Sheffield Council bosses are inviting the public to view the draft of a new tree strategy – just a week after campaigners accused the authority of ‘emotional blackmail.’
The council has been working on a framework for a new Trees and Woodland Strategy, which will set out how it looks after all 2.2m trees in the city; including those in parks, woodlands, green spaces and on the highway.
This follows the publication of the ‘Five Years Street Tree Management Plan’ which shows how 36,000 street trees are managed by the Streets Ahead project.
A full-day event will be held at the Town Hall on Friday, February 26 and members of the public will be able to view the draft strategy and speak to members of staff between 10am and 7pm.
The announcement comes just a week after the council said it would cost £26m to save all the trees currently due to be axed in the city. But tree campaigners accused the council of ‘emotional blackmail’ and misleading the public.
Fierce debate has raged over the felling of Sheffield’s highway trees. Campaigners insist there are alternatives to removing and replacing mature trees as part of Sheffield Council’s £2.2bn Streets Ahead contract, while the council has repeatedly claimed there is no other solution.
Last week the council urged people to support the Streets Ahead contract with Amey for the ‘sake of future generations.’
Coun Sioned-Mair Richards, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council, said: “We know that the issue of trees is very important to communities across our city, which is why we’re organising the event in order to share our plans. Highway trees are part of this strategy and will be informed by the recently-released Streets Ahead ‘5 year Tree Management Strategy.’
“However, street trees form a small proportion of the trees we manage, with the majority in parks, woodlands, cemeteries, housing estates and schools.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to come along, have their say and help to plan the future of trees in Sheffield.”