Last Sunday, at 6am, Amey workmen cut down the four beautiful healthy plane trees in Fitzalan Square, as shown by this pictures taken by Cuthbert Baines.
They came like thieves in the night, as they were aware that they were doing this without the consent of the people of Sheffield.
Yes, they had gone through the process of pretending to consult, ignoring the petition of 3,189 people, ignoring the advice of the council tree manager and attaining planning permission to “redevelop” the square.
So now the city centre is totally bereft of mature trees that soak up particulates, improving our air quality, give us shade in hot weather and soak up water to help prevent flooding when it pours.
They will be replaced with new trees but I can’t find any mention in the council documents of the species.
I fear they will be smaller trees, not capable of the eco-services the plane trees offered, especially hosting many birds that used to cheer up our city centre.
It is so sad that our council do not value trees.
It is ironic that one thing they are making room for in the square is air quality monitoring equipment.
Without the trees the air quality will be far worse.
As we await news of what happens next with the Streets Ahead contract, here is another clear example of why the Labour Council should not be trusted with looking after our environment.
The council tree officer wrote: “Removal of these four trees will have a significant impact on the immediate area.
“The city centre has the lowest percentage tree cover in Sheffield and there are relatively few large trees within the area.
“Visually, the trees provide a natural living feature that helps to soften the harsh lines of the existing built environment.
“The trees play an important role in trapping and removing pollutants from the surrounding air as well as providing dappled shade for users of the square.
“The canopies also help to break up wind movement that may otherwise funnel between the buildings.
“All four trees are well established with a significant potential longevity. All are considered to be in their prime.”
The petition can be found here. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-the-fitzalan-square-plane-trees
Glencoe Road, Sheffield, S2