It seems that even in Sheffield we are not safe from the unreasonable overseeing minority inflicting their point of view on residents by force – the Rustlings Road trees felled at 5am while residents who resisted were threatened with arrest!
Yes, the city council and subcontractors Amey using unreasonable force at an unreasonable time of day on its own residents (who elected them)… this despite setting up an Independent Tree Panel, whose conclusions they delayed and then ignored because they did not say what the council wanted.
What will we be seeing next?
There is a complete misunderstanding of science in the council’s justification of large tree removal and their replacement on a one-for-one basis based on the erroneous reasoning that one small tree takes up more CO2 as it grows than a large one.
This premise, which might be correct in the present moment, does not account for the fact that the larger tree is a store for carbon from the last 30-100 years of its growth, which is released as soon as it stops living – very quickly if it is burned.
They should be planting about seven to 10 young trees for every tree felled and moreover they should be large canopy varieties as this provides a better living environment for both the nearby people, (by providing insulation from cold and shelter from heat), and for wildlife than the small varieties chosen.
Green surroundings improve the mental health of those exposed to them and at a time when mental health budgets are stretched this sort of thing can make all the difference.
There also needs to be more care of the young replacement trees planted – watering in hot weather, re-staking and pruning when damaged – none of which appears to have been happening.
Sealing over a tree’s roots by waterproof paving material is not likely to encourage growth in the future.
Moreover, it is now the case that rather than standing out for being Europe’s greenest city and encouraging nature lovers, if you mention Sheffield to outsiders their response is “How awful about your street trees!”
How can this be good for the local economy you are trying to bolster ?
Let the people of Sheffield take up their saplings and guerrilla plant in the green spaces to keep Sheffield the greenest City in Europe.
Dr Asha Dube