Tree row: it’s time for common sense

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After yet more over the top reactions to the planned felling and replacement of trees on Rustlings Road and elsewhere, it is about time some common sense was applied.

I have deliberately included the word ‘replacement’ in my opening sentence because that is an aspect which seems to be generally disregarded and although the new trees will be smaller and not necessarily in exactly the same place, surely a variety of shapes and sizes will be a good thing.

It is also important to point out that the majority of roadside trees on Rustlings Road are not at threat and the residents have a marvellous view of thousands of trees across the road in Endcliffe Park.

I have no wish to destroy trees for no good reason and am a member of Friends of the Porter Valley, regularly helping with their environmental work from Endcliffe Park to the source of the Porter beyond Ringinglow.

This has included not only planting trees but also cutting some down where appropriate, as it is an undeniable fact that the environment needs to be managed if it is not to become a wilderness.

The protestors have made points about the importance of trees to wildlife and the water table etc., but although these arguments are generally valid they are irrelevant in this context because the scale of the proposals will have an insignificant effect on such issues.

The aesthetic arguments against the plans do not stack up either because there are existing examples, such as on nearby Hangingwater Road where tree replacements have improved this aspect and even in rare cases where diseased trees have not been replaced such as on Ranmoor Park Road, the remaining trees have effectively filled the gaps.

I am not an expert so there may be some valid points to be made against the need for removal of some of the trees and I support people’s rights to take issue with planning proposals, but any arguments put forward should be supported by evidence and facts rather than the ridiculous and emotive headlines which have appeared so far suggesting there is wanton destruction of the environment and a threat to the city’s green heritage.

Please keep things in perspective!

Alan Heath

Ringstead Avenue, Sheffield, S10