'Furious' residents slam plans to axe WWI memorial trees in Sheffield

Trees on Western Road were planted in April 1918 to honour soldiers from Westways School, in Crookes, who died in WW1.
Trees on Western Road were planted in April 1918 to honour soldiers from Westways School, in Crookes, who died in WW1.
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Residents on a Sheffield street claim to be ‘furious’ over plans to axe mature trees planted to honour fallen WW1 soldiers.

This week Sheffield Council announced plans to fell the trees on Western Road, in Crookes, as part of the Streets Ahead road improvement scheme with Amey.

Residents are 'furious' at plans to axe trees plated to honour fallen soldiers from WW1.

Residents are 'furious' at plans to axe trees plated to honour fallen soldiers from WW1.

Following the announcement, residents have slammed the decision to axe the ‘much loved’ trees.

Robin Ridley, Crookes and Western Road coordinator for the STAG campaign, said: “There are a lot of shocked and unhappy people – we a re furious and genuinely upset to lose these much loved trees.”

He said 96 trees were planted in April 1918, of which 60 remain, to honour WWI soldiers who died in battle. Robin believes the ‘vast majority’ will be axed.

A spokesman for Sheffield City Council said: “We understand that that people feel strongly about the trees on Western Road. Unfortunately trees do not live forever. However, we do plan to work to sensitively ensure that this avenue of trees will continue to remain in place.

“Where tree removal is the only reasonably practicable option, we will look to use replacement planting to retain the identity of this street.

“The council has been called out to deal with numerous safety defects with this specific tree in recent years, including a large branch shearing out of the tree that fell onto the pavement.

“We still await the outcome of the resident surveys and any recommendations from the Independent Tree Panel for consideration, as well as continuing to review the condition of this tree. We will continue to do this in the coming months before a decision is made about whether the tree can be safely retained longer-term.”

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