Final decision on Sheffield tree felling reprieve nears

Darren Butt, operations manager of Amey talks to residents of Rustlings Road and surrounding streets about the trees being cut down. Picture: Andrew Roe
Darren Butt, operations manager of Amey talks to residents of Rustlings Road and surrounding streets about the trees being cut down. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A final decision is looming on whether to save trees in Sheffield from the axe as a campaign to stop the felling continues.

This week campaigners trying to stop 11 lime trees on Rustlings Road, close to Endcliffe Park, met with Coun Terry Fox, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for environment, to explore potential solutions.

A further meeting was also planned on Wednesday involving Coun Fox, council staff, workers from highways contractor Amey and local councillors, to discuss the issue again.

Amey says the mature trees need to be removed as they are damaging the road and replacements will be planted.

But campaigners are calling for a ‘moratorium’ on the felling and an independent review to be carried out by tree experts.

Coun Fox said: “I would like to thank all those residents of Rustlings Road and campaigners who attended the meeting. It was very interesting listening to their views and hearing the passion they have for the trees.

“I have agreed to take the ideas that the group had back to discuss with the Streets Ahead team and local ward councillors to see if any of them are feasible.”

He added: “Although we are using sensitive engineering solutions to retain 19 out of the 30 trees on Rustlings Road, I want to explore all options to see if any of them would allow the remaining 11 trees to be retained.

“Once all the options have been explored and they have been investigated we will then make a final decision about these trees.”

Campaigner Louise Wilcockson said: “We hope the right decision will be made to not fell these trees which are vital to ecology and the wellbeing of the people of Sheffield.

“ We hope as well that SCC and Amey will review their policies were necessary and find more effective and transparent ways to communicate with concerned residents and other interested parties. We will wait to hear the outcome of the meeting before deciding our next step of action.”

Meanwhile an expert has claimed that half of Sheffield’s trees could be removed in a ‘potential chainsaw massacre’ under new rules.

Chartered arboriculturalist Adam Winson said new policies meant trees moving kerbs out of line, or those considered to have ‘outgrown their location’ will be chopped down.