Tree campaigners condemn potentially lethal plan to stop chainsaws in Sheffield

Protesters beside a rare elm tree in Sheffield which is threatened with the chop
Protesters beside a rare elm tree in Sheffield which is threatened with the chop
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A potentially lethal proposal to protect threatened trees in Sheffield against chainsaws by 'spiking' them with metal has been roundly condemned.

A suggestion the dangerous tactic should be employed met with horror from tree campaigners, who were quick to point out the dangers after it was raised by one woman on Facebook.

One member of the Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG) responded: "STAG have always held the very strong view that spiking trees is absolutely unacceptable. People have died from injuries as a result of this. We will never condone such action. Absolutely not."

Her comments were echoed by several other campaigners, with one commenting 'you would risk a worker their livelihood' and another saying 'anyone contemplating spiking trees is an idiot'.

Tree campaigners oppose plans by Sheffield Council and its contractor Amey to fell street trees across the city, many of which they say are healthy and could be saved.

The council insists the trees must be removed as they are damaging roads and pavements, and it says they will be replaced.

A petition was recently launched to save a rare elm tree in Nether Edge, which is home to a threatened species of butterfly.

The council says the tree must go as it would cost £50,000 to keep it in place while preventing damage to the pavement.

Sheffield Council recently warned campaigners they could face a fine or prison if they defy orders by breaching safety barriers around trees which are due to be felled.