Meersbrook’s shop owner plans to transform area with new environmental project

A Sheffield shop owner is hoping to transform an area of Chesterfield Road after winning a bid from the City Council’s Economic Recovery Fund.

Sally Faulkes, 58, co-owner of All Carrot No Stick vegan grocery store, has applied for funding to plant trees in Meersbrook.

Ms. Faulkes said: “I thought our boring, grey shopping street could certainly do with something to make it a more appealing place to shop and hang out.

“I imagined what a huge transformation trees would be and they would also help other issues we face such as poor air quality and lack of shade in summer. Plus flooding is a recurrent problem at Heeley Bottom.”

Funding for 10 to 15 trees was offered by the Gleadless Valley Ward pot for her street trees project.

Unfortunately, she was unable to plant the trees in her favoured location because of the density of utilities packed under the pavements. 

She is now working in collaboration with other local groups to put a second bid in to the Economic Recovery Fund, so they can explore different options nearby to make the area more green.

Ms. Faulkes said: “The reason why I’m still pushing for trees rather than other types of planting, is that trees make a long lasting contribution environmentally. This was something that shopkeepers often mentioned to me when I began the process of consultation.”

Meersbrook business owners and over 100 people have voiced their support across social media. 

Sara Ann on Facebook said: “I would love some trees and greenery down there, it’s horrible with traffic and looks so drab and bare”

Ms. Faulkes added: “I was overwhelmed by the response to my first tentative Facebook post, and realised I’d touched a real nerve for our community. So that spurred me on to pursue it, as I knew it would be a lot of work.”

She has also contributed to the Meersbrook area by creating a community garden and running a free library. 

Ms. Faulkes said: “The original motivation was economic, to help drive footfall to our little independent shops. But I’ve realised that it could serve to bring the independent businesses together into a community who can make Meersbrook a more vibrant shopping area.

“Small changes can make a big difference to how people feel about the place they live.”

Written by Lloyd Paterson

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