Objective: to increase biodiversity and habitat for pollinators in Crookes & Crosspool ward. It had been an election pledge of Ruth’s in 2021 - to protect green spaces and get more value from them.

Spring 2023 - Ruth liaised with the council’s Ecology specialists and the Parks & Countryside team, and arranged for the grassy areas on council-owned land to be left to grow rather than mowed. This was also in response to a number of residents who had requested that ‘No Mow May’ be done to allow flowering plants to grow to maturity.

A number of Bee Orchids were found in one of the grassed areas, which attracted keen interest from local ecologists, as it was the first instance of them in the west of Sheffield. This is a protected species - as all wild plants are in the UK.

Summer 2023 - Ruth convened a group of Ecology Officers and representatives from Parks & Countryside to conduct a survey of wild plants in the un-mown grassy areas. Around ten species were identified which provide good habitat for bees, butterflies, moths and ladybirds.

Ruth listened to residents’ views and feedback, which was mixed - some liked that nature was left to flourish; others preferred the mown grass.

Spring 2024 - a plan has been agreed, whereby most of the grassy areas will be mowed throughout the growing season, and the large area next to Blakeney Road flats will undergo cultivation as a wildflower meadow over the next couple of years.

Ruth and ward colleague Cllr Minesh Parekh secured £500 from the Local Area Committee budget (£100k) to support this project.

At the other end of the ward, Ruth also helped a small team from the Crosspool Forum cultivate a new patch of wildflowers at Hagg Copse, de-turfing and sowing the seed by hand.

Other green spaces in the ward remain open to review as to how they are managed.