Summer Sheffield

Making the most of your experience in the happiest city

Sheffield Botanical Gardens: An oasis of calm

by cynthialing

“I’ve the best job in the city, I been paid for walking around to look at flowers” Ian Turner / Curator of Sheffield Botanical Gardens

The century old Sheffield Botanical Gardens is ranked as one of the top attraction for travelers as it is a nice place to let your hair down.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens covers 19 acre landscape on the edge of Sheffield city centre. It was originally laid out in 1836 by Robert Marnock, a horticulturalist who known for ‘Gardenesque’ style featuring winding paths and scattered plantings among tree-planted mounds.

Botanical Gardens contains nearly 5,000 different types of plants or about 20,000 specimens, both native and exotic. The collections of plants from all over the world are featured in 15 different garden areas, each with a different botanical theme.

Not to mention, the famous glass Pavilions, Bear Pit and Pan Statue are also the distinguishing features of Botanical Gardens.

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Restore, Repair, Regenerate

The Gardens is listed by English Heritage as a Grade II site of special historic and architectural interest. In early 90s, the entire garden has gone through a refurbishment period.

Ian Turner, the curator of Sheffield Botanical Gardens said the reasons of restoration were due to the poor maintenance of garden and low number of staffs, so the gardens gone a bit to decline.

The project was designed for revamped and reinstated both the gardens and related buildings and features.

The total restoration’s expenditure was £6.69 million. Huge outlay of £5 million was granted from Heritage Lottery Fund and the rest was fund-raised by Sheffield Botanical Garden Trust who is charity link to the garden.

The popular glass Pavilions had cost about £3 million alone had completed the restoration in 2003, and the garden areas completed in 2005.

Ian declared that Botanical Gardens is continually developing by adding in new area and new design constantly each year.

Strong role in education

Botanical Gardens persistently provides free access, develops and promotes the gardens’ role as a ‘flagship’ of conservation, scientific research and education. By participating in one of those makes Botanical Gardens different from other gardens.

“The gardens is working on a partnership with University of Sheffield to use the park a lot for research files” Ian says, adding that there are records for all the plants and Botanical Gardens maintains all the records.

“The main thing that Botanical Gardens look at is the education to children and all ages. It gets people into the gardens to learn about biology, sciences, and can use for study math by do some statistics.”

Botanical Gardens also serves as an encouragement and inspiration for creative writing and arts.

 “Is in people’s heart”

As the hundred year aged gardens in Sheffield, Botanical Gardens is the feature of Sheffield, it means a lot for the locals, it is in the heart of the Sheffielders.

Ian said that it is people of Sheffield who know the garden from their child and remember all sort of things when they come in Botanical Gardens as a child.

He added, many students who comes to university in Sheffield, stay around Sheffield will spend a lot of time in the garden. Yet, the gardens also create a space for the local residents.

Thence, the garden is in people’s heart, people love it and do remember it from their childhood, from their youth, it is something close to people.

Gaiety in the Gardens

Botanical Gardens as a plant collection, also here as a recreation of space, it does encourage people in to seek for peace in the busy life.

In the sunny May or June time, the gardens will full with young people and families. People enjoyed the great green oasis which they can come to relax in the space.

Since the gardens were first generated in 1836, it has been a vital stage for social cultural events. Annually, Botanical Gardens will put on a series of events to encourage people into the gardens for first visiting in some cases and also persuade people to come back in again especially in summer.

Throughout the summer, there are ‘Music in the gardens’ – a music concert which support the local charities, theatre productions, and an annual art exhibitions  that transformed Botanical Gardens into an art and craft village where people can walk around, enjoy and buy the fine display arts.

The whole family can enjoy a day out as they can take pleasure in music, movies, and arts in the green oasis.

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Getting There

Botanical Gardens are located 1 mile west of the city centre.

There are regular buses from the city centre to the Clarkehouse Road entrance and to Ecclesall Road for the Thompson Road entrance.

A Park and Ride service is available from Tesco on Abbeydale Road.

Map to Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Map to Sheffield Botanical Gardens


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