Booklet published to celebrate £8 million walk-ways' fifth anniversary
A multi-million pound river walk created by experts from the University of Sheffield and other volunteers from across the city is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a new booklet telling the trials and tribulations of its formation.
The Five Weirs Walk, a public footpath and cycleway, which follows the route of the River Don in Sheffield for a distance of more than 7.5km, was unveiled in 2007, after more than 20 years in the making.
To celebrate the popular path’s fifth anniversary, the University of Sheffield has published a booklet revealing the battles and triumphs the group encountered during its development.
Professor David Lerner of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Civil and Structural Engineering and Director of the Catchment Science Centre at the University of Sheffield said: “The Five Weirs Walk is an incredible Sheffield success story. Five years after opening seemed an appropriate time to record how the project developed. The booklet shows that restoring urban rivers is a long and complex task, but that great successes can be achieved by an enthusiastic group of volunteers. We are now supporting the Aire Rivers Trust as it plans how to achieve similar results in Bradford.”
The walk spans from the city centre to Meadowhall and is popular with walkers, canoeists, anglers and nature lovers; it is also recognised as one of the UK’s finest water corridors. It was created by a voluntary group who guided the project over a period of more than 20 years with support from Sheffield City Council and local businesses.
Simon Ogden, Chairman of the Five Weirs Walk Trust, added: "During the past three years the Trust has allowed the University’s Urban River and Sustainable Living Agenda (URSULA) researchers full access to its records, to capture the experience of developing the Five Weirs Walk in a form which will be accessible and interesting to others in the River Don restoration movement. We are grateful to URSULA and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for the opportunity to share our knowledge with a wider audience."
Researchers at the University are actively engaged in improving the quality of water in the environment, and when they began a major research project on urban river corridors it was natural that the Five Weirs Walk became part of the study.
The collaboration between the Trust and the University means the story will be brought to a wider audience, and perhaps will inspire other voluntary groups to regenerate more rivers.
The Five Weirs Walk: How Voluntary Action Transformed An Urban Riverside is available free from the University of Sheffield by ringing 0114 222 5725 or online at www.fiveweirs.co.uk.
For more information on the URSULA project visit: www.ursula.ac.uk
For further information please contact:
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 9851