Rethink over tree planting

PLANS to plant 40 trees in a popular Sheffield park are set to go "back to the drawing board" after fierce opposition from local residents.

Sheffield Council's community forestry team had proposed planting 30 small fruit trees and 10 heavy standard trees on the Bolehills Recreation Ground in Crookes, known for its panoramic views of the Rivelin Valley.

In a consultation letter sent to residents, community forester Edward Thatcher promised the trees would be "away from properties" and would not cause "nuisance issues".

But a public meeting to discuss the plans at the Bolehills Pavilion was attended by around 60 residents, many unhappy with the proposals.

Coun John Hesketh, who represents Crookes on Sheffield Council, also told the meeting the ward's three councillors had been "kept in the dark" about the plans.

The fruit trees - four metres at maturity - would have been planted behind Woodfield Road, which backs on to the recreation ground, while the standard trees - full-size parkland trees - would have been planted around the area, some next to Northfield Avenue.

Mr Thatcher said the sites had been chosen with help from the Crookes Wildlife Watch Group and the local parks manager.

But Coun Hesketh said: "The three Crookes councillors had no idea of this proposal until a week ago. The Bolehills is a much-loved, much-used local resource. People love it as it is."

One resident, who lives on Northfield Avenue, said the trees would represent a safety issue for lone female walkers.

She said: "There's a lot of females who walk around the area because it is lit. We also bought our house particularly for the view."

Concerns were also raised about damage to properties, vandalism and the trees' maintenance.

Woodland project officer Ted Talbot said there had been a "massive underestimation" of locals' feelings.

He said: "At the moment I cannot see this current proposal going forward. We need to go right back to the drawing board." "

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