Garden news links
Some of our press coverage

Sheffield Telegraph

Sheffield Star

UoS student newspaper

Yorkshire Post

Campaign thumbnails
Click on the image for a full size picture

Gathering petition signatures

John,Thyrza and Albert Hobson

Bang logo

Save Tapton Experimental Garden!Garden entrance

What is it?
Where is it?
Why save it?
What can I do?
What are BANG doing?

The Secret Garden has so far been saved from redevelopment as a housing estate thanks to the BANG's vigorous and well-supported campaign to oppose inapproplanning permision for the site.

What is it?
Founded in 1951, this botanic garden contains more than 2000 species of plants and has provided an experimental centre for Sheffield University's department of plant sciences. The garden is established in grounds that form part of the historic landscape around Hallamgate House (built circa 1780, now demolished), Tapton Elms (now renamed Hadow House) and Pisgah House (the oldest listed residence still standing in Broomhill). The garden contains a number of built structures including a ha-ha, a Victorian walled ornamental garden and a pond, in addition to many fine mature trees. The University want to sell the site to developers who plan to
demolish many of the existing structures and build a housing estate upon it, along with a larger development on the site of the Tapton Halls of Residence on the adjoining land.

Where is it?
Main entrance is at number 26 Taptonville Road, towards the top end of Taptonville Road, but the garden also has a second entrance from Hoole Road to the rear. The total land area of the garden is around 1 hectare (2.5 acres). Few people in the community know about it because it has rarely been open to the public. Our photogallery gives some impression of what is behind that wall, the real thing is even better...

Why save it?

- It occupies such a sensitive site in the heart of our conservation area, and has importance as  part of the historic landscape pre-dating (and contemporary with) the development of Broomhill;
- It provides amenity for the surrounding houses, and an important habitat for birds, bats, rare newts and other wildlife, in addition to its unique plant collection;
- Broomhill is desperately short of public green space and the loss of such a good potential public garden in the centre of our community would be a tragic missed opportunity;
- Broomhill has suffered many detrimental changes to our local environment as a result of University expansion: surely the University could give something back by working with the community to conserve this garden?

Your support
really counts!
BANG collected a total of 1675 signatures on a petition to save the Secret Garden and more than 200 people took the trouble to write to object to the planning applications. Many local people have also given donations of time or money to the campaign. Strong, visible community support for the project is our best weapon for influencing the planning decisions, and without it we are sure that the bulldozers would already be busy on the site.

What are BANG trying to do? (Follow links and thumbnails on the left-hand pane)
BANG successfully opposed the first planning proposal for the site and subsequently gave evidence  in public hearings when it went to appeal. But our opposition to a revised planning application was unsuccessful so the site does now have permission for a revised redevelopment scheme; much better than the first but still involving the loss of much of the garden.

BANG have also worked to save Pisgah House and its garden for community use. We worked to build a partnership to purchase Pisgah House from the University and to return it to beneficial use.

However we have not been able to persuade the University to sell Pisgah House because the future of the entire Tapton Halls of Residence and Experimental Gardens site is still uncertain. If the approved scheme does not go ahead there might be an opportunity to do things better and to seriously consider alternatives for the site that might enable the community to realise our aspirations, while at the same time providing good value for the University. However there are no signs that the University are willing to engage with the community over the future of the site.

Now visit our Community Garden Proposal page to see what we'd like to do with the Gardens if our campaign to save it is successful.