Built where five rivers meet, Sheffield became an industrial powerhouse, creating the steel that built the modern world. Water power could also hold the key to Sheffield’s future as a green, energy efficient city with an information economy. These rivers are the life of our city, past, present and future. So why don’t we know them better?
Sheffield’s five rivers
- The Don
- The Loxley
- The Porter Brook
- The Rivelin
- The Sheaf
The source of the Porter Brook is in the Peak District. It comes down through Hunters Bar into the city centre where it merges with the Sheaf. The Loxley comes from Bradfield Moor, down through Stannington to meet the Don at Owlerton. Which of our five rivers is nearest to you, and where does it go?
Back when the city’s steel industry was huge, the Don was so polluted it would sometimes catch fire. Now the river runs clear again, you can see heron, mink and even otters among the old factories. In 2019, salmon returned to the river for the first time in 150 years.
Your river mission
Imagine you’re a town planner. Your challenge is to design a green space like the one at Porter Brook, along one of the city’s rivers. Where will your green space be, what will you put in it and why?