I need to voice my opinion over trees

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Although I had previously said my letter-writing days were over for the time being while I concentrated on other things, I am prompted to make a one-off exception regarding the vitally important issue of the proposed felling of the Rustlings Road trees and add my voice to all the other fine contributions already submitted to The Star’s Letters page on this subject.

This lovely area happens to be very dear to my heart as my old family home was at the bottom of Peveril Road overlooking Endcliffe Park where my parents had lived for 55 years (1939-1994) and where I spent a very happy childhood. I feel very privileged to have grown up in this leafy suburb surrounded by the lovely park and beautiful trees which are such an attractive and valuable asset to the area. The total disregard by Amey and Sheffield City Council for residents’ views, plus the sheer ignorance and lack of understanding as to the importance of our city’s trees and their impact on the well-being of the community and the environment as a whole just beggars belief.

As environmental expert Professor Ian Rotherham and others have so eloquently stated, ancient ‘heritage’ trees and the mature Victorian specimens of the age of those on Rustlings Road cannot be replaced by saplings and their removal will have devastating consequences on the environment as they provide protection against pollution and flooding, enhance everyone’s lives with their beauty, and also property prices will be adversely affected.

What makes this so inexcusable is the fact that 11 out of the 12 trees that are to be felled are healthy and have years of life left in them for future generations to enjoy.

When the Streets Ahead project started I was full of foreboding . It now seems this was justified as I envisaged this shocking scenario where the council would ride roughshod over people’s views and carry out indiscriminate tree felling without a proper consultation process with residents.

There must now be a debate on the whole tree maintenance policy and the ill-thought out tree-felling programme and changes made to ensure this outrageous ‘chainsaw massacre’ is brought to an immediate halt. Time is now running out and the Rustlings Road trees and others doomed for the chop across Sheffield must be saved and the council must be made to listen instead of showing an arrogant disregard for the views of the tax-paying public.

Susan Richardson

Westminster Crescent, Lodge Moor, S10