Street tree wardens get to the root ofSheffield tree issues

Volunteer street tree wardens are making a big difference in Sheffield say bosses – one year after starting work.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 10:17 am

They were recruited by Amey Streets Ahead, as part of the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership Strategy, and their work is starting to make a big difference.

With over 40 Street Tree Wardens allocated across Sheffield, the volunteers are helping to maintain and care for Sheffield’s street trees, whilst harnessing support from local communities.

Their role includes supporting, influencing, and engaging with both Streets Ahead and the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership, improving neighbourhoods and community landscape in the process.

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Sarah Deakin, tree warden for Meersbrook and Heeley

And whilst many areas of the city now have a dedicated warden, more volunteers are being encouraged to get involved to ensure every community can reap the benefits of the new roles.

Sarah Deakin is one of two Wardens covering Meersbrook and Heeley, and is thoroughly enjoying her new role:

“I am honoured to wake up and look at the beautiful trees outside my house and know that this is the patch that I’m the warden for.” said Sarah. “I water the sapling that’s over the road religiously and have done so for a couple of years, and it’s doing beautifully. There have been a couple of trees that I have reported and there’s a sapling that has been ‘wind battered’ but I still keep an eye on it and it’s doing alright.

“I could probably make it into a full-time job. I’ve learnt more about different species of street trees, more than I thought there was.”

Kieron King, Principal Operations Manager at Streets Ahead, said: “The ability of wardens to spot any issues with trees early and report them to Streets Ahead is what makes their volunteering so invaluable.”

“Try as we might, we cannot be everywhere in the city all of the time, so we really appreciate all the work the wardens are doing to help us to keep on top of not just routine maintenance, but more critically, spotting possible disease in a tree that needs the expert evaluation of our tree inspectors.”

Volunteers are needed in Wincobank, Waterthorpe, and Woodhouse. They must be over the age of 18 and able to deliver 30 hours a year to cover duties of the role. For details visit the website https://www.wildsheffield.com/getinvolved/sheffield-street-tree-partnership/