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Forgemasters is blooming at award

27 September 2010

Sheffield Forgemasters has achieved a prize for its green fingered horticultural and environmental efforts.

Sheffield Forgemasters has achieved a prize for its green fingered horticultural and environmental efforts. 

Yorkshire in Bloom has awarded Forgemasters with its prestigious discretionary Chairman’s Award in addition to a Gold standard in the Business Premises category for its landscaping and gardens at the 64 acre site.  

The company has planted more than 6,500 sq ft of native British trees, shrubs and plants along with more exotic varieties to brighten its 64 acre Brightside Lane site and encourage more wildlife to the area. 

Forgemasters has previously won a 2007 Bronze Award in the Yorkshire in Bloom Business Premises category despite massive flood damage which destroyed months of landscaping and planting, followed by a Silver Award in 2008.  

Vicky Hinchcliffe, group environment manager at SFIL, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win the Discretionary Chairman’s Award in addition to a Gold Award in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition. It is a true testament to the vision of everyone who has been involved and a legacy to the hard work of Dave Green prior to his retirement as Group Environment Director. 

“Forgemasters is a historic industrial company and there are many interesting spaces across the site. These suit a varied planting programme which also helps to screen some of the plant. “After the floods we witnessed in 2007, the company’s response was to work with nature to reduce the risk of flooding by creating a one-acre wildlife area at the heart of the site, while providing a corporate garden facility for both staff and visitors to enjoy. 

“Staff at the plant take real ownership of the planted areas and it gives everyone here a sense of pride in the company.” 

One of the centrepieces of Forgemasters horticultural efforts is a roundabout at Gate 2 on Brightside Lane, which has been planted to replicate the company’s distinctive logo. Michael Chance, a judge for the Yorkshire in Bloom competition, said:

“I really enjoyed visiting the garden at Sheffield Forgemasters. There is no doubt that last year’s judge set the bench mark high so the extra 12 months maturity of the site and the additional improvements that have been made, reflects the prestigious awards that SFIL were presented with. 

“The site is a very unique entry into the Yorkshire in Bloom competition, and SFIL maintain their exceptional standards.” 

Working in conjunction with Sheffield Wildlife Trust, the site has been created with many innovative features making use of large industrial artifacts recovered from the site including heavy steel rails which have been transformed into pergolas and several seven -tonne crucibles turned into giant plant pots. 

Forgemasters’ dedication to preserving green areas and encouraging biodiversity has also been recognised with a corporate membership certificate from Sheffield Wildlife Trust.