Sheffield farm defends trade in timber with firm behind controversial tree felling

A tree is felled on Dunkeld Road, Nether Edge
A tree is felled on Dunkeld Road, Nether Edge
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A city farm that buys and sells wood from the firm tasked with the controversial felling of Sheffield’s street trees has defended itself against criticism.

Heeley City Farm has admitted purchasing processed timber from council contractor Amey to ‘bag and resell’, using the money to pay for the site’s upkeep and run activities.

But dozens of objections have been posted on the Facebook page of the campaign organisation Sheffield Tree Action Groups.

Carl Thompson said Heeley was ‘a farm that is now paying for wood that has been stolen from under our noses’, while Olivia Bliss wrote: “Amey should donate the wood rather than profiting.”

In a statement, the farm’s chief executive John Le Corney said the charity had worked with the contractor on projects ‘for some time’, adding: “Amey have assured us that if we did not buy the wood they would sell the whole lot to a commercial firewood contractor, thus removing any community benefit. We think it important that this money is recycled into our community. All proceeds from sales are spent on maintaining the farm and providing more services and activities.”

Street trees are being cut down and replaced under the council’s Streets Ahead road repairs programme with Amey.

An Amey spokeswoman said: “Amey is supplying Heeley City Farm with timber which has been processed so that it can be sold easily for the benefit of their charity. The small amount of money made from these sales is used to fund the costs associated with processing the wood.”