Sheffield’s Green Influencers

Who should you be following on Social Media this year? Which Sheffielders are the big environmental influencers?

I’ve put together a couple of league tables to see who has the most followers on Facebook and Twitter.  The clear winner on both is the Baroness of Manor Castle, Natalie Bennett who is one of the two Green Party peers in the House of Lords. She led the Green Party from 2012 to 2016 and is a Sheffield Green Party member. Her forthcoming book is called  “Change Everything”. She works tirelessly in the Lords trying to amend and/or defeat acts of parliament.

In a recent New Year’s video, she described three bills she is currently working on. 

  1. The Australia and New Zealand Trade Bill, where she will be addressing problems for our farmers, workers’ rights and the lack of parliamentary scrutiny.
  2. The Financial Services Bill where she is concerned that the Government’s  competitiveness agenda means letting the Financial Sector run riot. We know how that ended up in 2007/8!
  3. The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill, which is allowing the release of genetically modified organisms into the environment. Here Natalie claims the government science is completely out of date.

To follow Natalie go to @natalieben on Twitter, NatalieBennettGreen on Instagram or Natalie Bennett, Green Party Member of the House of Lords on Facebook.

Foodworks come second on the Facebook table (15093 followers) and fifth on Twitter (@TheFoodWorksSHF 6352). Foodworks are a social enterprise, established in 2015 to raise awareness and reduce the scandal of food waste. They save over 500 tonnes of food per year and are working on building a fair and sustainable food system for Sheffield. They work with 100s of committed volunteers whose time, passion and skill drive their ability to feed thousands of people each month. 

Second on Twitter and third on Facebook are the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust. A video filmed in Wyming Brook featuring Chris Packham urges us to get involved at two levels. He wants us to do things at a personal level, greening our lifestyles and building greener local communities. But he also wants us to communicate our demands to those in power and hold them to account because time is running out. This he says, “is the time for changing minds, changing practices and making meaningful differences”. Also featured in the video is Smithy Wood which was saved from “development” as an M1 Service Station and Owlthorpe Fields which was finally designated as a local wildlife site in 2022. If you want to help protect nature @WildSheffield is a must-follow. 

Third on Twitter (@SheffieldGreens) and 7th on Facebook is Sheffield Green Party . With 14 Councillors, the party holds the balance of power on the Council and with the new Committee system they have considerable influence in the Town Hall. A quick scroll through their Twitter account reveals pictures from the nurse’s picket lines,  new cycle parking facilities and news of roads to be resurfaced, without the need to cut down any trees. Sheffield Greens are definitely worth a follow to understand more about what happens at Sheffield Town Hall. 

4th on Facebook are Sheffield Tree Action Groups, a victorious campaign now featured in two films, The Felling and Tree-sistance. The campaign is still active, keeping an eye on the Council to ensure that they are now properly managing our street trees, but many of the Facebook posts are interesting reminiscences from the height of the dispute when protesters stood under healthy trees to stop them being felled. The group has spawned many other groups, such as It’s Our City which successfully campaigned to improve our local democracy by ditching the “Strong Leader” model of governance and bring in the Committee System, and Nether Edge and Sharrow Sustainable Transformation which has among other things been raising money to plant new street trees.  

5th on Facebook and 8th on Twitter is the Regather Coop. This amazing group run a veg box scheme, a small farm where they grow fruit and veg and cut flowers and run a community hub at Club Garden Road. 

Other organisations deserving a mention include @CycleSheffield which are organising the Sheffield Active Travel Summit on February 18th, @ShefEnvironment, which organises Sheffield Hen Harrier Day and @ParkinginSheff on Twitter, full name “Parking like a twat in Sheffield” which catalogues idiotic parking from all over the city. If you are a bad parker you better check to see if you are featured!  Sheffield Litterpickers highlight the magnificent work of volunteers from all over the city keeping our streets clean.  Extinction Rebellion Sheffield, having quit their tactics that disrupt the public, is busy building the biggest climate rally this country has ever seen, which is happening on April 21st at Parliament. South Yorkshire Climate Alliance are marking the 4th Anniversary of Sheffield Council declaring a Climate Emergency by petitioning the Council to start treating it like the Emergency it is.  Sheffield Vegans offer help in transitioning to a healthy plant-based diet.

Here is the top 30! Sincere apologies if I have missed anyone who deserves to appear in it. Please let me know! 

  • 1.  @natalieben (Natalie Bennett, Green Member of the House of Lords) 183500
  • 2. @Wild Sheffield (Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust) 10700
  • 3. @SheffieldGreens Sheffield Green Party 6669
  • 4. @TheFoodWorksSHF  6352
  • 5. @alisonclareteal Alison Teal 5760
  • 6. @PeterG4NES2019 Cllr Peter Garbutt (Nether Edge and Sharrow)5756
  • 7. @CycleSheffield Cycle Sheffield 5391
  • 8. @RegatherCoop 3900
  • 9. @ShefEnvironment 3741
  • 10. @ParkinginSheff Parking like a twat in Sheffield 3586
  • 11. @sheffieldrenew Sheffield Renewables 2926
  • 12. @XRShef Extinction Rebellion Sheffield 2611
  • 13. @carolbinks 2567 
  • 14. @LoganRobin96 2559
  • 15. @DouglasJSheff (Green Party Group Leader) 2537
  • 16. @Graham21 Founder cleanairsheff 2383
  • 17. @msalilla Angela Argenzio (Cllr Broomhill and SharrowVale Ward )2182
  • 18. @UAlbarella 2168
  • 19. @MartinPhipps13  2078
  • 20. @CleanAirSheff 1982
  • 21. @CycleSad 1853
  • 22. @AshRouth 1768
  • 23. @ShefClimateNews South Yorkshire Climate Alliance 1668
  • 24. @PaulTurnips Paul Turpin (Cllr Gleadless Valley and Heeley) 1649
  • 25. @IanDavidMcHugh 1533
  • 26. @BarnardSteve 1518
  • 27. @rivelin_valley Rivelin Valley Conservation Group 1426
  • 28. @samwake Sam Wakeling 1420
  • 29. @RuthMersereau (City Ward Councillor) 1365
  • 30. @kingfisherand Kingfisher and Owl, Save Birley Spa 1321
  • 1. Natalie Bennett, Green Member of the House of Lords 45000
  • 2. Foodworks 15093
  • 3. Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust 10,000
  • 4. Sheffield Tree Action Groups 9000
  • 5. Regather Cooperative 5900
  • 6. Extinction Rebellion Sheffield 4900
  • 7. Sheffield Green Party 4700 
  • 8. Sheffield Litterpickers 4233
  • 9. Sheffield Vegans 2700
  • 10. Cycle Sheffield 2166
  • 11. South Yorkshire Climate Alliance 1400
  • 12. Sheffield Renewables 1008
  • 13. Nether Edge and Sharrow Green Party 760
  • 14. Friends of the Earth Sheffield 693
  • 15. City Ward Green Party 678
  • 16. Better buses for South Yorkshire 632
  • 17. Gleadless Valley and Heeley Green Party 614
  • 18. Hillsborough Green Party 576
  • 19. Broomhill and Sharrowvale Green Party 548
  • 20. Sheffield Greenpeace 514
  • 21. Walkley and Crookes Swifts 391
  • 22. Reyt Repair 388
  • 23. Graham Wroe 383
  • 24. Sheffield Green Parents 351
  • 25. Penistone People and Planet 339
  • 26. Greener Greenhill 291
  • 27. Nether Edge and Sharrow Sustainable Transformation 270
  • 28, Douglas Johnson 263
  • 29. Walkley Green Party 203
  • 30. Green New Deal South Yorkshire 140

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