'We want trees to come down - so why aren't protesters listening?'

Maple Grove, Handsworth, where residents want trees to be cut down.

Maple Grove, Handsworth, where residents want trees to be cut down.

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Tree protesters have been urged to follow their own advice and listen to the people by residents of a Sheffield street keen for felling to go ahead.

Police were called to Maple Grove in Handsworth yesterday morning when two men tried to prevent workers from cutting down a tree.

Residents say trees are causing problems with the pavement.

Residents say trees are causing problems with the pavement.

The campaigners were continuing their ongoing fight against the felling part of Sheffield Council's Streets Ahead programme, which is carried out by Amey.

But angry residents came out in support of workers. They said they wanted that tree and several others in the street to come down.

While the protesters succeeded in stopping Amey from cutting the tree down yesterday, residents later criticised them for ignoring the views of locals.

One woman, who asked not to be named, said: "They don't seem to have any respect for what the people down this road want.

Protesters stopped Amey workers felling this tree.

Protesters stopped Amey workers felling this tree.

"Their argument is that the council isn't listening to them. My argument is they aren't listening to us."

Another resident who lives opposite the tree due to be felled said people were annoyed the protesters were not local. She said it was not the first time Amey had been forced to stop work in the area.

"People in this street want the trees to be cut down because they are causing problems - and we don't want these people to prevent it," she said.

"If they came from this estate then we would have a chat with them. But they don't know what we want."

One of the trees residents want to see replaced.

One of the trees residents want to see replaced.

Residents said the trees were breaking up pavements and causing trouble for people pushing prams and the elderly.

One woman said she had spent £300 fixing her heating after tree sap got into the vents.

"Maybe leave a couple, but there are too many," she said.

Several protesters have been arrested and charged for obstructing tree felling in Sheffield over the past few months, although any charges were later dropped.

Some trees have already gone.

Some trees have already gone.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings suggested protesters would no longer be arrested.

Sheffield Tree Action Groups, the main tree campaign group in the city, did not respond to a request for comment, although a post on the group's Facebook page by Paul Brooke said there had been 'successful action' to prevent felling in Maple Grove despite protester being met with 'a lot of hostility'.

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