Sheffield residents’ fury at oak tree axe

Cllr Alison Brelsford with the 270-year-old tree on Melbourne Road:
Cllr Alison Brelsford with the 270-year-old tree on Melbourne Road:
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An area of Sheffield stands to lose one of its oldest and best-loved trees.

Residents of Stocksbridge launched a campaign to save a historic oak in Melbourne Road after it was earmarked for a city-wide felling programme.

Sheffield Council has said the tree - one of 1,200 which will be cut down this year - has to go because it presents a risk to the public.

Now the community has demanded the tree is replaced with a like-for-like oak in the same location.

Coun Alison Brelsford, local Liberal Democrat for Stocksbridge and the Upper Don, said: “Council bosses have been clear that they are not going to budge on the felling of this tree but the least the community should expect is a like-for-like replacement.

“This tree is a spot of natural beauty for local residents and the last surviving oak tree of Oaks Avenue.”

Experts have already confirmed the tree is dying, but a final assessment is due to be carried out on the tree before it is chopped down.

Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Over the last eight years the health of the tree has been getting progressively worse.

“This is a beautiful tree and we understand how passionate local residents are about the oak tree and it is great to see that passion.

“However, we do have a legal responsibility to ensure the highway is safe and we therefore can’t have dangerous trees on the road.

“If the experts’ results once again find that the tree is diseased and needs to be removed for safety reasons, we will be speaking to local residents about any future replanting plans and any possibilities of donating the timber to the local community.”