The great tree-felling debate

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I am writing to comment on the article ‘The great tree felling debate flares again in Sheffield’ which appeared in The Star on Friday, May 29.

In my opinion, this is an unbalanced article that gives a positive view as to how Amey are managing the trees in Sheffield yet gives prominence to negative issues that are irrelevant in terms of the trees on Rustlings Road.

Amey were never likely to take your reporter to the areas where their work has completely destroyed the character of the area.

To suggest that the planting of 32 trees and the pruning of mature trees is representative of their overall performance in the management of Sheffield trees is naive.

The claim that benches made from felled trees somehow reminds the community of these magnificent specimens is laughable.

The article mentions a diseased tree on Ecclesall Road that came down narrowly missing a pedestrian.

This tree was on private land and Amey claim that the “public” trees in the city have all been checked.

Amey’s tree expert has publicly stated that only one of the threatened trees on Rustlings Road is diseased, so mention of the Ecclesall Road tree has no relevance to the situation in Rustlings Road.

The reason for the other 11 trees being condemned is “damage to surrounding structures, such as kerbs, pavements and retaining walls”.

Having talked to a number of pedestrians on Rustlings Road, I have yet to find one who finds the “damage” a problem to their safe passage, and this includes elderly people, a wheelchair user and those with pushchairs.

Amey were asked to say how many complaints they had received about the condition of the footpaths but have not provided this information up to now.

There are a number of tried and tested solutions to accommodate the slight raising of the walkway and displacement of the kerb stones caused by tree roots yet Amey state that felling is the only solution.

These lovely, healthy, mature trees will be unnecessarily destroyed in just over a week if Amey have their way, and this will completely change the character of Rustlings Road.

There are other solutions.

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