Sheffield tree group to form human chain around Town Hall in protest

Campaigners hoping to save thousands of Sheffield's trees from being felled are set to form a human chain around the Town Hall in protest.

Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 4:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 4:36 pm
Campaigners have tied yellow ribbons around a numberof the 20,000 trees Sheffield Council is proposing to fell as part of a citywide tree replacement programme to be carried out by Amey.

The event, which is due to take place from 11.45am on Saturday, has been organised by the Sheffield Trees Action Groups and those taking part will don yellow clothing to represent a ‘human yellow ribbon’.

Campaigners have tied yellow ribbons around a number of the trees Sheffield Council is proposing to fell as part of a citywide tree replacement programme to be carried out by Amey.

“We hope the human yellow ribbon will make a huge visual impact, and show the council how many people are against the plans,” said event organiser and STAG campaigner Nat Loftus.

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The 34-year-old, of Walkley, added: “We tied the ribbons around the trees to show the extent of the number of trees they want to chop down, so this is a way of bringing this to life.

“We want people who haven’t been consulted about this to have a voice with this protest. We’re asking everyone to wear yellow, and I’ll also be bringing extra yellow things for people to wear.

“We understand there needs to be tree management, but they’ve gone about it in the wrong way.”

The council says it is removing trees that are dangerous, diseased, dead or dying or causing damage or obstruction to pavements and replacing them with new ones.

It estimates that between 9,600 and 10,600 trees will be felled as part of the replacement programme.

A Sheffield Council spokesman said: "Between 5,600 and 6,600 trees may need to be replaced during the first five years of the Streets Ahead contract.

"In addition, using an assumption that 200 trees per year will die or be damaged over the remaining 20 years of the programme, another 4,000 trees will need to be replaced. Ultimately, Sheffield will have more trees than it had before the programme began."

But campaigners claim many of the tree removals are unnecessary.

Meanwhile, members of Sheffield Council are set to debate the planned felling of First World War memorial trees in Western Road, Crookes.

Tomorrow’s debate at a full council meeting has been triggered after a petition signed by more than 5,100 people opposing the felling plans was submitted to the council, as part of a campaign backed by The Star.

In November contractors chopped down trees on Rustlings Road near Endcliffe Park in a 5am raid that led to two women in their 70s being arrested.