At a time when according to The Star article, (June 23, page 36), Sheffield City Council are “ re-profiling Sheffield as the Outdoor City” it’s ironic that it is cutting down trees right, left and centre!
And Amey/Sheffield Council’s recent actions seem bizarre when I read in that same article that a poll in BBC Countryside Magazine said Sheffield was the best city for countryside lovers.
Well it may be the “best” at the moment but many more felling campaigns, often with little justification other than it’s cheaper to fell a tree than spend some money on kerb and pavement repairs, will soon change that perception of our green city.
What we desperately need is a Highway Tree Strategy that recognises that Amey’s five-year core pavement and road renewal programme is incompatible with the ideal 20- to 30-year tree renewal programme.
At the moment the trees are losing out to Amey’s programme. This shouldn’t be allowed to go on.
Tree renewal should be spread over the full 25 years of Amey’s contract rather than telescoped into the five-year initial core programme. It may cost more but in my view the benefits outweigh the costs if we really do want to remain Britain’s greenest city and the Outdoor City that the council says it wants us to be.
Sheffield’s trees and people deserve better.