Parkwood Springs eternal trees

Tree walk

Story and photo by Graham Jones

On a beautiful Spring day, 19th May, there was a guided tree walk on Parkwood Springs. The friends of Parkwood Springs hosted the event and their chair, Neil Schofield, introduced the walk leader, Tim Shortland, Sheffield’s community forestry manager, who led the walk with eighteen followers.

Despite his modesty, Tim’s knowledge of trees was amazing and apart explaining the differences between trees and how to identify them, Tim also showed a profound knowledge of the folklore around the various tree species and the specialised use of each species.

Ray Swift was on the walk and explained that he grew up on Parkwood Springs when there was a whole suburb of Sheffield on the Western side of the site. Ray said that when he was a child there were no trees at all on Parkwood Springs because desperate local people had chopped them down and used them for fuel in the hard times of the 1920’s and 1930’s.

The walk ended up in the Forest Garden where Tim explained techniques of sustainable horticulture. There was a fascinating mixture of food plants the Kiwi Fruit tree must have been the most exotic species of the day!

For more information about all events at Parkwood Springs, visit

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