Sheffield’s Ochre Dike Playing Fields protected forever
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Sheffield’s Ochre Dike Playing Fields protected forever

At a plaque unveiling ceremony today Ochre Dike Playing Fields became the third site in Sheffield protected with Fields in Trust.

Located near Crystal Peaks shopping complex, Sheffield College and housing, the playing fields are an important green space to those who live, work and study in the area. Along with local councillors, residents fought to protect the site to make sure it stays that way.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: "We are very lucky to have so many beautiful green spaces here in Sheffield: The Outdoor City and we know how valuable they are to our residents.

"People in the local area have fought hard to protect the playing fields at Ochre Dike and I'm pleased that their passion has been rewarded in this way.

"Today's ceremony, along with our recent award from Fields in Trust, demonstrates our commitment to protecting the outdoor spaces that make our city so great. I'd like to thank everybody involved for helping us to preserve this wonderful site so that it can be enjoyed for many generations to come."

The playing field on Ochre Dike Lane, Waterthorpe was formally protected in 2015 after members of the local community worked with Sheffield City Council to secure the status.

At an official dedication ceremony today a plaque to mark the protection was unveiled by Fields in Trust's Jamie Leeson, Councillor Mary Lea and David Cooper, Head of Policy and Projects at Sheffield Parks and Countryside. They were joined by local councillors and residents who planted a tree as part of the ceremony, whilst a new sign was also installed on site.

Speaking at the ceremony Fields in Trust Development Manager, Jamie Leeson, said: "Sheffield City Council are demonstrating the value of their precious public green spaces such as Ochre Dike Playing Fields by protecting them forever with Fields in Trust.

"At a time when there is pressure on land for housing and commercial development we applaud the decision to safeguard recreational space for future generations and provide opportunities for families and the wider community of Sheffield to enjoy time outdoors. Access to parks and playgrounds contributes to physical health, mental wellbeing and community cohesion resulting in more active and longer, healthier lives."

Sheffield City Council were named North of England Partner of the Year at the 2016 Fields in Trust Awards, held at Lord's Cricket Ground in London. The Partner of the Year Award recognises those organisations who have gone the extra mile over the last year to advocate the work of national charity Fields in Trust and to further its mission of ensuring everyone – young or old, able-bodied or disabled and wherever they live - should have access to free, local outdoor space for sport, play and recreation.

Ochre Dike is one of Sheffield's three Fields in Trust sites, which also includes Weston Park, the city's only Centenary Field and Woodhouse Mill Recreation Ground, which was dedicated as a Queen Elizabeth II Field as part of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations.