“Ellen on Rustlings Road, found itself in the spotlight once more”

This letter sent to the Star was written by Dr Deepa Shetty MRCVS, Co-founder of SORT, (S10)

By Diana Stannard
Thursday, 09 May, 2019, 10:42
Ellen, Rustlings Road

Recently, the street tree named after the Star journalist Ellen Beardmore, on Rustlings Road, once more found itself in the spotlight.

SORT, Save Our Roadside trees, formerly Save Our Rustlings Trees, was founded four years ago this May. It was therefore with some irony that last week Sheffield City Council and Amey returned to carry out further investigations on the tree, creating fear as to the outcome. Ellen has become symbolic of the citywide tree campaign as it is the only tree to survive the night-time felling of seven mature, structurally sound streets on November 17, 2016, which caused, along with three unnecessary arrests, international media uproar.

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Last week, Ellen the tree found herself once more at the centre of the ongoing tree campaign as officials turned up to carry out what was at first unclear and ambiguous work. The tree had only been saved during the Rustlings tree chainsaw massacre due to the swift actions of Dr Luke Seed and others who took a stance in his own front garden to stop the felling of the street tree in 2016. Last week, SORT and STAG, (Sheffield Tree Action Groups), campaigners kept a vigilant watch on the tree, Ellen, outside number 203 Rustlings Road, which was retained to much relief by using thinner kerb stones. It was retained using thinner kerb profiles as part of the ongoing ‘joint investigations’ work between STAG, Amey and Sheffield City Council. The kerb edging was sculpted to accommodate root morphology.

So, nothing needed to be done apart from what Amey were already contracted and paid to do. It was retained at no extra cost to the tax payer. This begs the question as to why the other seven trees could not have been saved by similar methods, as already proven possible at the Bimonthly Highway Tree Advisory Forum in 2015. So why has it taken so long for Amey to implement these already paid for specifications?