For those of us who came to Sheffield as university students, Crookes Valley and Weston Park are well known green spaces, but the neighbouring Ponderosa is largely over looked. Perhaps for the best, because it means even on a busy day this lovely strip of grass and woodland remains peaceful.
Nestled between Crookes Valley Road and the Infirmary and Tesco on Infirmary Road, this park had a brief spell as a Tramlines location. It has also been the home to Peace in the Park for the last decade. This means many people will have visited the space without realising what else it has to offer.
The Ponderosa offers a lovely mixture of grass, woodland and wild areas. The park sweeps up hill and is beautifully split into smaller sections the nearer to the top end you go, perfect for finding a quiet corner to sit and have a picnic. There’s even a community orchard.
The park has recently been re-pathed and there are excellent footpaths throughout. These are certainly pushchair friendly and possibly largely wheel chair friendly as well.
The pathways wind through the lovely woodlands towards the top of the park. It’s easy to forget that you’re deep in a large busy city at this point.
The land the Ponderosa stands on had previously been a series of dams built in 1740, the last of which is still visible in Crookes Valley Park. Part of the land has consistently been recreation grounds since the turn of the last century. Locally children informally called the area ‘Ponderosa’ from the popular 1960s TV show Bonanza, and the name became formally recognised.
First SPP visit: 29th December 2017