The project began in 1995 following the defeat of the open cast coal proposal. The City Council and the newly formed Groundwork Trust successfully bid for monies from the national ‘Changing Places’ programme and the Government’s regeneration agency, Advantage West Midlands.

The project had many aims

  • to make the site safe by capping 52 pit shafts
  • to make the site accessible for all users by constructing wide footpaths
  • to celebrate the sites wildlife and historical interest by creating new landscape sculptures
  • and most importantly to involve all sectors of the local community in the development of the project and its future management

A total of £2.4m has been spent enhancing the Fields – creating a lasting and sustainable celebration of this wilderness in the heart of the City.

The philosophy of the Project is to involve local people and to make ecologically informed decisions.

The Project was managed from inception by a Steering Group comprising representatives from the local community, schools, the City Council, Groundwork, voluntary and business sectors and wildlife interest groups. The Steering Group met regularly throughout the life of the Project giving direction and stability to the development of the many project strands.

Our key achievements include:

  • 68ha of landscape enhancement and installation of sculptures and features
  • construction of x km of footpath
  • completion of a detailed education programme linked to the national curriculum
  • the creation of this exciting web site
  • ongoing community capacity building projects
  • a series of archaeological digs at the moated site
  • ecological and historical research projects the completion of a detailed site management plan
  • the completion of a detailed site management plan
  • the formation of the Friends of Berryhill Fields
  • creation of a 200 capacity amphitheatre

The Project Partners

City Council who own the Fields and who are responsible with the support of the Friends Group for its future management

Groundwork Stoke-on-Trent – a local environmental charity

The Friends of Berryhill Fields – a local community group who are going from strength to strength

Funding for the Fields

Advantage West Midlands Land Reclamation Programme

Millennium Commission ‘Changing Places’ project a national programme of environmental renewal.

The skylark logo was designed by a pupil at Berryhill High School and has become synonymous with the Fields. More info on the skylark can be found at

ABOVE: A typical page from the Berryhill Fields Millennium website,
Footnote on the design of the Millennium website: The original website was made using just basic HTML (the ‘language’ that webpages are written in), with some Javascript to provide effects such as the rollover navigation buttons which changed slightly when you hovered your mouse pointer over them.

The pages were divided into two “Frames” — an unchanging lefthand sidebar featuring the colour-coded site navigation buttons (plus an animated version of the Friends’ logo), and the main frame which featured the content of whatever page you were viewing.

The colour-coded button was echoed in the colour of the decorative banner at the top of the main frame. As the most common screen size at the time was 800 x 600, the site was built with this in mind, so if viewed on the higher resolution screens we have today, the background images will be seen to repeat both across the screen and downwards.