Tree campaigners demonstrate outside Sheffield highways depot as injunction begins

Photo: Pixelwitch Pictures
Photo: Pixelwitch Pictures
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Sheffield tree campaigners have marked the first day of an injunction against them with a protest outside a highways depot.

A group gathered outside Olive Grove in Heeley, where Amey's tree crews are based, early this morning to demonstrate their continued opposition to the felling of healthy trees.

Many wore costumes, including wigs and dressing gowns, along with masks of city councillor Bryan Lodge and environment secretary Michael Gove.

Some had signs saying 'persons unknown' - a reference to the injunction granted by a High Court judge that puts anyone protesting inside safety barriers around trees in contempt of court.

Police turned up to monitor the protest at about 10am after reports that campaigners were stopping vehicles from leaving.

A council spokesman suggested this was 'direct action' being taken despite the injunction ruling, and legal advice was being taken.

Many came in fancy dress. Photo: Pixelwitch Pictures

Many came in fancy dress. Photo: Pixelwitch Pictures

But Rebecca Hammond, co-chairman of Sheffield Tree Action Groups, or Stag, said that was not the case and the event had been a peaceful protest.

Mrs Hammond said this week that the campaign would focus on 'set piece' demonstrations rather than direct action to raise awareness of the issue.

Read more: Council looks past court case to future of Sheffield's street trees | Where do Sheffield tree campaigners go after High Court loss?

A campaigner addresses the crowd. Photo: Pixelwitch Pictures

A campaigner addresses the crowd. Photo: Pixelwitch Pictures

Campaigners protest outside Olive Grove depot. Photo: Pixelwitch Pictures

Campaigners protest outside Olive Grove depot. Photo: Pixelwitch Pictures