Sheffield's Natural Connections

Museum's Sheffield's Curator of Natural Sciences, Alistair McLean on our latest display at Weston Park, which explores the ecosystems of the city's green spaces. 

A little known fact about Sheffield is that our city is one of, if not the, greenest in the UK. We have more trees per capita than any other city in the UK, more parks and woodland than you can shake a stick at and, if that wasn’t enough, Sheffield is the only city in the UK with a National Park within its boundary. Sheffield certainly has a lot of green credentials.

When the opportunity arose to work with Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust on part of the HLF funded Greno Woods project, we leapt at the chance. Nationally, the Wildlife Trusts are an incredibly important group of organisations for championing and preserving our natural spaces. Our local Wildlife Trust works very hard to ensure that Sheffield keeps its green reputation and share Museums Sheffield’s commitment to safeguarding the city’s natural habitats. I also have to confess at this point that I was born and raised in Grenoside. Greno Woods is a place very close to my heart, so having an opportunity to help preserve and interpret it was fantastic.

Natural Connections is ostensibly a display about ecology, which is, to cut a long story short, the study of how things in nature connect to each other. But the title was chosen for other reasons as well. In addition to being a green city, Sheffield is also one of the most environmentally aware in the UK, and some would say the world. Hundreds of community groups help monitor our natural heritage and ensure its preservation for this generation and those that follow.

One of the greatest services we can offer through our work at Weston Park Museum towards preserving our natural heritage is to provide a platform for these groups to shout about their own particular places and spaces. In other words, to connect visitors to the museum to the excellent nature that’s out there on our doorsteps. At the heart of the science, education and collections on show, this is what Natural Connections is all about.

Greno Woods is a fantastic place to walk and spot wildlife. The work that the Wildlife Trust are undertaking will make it even better and more biodiverse. If you’re free this weekend, go out and take a look. You won’t be disappointed.

Image © Museums Sheffield

Jun 12 2014

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