Recent times have certainly highlighted just how valuable our outdoor spaces are. From our own backyards and local parks, to the riverside trails and moorlands of the Peak District, The Outdoor City’s green spaces provide welcome escape for body and mind.
That’s why it’s even more important we look after these vital spaces and everyone does their bit to help. Some of the points below might be second nature for you already, but if we can all help get the word out, we can only improve our chances of getting more people looking after our outdoor spaces.
If you’re heading out to the Peak District (and don’t forget one third of Sheffield is actually in it!) then please head to the National Trust’s guidance on being Peak District Proud to find out how you can respect, protect and enjoy these special areas.
And for all our other green spaces, here’s a rundown of the key things we should all remember while enjoying The Outdoor City…
Take your rubbish home
Don’t bank on there being a bin, it’s probably better all-round if you pack a carrier and go out with the intention to take it home anyway. Bins in surrounding countryside aren’t readily available and when that sun comes out, our parks especially get really busy and bins fill up fast. Litter doesn’t just create an eyesore that someone else has to clear up, it’s harmful to nature too. Leave no trace! It’s as simple as that.
Keep your distance but ‘Be Nice, Say Hi’
Even as the government’s roadmap out of lockdown progresses, it’s still a good idea to keep your distance wherever possible out of respect for other people. If you meet someone on a path or bridleway, try and give them as much space as possible. Hopefully they’ll do the same and you can share a smile about it. ‘Be Nice, Say Hi’ isn't just a local mantra, it's a now UK campaign which started out in Sheffield - read more.
Look for the signs
No not divine intervention, just the simple signage you’ll likely see out and about in parks, countryside and the Peak District. These signs could be about ground-nesting birds, seasonal behaviours in animals, cattle/livestock and other sensitivities to local species. Knowing when/where to keep dogs on leads is a really important one to look out for and making sure you keep to designated footpaths/bridleways helps with this too.
Often it's easy to go to the well-known spots, but right now there a lot more people heading to prime places like Endcliffe Park and Bole Hills or places in the peaks like Stanage Edge and the Longshaw Estate. So if you can, embrace the idea of exploring somewhere new and know you’re doing your bit to reduce the human impact on these spaces. There’s so much great outdoors in/around Sheffield, make it more of an adventure by heading somewhere you haven't been before.
Picnics NOT BBQs
This is an easy one - please leave the BBQ at home! If you can’t enjoy one in your own backyard, please don’t bring a disposable into the city’s parks, woodland, green spaces and surrounding countryside. Moorland is particularly vulnerable to wildfires and it can have really devastating effects fast. So not surprisingly, BBQs, and any open fire for that matter, are banned in the Peak District National Park. Litter can also cause wildfires, so again all the more reason to leave no trace and if you happen to see smoke/fire while you’re out, please call 999 to report it ASAP.