Green Estate was an idea conceived in 1999. Since then we have helped to bring about transformational change in the Manor and Castle neighbourhoods of Sheffield. Through this process we have also developed and tested new ideas and thinking, both within the field of designed ecology and in the role and impact that social enterprises can contribute to a more sustainable and fairer world.
By working with others in creating and managing a network of innovative and multifunctional green spaces whilst reconnecting people to the area’s local history and wildlife, things have really changed for the better. Today the parks are thriving and well cared for, visitors experience a riot of colourful flowers from spring through to autumn, which in turn attract bees, butterflies and birds. Regular community events and activities celebrate the area’s heritage and culture, and our facilities welcome visitors from right across the region.
Developing modern landscape practices that work with natural processes the Green Estate business has also grown to provide a variety of widely accessible commercial services, products and experiential opportunities, with many aspects trading nationally and internationally.
Throughout this the story of the Green Estate remains one of reconnecting people to urban nature through positive interactions, so that people rediscover a shared sense of place. ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ is now a condition of concern. The physical and mental health benefits of good local green spaces and time spent in nature are well-studied and documented. To ignore them can have significant economic consequences for any community.
And yet, space for nature is still not often designed into the built environments where most people must live and work, and developing and managing ‘culturally acceptable’ nature in our towns and cities is still poorly understood or resourced. Today at the Green Estate, we think it is time for this to change.
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