Rare elm ‘could be saved for £3,500’

Protesters gather in force to complain about the planned feling of an Elm tree at Chelsea Road
Protesters gather in force to complain about the planned feling of an Elm tree at Chelsea Road
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Campaigners fighting to save a rare elm tree claim road repairs originally costed at up to £100,000 could be done for as little as £3,500.

Members of Sheffield Tree Action Group, or Stag, asked an independent civil engineer to come up with solutions to repair the highway around the 150-year-old tree in Chelsea Road, Nether Edge.

Protesters gather in force to complain about the planned feling of an Elm tree at Chelsea Road

Protesters gather in force to complain about the planned feling of an Elm tree at Chelsea Road

The tree is one of few to survive a wave of Dutch elm disease which claimed 20 million trees in the 1970s and is also home to a colony of butterflies, and was one of thousands chosen for felling by the council’s Streets Ahead team, which says it is damaging the pavement.

But the matter has been referred to an independent tree panel for consideration after protests from campaigners.

Stag’s engineer came up with three schemes for highways repairs around the tree that would mean it did not need to be cut down. The group gave the maximum potential cost for the highways work – not including road closures, utilities and other factors – as £3,500.

Campaigner Paul Selby said: “I urge Sheffield Council to work with me to implement one of these value-for-money solutions that will save this precious tree.”

The council’s cabinet member for the environment Coun Bryan Lodge said the tree had been referred to the tree panel, adding: “Until we have received their advice we will not be making any final decisions.”