Video: Sheffield tree campaigner climbs safety barriers despite injunction threat

The masked campaigner sits on branches cut from a tree in Struan Road. Photo: John Dawson
The masked campaigner sits on branches cut from a tree in Struan Road. Photo: John Dawson
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A masked Sheffield tree campaigner has been filmed climbing over safety barriers despite the threat of court action.

A video posted on Twitter by John Dawson shows the campaigner - whose face is covered - scaling a metal fence around a tree being felled by Amey workers in Struan Road, Brincliffe Edge.

The protester walks up to the tree and sits on some of the branches that have already been cut off. Two Amey workers film him while another looks on from high up in the tree.

In August a high court judge granted Sheffield Council's request for an injunction designed to stop such protests.

The order prevents anyone entering safety barriers put up around trees and remaining in them once they are set up. It also forbids people from encouraging others to do the same.

Writing on Twitter on Friday, Mr Dawson said: #SaveSheffTrees standoff in S7 this morning as #MaskedMan turns up and barriers block street and homes."

The safety barriers around trees in Struan Road.

The safety barriers around trees in Struan Road.

Tagging The Star, street artist Kid Acne and a vocal social media campaigner known as 'The Sad Squirrel', he added: "Here's a video of a little squirrel trying to get to his tree this morning."

The video was posted the same day Calvin Payne found out he would not be sent to prison despite a judge ruling he had breached the injunction three times, and was therefore in contempt of court.

He was ordered to pay £16,000 in costs to the council.

Judge Mr Justice Stephen Males saw fit to define a safety zone after clearing Mr Payne of a further accusation because part of the safety zone on that occasion was made up of a garden hedge.

Campaigners protest against tree-felling in Sheffield

Campaigners protest against tree-felling in Sheffield

He said it was an area 'enclosed by barriers which have been erected on the public highway'.

Green Party councillor Alison Teal was also cleared of contempt. The council had accused her of remaining in a safety zone but she successfully argued that she had left before it was finished.

Campaigners continue to oppose the tree felling and replacement being carried out by Amey workers as part of the 25-year Streets Ahead PFI contract with the council.

They say healthy trees are being felled for profit and the council is refusing to accept that it is hamstrung by a contract it cannot change. But the council says the trees need to be cut down because they are dead, dying, diseased, dangerous or damaging the highway and preventing people from using it.