Replacement trees to be planted on Sheffield street after controversial felling programme

Replacement trees are to be planted on a Sheffield street where others were felled in an controversial early-morning operation.

Monday, 13th March 2017, 7:50 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:04 am
Trees were felled on Rustlings Road in November

Council contractors will be planting 16 trees on Rustlings Road, Endcliffe, where nine were controversially felled in November as part of a city-wide road improvement scheme.

Contractor Amey, which runs the Streets Ahead road improvement contract, sent workers onto the street at 5am on November 17 to cut down trees while residents slept and before protesters could gather.

Police officers knocked on doors to ask residents to move their cars to allow the tree felling work to be carried out while they stood guard.

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Two pensioners - Jenny Hockey, aged 70, and Freda Brayshaw, 71 - were arrested following a stand-off and charged but their cases were later dropped.

Sheffield Council was severely criticised over the early morning felling operation and later apologised.

A Sheffield Council spokeswoman said: "Ultimately, Rustlings Road will have more street trees than before the Streets Ahead contract commenced in 2012.

"Streets Ahead will plant an extra 600 street trees in Sheffield over the contract period meaning there will be more trees in the city than before the contract started.

"We have apologised for our approach to the tree works on Rustlings back in November 2016 and have committed to being more transparent with the people of Sheffield in the way we communicate programme information and activity.

"The street tree replacement programme is part of the wider Streets Ahead contract which presents Sheffield with a unique opportunity to bring the roads up to

Standard and maintain over a 25 year period.

"Every street tree on the programme will be replaced on a one for one basis meaning that Sheffield will be able to enjoy a diverse age profile of street trees for generations to come.

"The total estimated number of street trees to be replaced over the full contract period, amounts to less than 0.3 per cent of the city’s overall tree stock."