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