Visit an organic farm

Wortley Hall Walled Garden, South Yorkshire

Wortley Hall Walled Garden is an organically certified kitchen garden just outside Sheffield in South Yorkshire. Since April 2004 Heeley City Farm has undertaken its restoration and now it grows a range of fruit and vegetables for local people.

History

Wortley Hall is the Grade ll listed former residency of the Earls of Wharncliffe. In the 1950s it was leased to and eventually purchased by a group representing Trade Union, Labour and Cooperative Movement interests. The 26 acres of formal gardens and woodland are open for the public to explore and enjoy.

Organic vegetables

The kitchen garden is over 200 years old and is now growing organic fruit, vegetables and herbs. Beds of vegetables are cultivated to a six year rotation plan to help maintain fertility and control pests. In the polytunnel, tomatoes, aubergine, courgette, butternut squash, cucumber, climbing beans and purple basil are grown in the summer. Over-wintering crops include Chinese cabbage, mizuna, mooli radish and spring cabbage.

Organic fruit trees

Some of the old varieties of fruit trees still remain in the kitchen garden including a cordon (an avenue) of pear trees (one variety of which is Soldat Labourer one of only two examples remaining in the UK). Recently a quarter of the site has been used to create an apple orchard with a range of heritage Yorkshire varieties, including Yorkshire Aromatic and Dogsnout.

Sustainable growing methods

Green manure crops such as clover and phacelia are used to build and conserve soil fertility. There is also a range of composting streams, using on site crop waste and nettles, and locally sourced manure. Leaf mould is also made, providing a peat-free growing media for all plant-raising requirements.

Produce sales

Vegetables can be bought direct from the garden and at local farmers markets. They are sold to discerning chefs in local restaurants who value fresh, local, organic ingredients. They are also used in Wortley Hall’s own restaurant.

Education and training

School groups are welcome to visit the walled garden by arrangement. The site is used to deliver courses in organic horticulture where you can improve your skills to grow your own food. Alternatively, you are also welcome to join in as a volunteer on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  

Arranging a visit   

During the summer, public visitors to Wortley Hall are also free to visit the gardens when the gate is open. There are also a number of weekend open days/guided tours throughout the summer.  

How to get there   

The walled garden is situated in the grounds of Wortley Hall. Take the A629 north of Sheffield into the village of Wortley. Follow signs to Wortley Hall. The kitchen garden can be found on the right as you head down the drive.  

Contact details