Sheffield campaigners have questioned a council claim that almost 150 trees have been saved from felling through ‘flexi-paving’.
Members of Save Our Roadside Trees, who are fighting to stop city trees being cut down, suggested the use of the construction technique that ‘allows the roots to breathe and receive water; whilst not cracking and reducing any residual slopping or pavement undulation’.
They queried a council suggestion, reported in The Star in December, that flexi-paving had already been used in 143 locations. But they were only given two sites - The Moor, and Bowness Road in Walkley.
Today the council’s cabinet member for the environment Bryan Lodge said the 143 figure related to sites that had been assessed, but where work had not yet been done in many cases ‘because of the delays and court proceedings we have faced over the past few months’.
Campaigners took the council to court to try to halt tree felling, but had their appeal dismissed.
Coun Lodge added: “We have always said and will keep reiterating that the replacement of any street tree is a last resort. However, we all need to understand that these trees were planted in the Victorian era and we have built our highway infrastructure around them.
“Sheffield now finds itself with a very unique opportunity where we can ensure that we protect our green heritage status and safeguard street trees on our highways for future generations. We have carried out two independent surveys which both say that the current street trees are reaching the end of their mature life, so we need to intervene.
“That is what we are doing and planting species of trees that are better in the long run.”