Reunited after 50 years: Sheffield Park Garden acquires historic parkland for visitors to enjoy
Reunited after 50 years: Sheffield Park Garden acquires historic parkland for visitors to enjoy
Reunited after 50 years:
Sheffield Park Garden acquires historic parkland for visitors to enjoy

The National Trust’s Sheffield Park Garden has just announced that it has managed to secure a large area of parkland that was once part of the original estate.

Home Park, adjacent to the garden, is an English Heritage Grade I listed landscape and was laid out at the same time as the garden by ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton. It forms an integral part of the designed landscape at Sheffield Park with the house and garden at its centre. The land sits in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the garden itself is designated a Site of Nature Conservation Importance. The estate was divided up in 1954 when the previous owner, Captain Granville Soames, was obliged to sell. The garden, house and parkland were split and the National Trust was only able to aquire the garden. In this rare opportunity, the Trust has now bought the parkland so it can reunite the two halves of this lovely estate, which was always intended to be enjoyed as a whole. The purchase will also save the land from inappropriate development.

The parkland is approximately 108 hectares (266 acres) and doubles the size of the National Trust’s ownership at Sheffield Park.. For 50 years it was managed as private farmland and the Trust ownership will mean visitors can enjoy the parkland for the first time ever. Visitors will be able to walk their dogs, enjoy family picnics and explore this beautiful area. The Trust also hope to reinstate a carriage drive leading from Sheffield Park Garden to the Bluebell Railway.

The National Trust plans to revert the land to grazing, restore the woodland features, restore the water meadows adjoining the River Ouse, and implement substantial nature conservation benefits. As a result, otters may well return to this part of the river, and the 250 year old trees can be saved as homes for bats, rare fungi and lichens.

“This is wonderful news” said Sue Medway, Property Manager for Sheffield Park Garden. “We never dreamed we’d have this opportunity to reunite the parkland with the garden and it will provide a lovely setting for visitors to enjoy as part of their visit to Sheffield Park Garden.”

Once the National Trust has undertaken a full safety audit, there will be phased visitor access to the parkland. In the meantime, there will be a series of guided walks in 2007. Details will be available from the local press and Sheffield Park Garden nearer the time.

The National Trust will need to fundraise in order to support this acquisition and restoration and is launching a fundraising campaign this month. Also, all National Trust raffle tickets sold at Sheffield Park Garden will now go towards the appeal. If you would like to make a donation to help preserve and restore this historic parkland, please either pop into Sheffield Park Garden or call Sue Medway on 01825 790231.

Property Name: Sheffield Park Garden
Description of image -  An almost perfect reflection of Autumn colour in the Middle Lake at Sheffield Park from pale pampas grass, and deep green rhododendrons to gold, orange and red acers.
Credit for photograph: Andrew Butler
Copyright: ©NTPL/Andrew Butler
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