Sheffield groups sign pledge to deliver on new street tree plan - including volunteer tree wardens

Sheffield city partners signed a pledge last week to deliver on a plan to promote and enhance a network of street trees across the city.

By Steven Ross
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 1:16 pm
Representatives from the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership.
Representatives from the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership.

The Sheffield Street Tree Partnership Strategy will aim to ensure the city has street trees which are well-maintained in the wake of the years-long saga over the removal of thousands of trees from around the city.

It includes the introduction of volunteer street tree wardens and a community-led approach to caring for trees.

Christine King, of Sheffield Tree Action Group, said: “Whilst it's been a long and somewhat difficult road from where we started to where we are now, credit must go to the partners for their readiness to combine openness and honesty with the determination to make this work.

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“We now have a real opportunity to work together with the city to maintain, increase and enhance the street trees that so many put heart and soul into defending - let's do this.”

In March, a final version of the strategy was approved by Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet, following a consultation which asked for people’s views during 2020.

The Sheffield Street Tree Partnership includes representatives from the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Sheffield City Council and its contractor, Amey, The Woodland Trust and members of the Sheffield Tree Action Groups.

Kate Josephs, council chief executive, said: “This pledge marks a milestone for our city’s street trees, following collaboration and dedication from all partners to produce the new strategy.

“The creation of a new city-wide strategy and commitment to deliver this together for the benefit of Sheffield residents ensures that our renowned green heritage can thrive and be properly cared for, so that not only us, but our future generations, can enjoy a thriving street tree stock.

“From cleaning the air that we breathe to providing local environmental benefits like shade, natural traffic calming and reducing verge and pavement parking, we want to harness all the advantages that trees bring to our developing society, guaranteeing their place in our future.

“The process of giving people the opportunity to have their say on street tree decisions has already started, with many residents already taking part in the individual trees consultations via CitizenSpace in recent months.”