Campaign to save Sheffield war memorial trees takes root

A Star-backed campaign asking Sheffield Council to think again about chopping down war memorial trees is gathering support.

Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 16:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:42 am
Alan Story with the plaque identifying the Western Road memorial trees.

Yesterday we highlighted a group of Western Road residents' attempts to save 23 trees planted in memory of pupils of Westways Primary School in 1919.

The trees commemorate those who died in the First World War, but are on the list of those scheduled for felling as part of the council's ongoing Streets Ahead programme with private contractor Amey.

Western Road memorial trees damaging pavement.

Residents have set up the Western Road Remembers group to highlight the importance of the trees, and are raising money to restore a plaque on the school's outer wall which explains their significance.

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Separate tree campaign groups are also urging the council to think again.

Among the Star readers to rally to the cause was Charron Pugsley-Hill, who said: "Thank you to The Star for joining this campaign.

"This is a planned desecration of a First World War memorial. With the right care these trees could live for hundreds more years.

Western Road memorial trees.

"As well as having a valuable contribution in environmental terms they also have a historical, emotional and cultural importance to the city."

Julie Dudley added: "Sheffield council have no brains or morals. They are a disgrace to Sheffield people.

"'City of sanctuary' - for who, because it certainly isn't Sheffielders."

Brian Eustice tried to see both sides of the argument. He said: "I hate losing trees but let's be sensitive to memorials and damage and risks to roads and houses caused by roots and leaves.

Western Road memorial trees damaging pavement.

"Trees in cities can kill people. Let's be calm and look at evidence."

But Dannii McKeen disagreed with the campaign. She said: "The council have to plant tree-for-tree when they cut one down.

"If they plant them in greener woodland then where is the problem?

"There are some far more concerning problems that need addressing like getting homelessness corrected."

Western Road memorial trees damaging pavement.

And Darren Mills said: "Let them cut them down and re-plant in memory somewhere else."

To donate to the Western Road Remembers group visit www.facebook.com/westernroadremembersToday’s top stories:

Western Road memorial trees.
Western Road memorial trees damaging pavement.