A commemorative tree planting ceremony, funded by Liberty Steel and organised by the Steel Valley Project, was held this week to mark 175 years of steelworks in the Stocksbridge valley.

Through a search in ‘Look Local‘ and on social media, we tracked down some of the people involved in a similar tree planting ceremony which launched the start of the Steel Valley Project in 1988 and involved a number of local school children (see our previous blog post for pictures). Some of those children (now adults) were able to come along to this ceremony, bringing their own families with them.

Also attending the ceremony this week were Deputy Mayor, Julie Grocutt, Roger Moss (ex. steelworks, now a Trustee for the Steel Valley Project) and Lynn Crowe (ex. Countryside Commission).

Roger, who had been at the 1988 ceremony, commented “What a wonderful way to celebrate 175 years of the steel industry in Stocksbridge by planting trees on the hillside. The company began tree planting 30 years ago and, along with both Stocksbridge Town Council and the Countryside Commission, launched the Steel Valley Project. It was particularly good that some of the young people who planted the first trees came along with their families. It is very satisfying to know that Liberty Steel and the community remain committed to improving their local environment.”

50 native trees (including hazel, sessile oak, field maple and mountain ash/rowan) were planted this week. Currently standing at less than a metre in height, the trees were ‘notch’ planted on banking above the steelworks.

Asked to comment after the ceremony this week, Lynn Crowe (who represented the Countryside Commission at the 1988 ceremony and is now Professor of Environmental Management at Sheffield Hallam University) said “I can’t believe it’s nearly 30 years since this project planted its first trees in the valley – and I was proud to be involved then. The project’s success is testament to all the local volunteers, the steel company and Stocksbridge Town Council for their long standing support.”

Speaking on behalf of Liberty Steel, Claire Neilson (Community and Engagement Manager) said “It was a pleasure to be involved in the tree planting ceremony to mark the 175th anniversary of steelmaking on the Stocksbridge site. The Steel Valley Project do an amazing job in protecting and nurturing the local environment and Liberty Steel are committed to continuing the community partnership for years to come.”

Thank you to everyone involved in making the ceremony this week a success and also to all those who sent messages with their memories of the event back in April 1988.


Tree Planting Ceremony

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