"Don’t become another Sheffield" – Campaigners back new Doncaster tree policy

Campaigners have backed Doncaster Council’s new policy on the management of street trees and urged the authority ‘not to become another Sheffield’.
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Campaigners said alternative engineering solutions were available but the council said full removal was needed to fix the pavements.

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The saga led to protests and even the arrest of one protester who was later released without charge.

Bosses at Doncaster Council are to implement a new tree policyBosses at Doncaster Council are to implement a new tree policy
Bosses at Doncaster Council are to implement a new tree policy

They will review documentation and interview interested parties such as council bosses, councillors, activists and independent street tree experts – likely from the Woodland Trust or the Sheffield Tree Action Group.

The strategy also includes plans for the council to spend £144,000 to plant 100 large trees along main highways.

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Council bosses said they were wary of protests in Doncaster turning into a long-running feud between campaigners, as happened with Sheffield Council and spanned for more than three years.

Richard Needham, tree campaigner and member of Doncaster Green Party, welcomed the changes to the policy and said the old system had ‘loopholes’ which meant felling was prefered over investigating other solutions.

“We are pleased that DMBC are undertaking a much needed review of their tree policy following the fiasco of Middlefield Road, where 64 healthy mature trees were removed en masse, decimating an important wildlife corridor causing division and upset amongst residents. This should never be allowed to happen again,” he said.

“The real danger threatening us all is the climate and biodiversity emergency. Unless this is tackled head on it will cost us dearly. There is no room for complacency. Each and every tree needs to be valued.

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“The spirit of the updated policy is good because it aspires to protect, increase and to value urban trees for their role in tackling the climate and biodiversity emergency, help prevent flooding, improve local air quality and make Doncaster a healthier and more attractive place to live, work and visit.