Sheffield - Geography


Sheffield is a geographically diverse city, and is formally twinned with Anshan in China, Bochum in Germany, Donetsk in Ukraine, and Esteli in Nicaragua.

With a population of 534,500, Sheffield is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the English Core Cities Group. Yet, due to a combination of topographic and demographic characteristics, the city is often nicknamed "the largest village in England".

Sheffield nestles in a natural amphitheatre created by several hills and the confluence of five rivers. Much of the city therefore sits on hillsides overlooking the city centre or the countryside. The city's lowest point, near Blackburn Meadows, lies just 29.27m above sea level, while other parts exceed 500m, the highest point being 548m at High Stones, near Margery Hill.

The city consists of numerous suburbs and neighbourhoods, many of which developed from villages and hamlets that were absorbed into Sheffield as it expanded. The existing city boundaries embrace a considerable amount of countryside surrounding the main urban region. Sheffield is the only English city whose borders contain parts of a national park, with roughly a third of the city lying within the Peak District National Park.

Compared to other UK cities, Sheffield therefore has a very broad range of habitat, comprising urban, parkland and woodland, agricultural and arable land, moors, meadows and freshwater-based environments. The city has six areas designated as sites of special scientific interest.

Estimated to contain over two million trees, Sheffield has more trees per person than any other city in Europe. With over 170 woodlands, 78 public parks and 10 public gardens, plus its 134.7 square km (52 square miles) of national park and 10.9 square km (4.2 square miles) of water, this means that 61% of the city is greenspace.

Sheffield is also credited as being England's greenest city - a claim reinforced when it won the 2005 Entente Florale competition, and also when the "UK Cities Monitor 2008" placed the city third regarding "greenest reputation".