Skip to main content
5th March 2024

Meet Ethel, the Sheffield Environmentalist Who Connected People & the Countryside 4th to 10th March

It’s officially the start of Sheffield Beer Week 2024 and as the tenth event launches we highlight Sheffield’s Ethel Haythornthwaite. On January 18th 1894, in Endcliffe Vale House (which stood in the grounds of what is now the Sheffield University student village) Ethel Mary Bassett Ward was born. She would go on to become a prolific countryside campaigner and lifelong environmentalist. Founding the Sheffield Association for the Protection of Rural Scenery, also known as the Sheffield Association for the Protection of Local Countryside on 7th May, 1924. Among those present were Ethel Gallimore, G.H.B. Ward representing the ramblers’ interests, Gertrude ward, (Ethel’s sister), and Alan Ward (her brother). Sir Henry Hadow, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield University was elected President, and Ethel, who had both instigated the meeting and provided the meeting place, was elected Honorary Secretary, a position she occupied for the next 56 years. We hope you’ve heard of Ethel, but if you haven’t, we’re so glad you are now discovering her.

Seven years earlier she had been devastated by the loss of her first husband, killed fighting in France. She became ill, and her family encouraged her to take restorative walks in the countryside and moorland around her home city of Sheffield. She became aware of the positive benefits of those spaces on her physical and mental wellbeing, and enamoured by their beauty. This, in part, planted the seed of Ethel’s passion and commitment to the countryside and key to this, was that it could be accessed by everyone, in order to experience those benefits. Ethel passed away in 1986, having spent her life campaigning for the creation of the Sheffield Green Belt and being instrumental in the development of The Peak District National Park (finally in 1951, the first national park in Britain was created). After 45 years, and only a year before she died, in 1983, the Sheffield Green Belt plan was adopted by City Council and became operative on December 5th.

She also established, The Sheffield Association for the Protection of Rural Scenery, which went on to become the local branch of CPRE in 1927. As CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire now embarks on its centenary year, we thought here at Sheffield Beer Week it would be powerful to celebrate Ethel and the charity she founded, and amplify their ethos of the countryside for all.

The centenary year is a big year of celebration and they have a huge range of activities planned throughout 2024. Including working with volunteers and community groups to manage Haythornthwaite Wood, which was planted in 1994 as a tribute. Partnering with the National Trust members on International Women’s Day to celebrate Ethel’s achievements, and a joint walk to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society. There’s also a new biography about Ethel, which will be published in May, where award-winning author Helen Mort explores the life of this countryside revolutionary.

It’s wonderful to be able to support this ethos and organisation in our home city and we’re grateful to Sheffield’s Triple Point Brewing for sharing that belief. We collaborated alongside the brewery,Indie Beer Feast, and the Festival of the Outdoors to brew an Ethel inspired beer. The brewery has kindly offered to donate money from the sale of their delicious gluten free pale ale, Ethel, to CPRE. Inspired by the landscape on our shared doorstep and celebrating a Sheffield woman, who was instrumental in ensuring that landscape for further generations.

On Saturday 9th March, during Sheffield Beer Week, there will also be a free 5km run and brewery tour hosted by Hop Hideout beer shop, Triple Point Brewing and Run Talk Run (a Sheffield mental health friendly running group). They’ll be meeting at Hop Hideout beer shop and heading out on a relaxed 5km (for all levels of runners) loop taking in the sights of Sheffield. They’ll even run past CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire’s office; which was set up by Ethel 100 years ago to protect the Peak District and South Yorkshire countryside. Then stop half way for a whistle stop brewery tour at Triple Point. Before heading back to Hop Hideout for a social.

We will also be donating money from the sale of this beer to organisation Women in Beer, who have just recently launched the second wave of their mentorship programme. Open to anyone who identifies as a woman and is based in the UK, from all sectors of the industry (hospitality, brewing, marketing, chemistry, etc.). The mentorship is about pairing up women and enabling the shared experience and skillset to empower the mentee. So whether you’re starting a career or a project in beer, head over to their page to apply. We’re thrilled to be able to support the power of mentorship. Ethel will be sold at a wonderful array of beer outlets, in cask, keg and can, around Sheffield and beyond (we hope!). We can’t wait for you to try it.


Director: Jules Gray

Sheffield Beer Week 4th -10th March 2024

First held in 2015 – now on its 10th event.

Twitter/IG: @SheffBeerWeek


Website: Email:


Third-party news items that are posted on the Guild website’s news section come from press releases received by the Guild. These press releases are posted as they have been received and their publication on the Guild website is intended as an informational service provided to our members and website visitors. As such, the publication of a story from a third-party source is neither an endorsement of the content, nor its sender, by the Guild. For enquiries on any news item, please use the contact details that can be found at the bottom of each post.