'Suitable outcome' for Sheffield memorial trees which once faced the axe

Trees proudly planted more than 100 years ago in memory of local war heroes, and which once faced the axe in Sheffield’s controversial tree felling programme, have now been retained for the future in a ‘complex’ project.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 12:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 12:13 pm
Flexipave on Western Road, Crookes.

The bid to cut down and replace some 41 memorial trees in Sheffield including 20 on Western Road, Crookes, was one of the key moments in the drawn-out battle over the city’s street trees.

The Western Road trees are a designated war memorial and were planted in 1919 in memory of pupils at a nearby school who died in WWI.

Councillors voted in 2017 to remove the trees after estimating it would cost £500,000 to save them.

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But a year later the council said an agreement had been reached with Streets Ahead contractor Amey to retain most of them.

Now the work on the street using a flexible surfacing system is complete, and these pictures were sent in by a Crookes resident pleased to see the final result.

Gillian Charters, interim head of highway maintenance at Sheffield Council, said: “As part of the new approach to managing street trees across Sheffield, the council has worked hard with residents, stakeholders and campaigners to arrive at a suitable outcome for Western Road which would preserve the memorial trees as well as upgrading both the road and pavement surface.

“When deciding on the best design for this street, many factors needed to be considered, including preserving the memorial trees and making the pavements safe and accessible for pedestrians.

“The final design was able to incorporate some of the existing pavement stones and allowed for the surfacing to reach the base of a number of trees to ensure enough distance for safe passage. We would like to thank all those involved in this complex project for helping us reach such a positive and satisfactory outcome.

“The use of flexi-pave enables tree roots to grow and move, without damaging them or the outer surface. It is also porous and environmentally-friendly as the rubber content comes in part from recycled tyres. Flexi-pave is likely to be used at other locations across the city, subject to the necessary assessments, and where there are similar design challenges.”