Proposed felling of 120-year-old elm

Elm Tree
Elm Tree
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The massacre and environmental vandalism of our city’s beautiful street trees continues unabated with 6,000 trees having already been felled of which over 75 per cent could have been saved.

I was horrified and could hardly believe it when I learned the latest news, (Star, June 30), that the rare, (one of only four surviving in the city), 120-year-old Huntingdon Elm on Chelsea Road in Nether Edge is to be felled following a long campaign to try to save it and will be replaced with a new tree simply because it is “damaging the pavement”.

Just how stupid and brainless can anyone be not to realise that this wonderful specimen, and all the other mature trees, CANNOT be “replaced”.

Councillor Bryan Lodge on behalf of Sheffield City Council has taken this shocking decision in spite of the advice from world-renowned expert arboriculturists, the Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust and the Independent Tree Panel who have all said this tree is a “notable and rare species” and that alternative options could be used to save it. There are no justifiable reasons why these recommendations should be overruled as the tree is NOT decaying as Councillor Lodge says and I totally refute the claim that it would cost £50,000 to save this tree.

What gives Sheffield City Council the right to decide that a tree that has stood for 120 years (long before council members or myself were born) and could possibly stand for another 100 years, should be callously destroyed to satisfy SCC’s totally unreasonable “improvement” criteria for our pavements? The council has displayed the most deplorable arrogance throughout this terrible mass felling programme and has: –

Ignored expert arboricultural advice that proved most of the mature trees felled so far were healthy and need not have fallen victim to Amey’s chainsaws.

Failed to implement engineering solutions that already exist within the Amey contract and which could have solved most of the problems.

Set up the Independent Tree Panel and not taken on board their recommendations.

Disgracefully taken legal action against peaceful campaigners who are desperately trying to save these wonderful trees for future generations to enjoy.

I really do not know how Bryan Lodge and the other Labour Councillors manage to sleep at night as they obviously have no conscience or they would realise the damage they are inflicting on our city by destroying thousands of healthy trees that not only enhance our roads and neighbourhoods but provide essential protection against the dangerous levels of pollution we have in Sheffield.

I am now 75 and do not know how many years I have left but I can promise that they will be spent, along with thousands of other campaigners, trying to save our wonderful trees.

I would have wished, however, to have spent my remaining years involved with other things of my choice, rather than a bitter and disheartening confrontation with SCC that should never have been necessary in the first place.

Susan Richardson

Westminster Crescent, Lodge Moor, Sheffield, S10