Token used to Enter the Gardens in 1836

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Milestones and noteworthy events occuring at Sheffield Botanical Gardens


Target reached

Late in November the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust and the Friends of the Botanical Gardens were pleased to be able to report that £1.22 million required to match the £5 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant to restore the gardens, had been raised by a combination of donations and sponsorship from the general public and business alike.


Yorkshire in Bloom and Entente Florale

Two Yorkshire in Bloom judges spent two hours in the Gardens on a glorious 14th July, while on 19th July, 12 judges from across Europe were in the Gardens as part of the judging process when the city of Sheffield represented Britain in the Entente Florale competition. The European judges were in the Gardens for about 30 minutes, visiting the Pavilions, the mixed borders along the central Broadwalk, the National Collections of Weigela and Diervilla, and the Victorian garden.

Medal winning team - © Andy Barker Photographer Design & Print Sheffield City Council

We were delighted to hear that Sheffield was awarded a Gold medal in the European competition, and the Gardens a Gold medal in the Yorkshire competition. Wonderful outcomes and the results of very hard work by large numbers of people.

Centenary honour

On 20th July, Sheffield University conferred an Honorary Degree – LittD – upon Dr Sue Kohler, Chairman of the Friends of the Botanical Gardens and of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust. This was a great honour, especially coming as it did in the Centenary Year of the founding of Sheffield University, and was awarded to recognise the work involved in drawing the Gardens out of the shadows of terminal decline.

The Gardens are being restored with funds from a generous Heritage Lottery Fund award, but the two voluntary organisations (Friends and Trust) have nearly raised the £1.22 million necessary to access that award. Sue commented:

“We first started fund-raising in 1997 - a huge community effort which has involved hundreds of people with many skills and expertise – in publicity and education, fine art, craft skills, gardening (yes!), photography, in legal matters, in particular in accountancy…..The Honorary Degree recognises and applauds the major contribution made to Sheffield by this army of volunteers.”

Plant Fairs

The Friends run three plant sales per year, and organise a further Specialist Plant Fair in the summer, where about 20 nurseries are invited to the Gardens for a day-long sale. These are all popular occasions, raising between £8,000 and £9,000 each year. Thousands of plants are raised each year, propagated by a dedicated band of volunteers; they use plant material both from the Gardens and from members’ gardens, and increasingly buy in and grow on small plug plants which give very good quality plants for sale. Apart from the main sales, these plants are sold at smaller events, at lectures and at members’ open gardens, and in particular are used for the new plantings in the Gardens. At the Plant Fair, the Friends are also taking advantage of having excellent nurseries on site, and are buying material for use in the Gardens, to increase their botanical interest.

Living Spaces Award

In the summer of 2005, the Friends of the Botanical Gardens were most fortunate to be awarded £15,000 from the Living Spaces Scheme. This is a Government scheme aimed at encouraging local groups to improve open spaces in their neighbourhood. It is quite separate from the main Heritage Lottery funding, and is being used to restore the Long West Border in the Gardens (an area never included in the original Lottery-funded scheme). Collections of plants from North and South America are being established there, and staff and volunteers are busy preparing the site now – clearing, working in gravel and organic matter, etc. and cultivating, ready for planting this autumn and winter. The whole scheme finishes at the end of February 2006.


Restoration Partnership: Sheffield Town Trust |  Sheffield City Council |  University of Sheffield  
Friends of the Botanical Gardens |  Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust  

Clarkehouse Road, Sheffield, S10 2LN. Tel: +44 (0)114 268 6001
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This page updated on 16 April 2015. This site updated on 19 November 2012.