Residents are outraged at plans to remove 12 trees from Rustlings Road, which runs along the side of Endcliffe park in Sheffield.
A petition has been signed by more than 300 people and a meeting between Sheffield City Council and members of the public was held yesterday. The trees are due to be cut down in two weeks time.
Deepa Shetty, a local resident who started the petition said: “Most of them are over a century old mature lime trees. We need these trees.
“They contribute significantly to the local climate for flood prevention, to bee and bat populations, to air quality and their value hasn’t been properly assessed.”
Sheffield City Council has a contract with Amey, who operate the Streets Ahead Highways Maintenance and Management service across the city. Darren Butt from the company said: “We will replace the trees, hopefully in the same location.”
“The road is warped. We are solving the problem for future generations. Due to complaints we will discuss replacements but unfortunately the trees will go.”
Residents asked why the pathway couldn’t be changed Mr Butt said: “To divert the highway would be a massive legal undertaking.”
David Garlovsky, a tree expert said: “Sheffield has one of the highest rates of air pollution in the country and cutting down these mature trees will make it worse. I’m questioning your professional judgement and why you are going against the people of Sheffield.”
Vinnie Traynor, 44, who lives on nearby Pevril Road and brought along his eight-year-old daughter Rose said: “My kids and I don’t think these trees should be cut down.
“It’s a bureaucratic decision made for the wellbeing of the pavement and not the people. This is the tip of the iceberg, if we don’t stand up for them now, the same will happen in less mobilised places in Sheffield and they will find their environments have been damaged. It’s not just about these trees it’s about the whole city.”