Traumatised and stressed by tree felling

Mass protest and march in Sheffield against the City Council and Amey who are felling trees in the city
Mass protest and march in Sheffield against the City Council and Amey who are felling trees in the city
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I’ve seen a worrying report on social media about an increasing number of people consulting their GPs as they’ve been so stressed and traumatised by the tree felling. If their mental health is being affected, this will inevitably impact upon their physical health.

This stands to reason. Trees are not only a very important part of the environment and help to safeguard us against pollution, but are also part of the human experience. They have been around for millennia. They are deeply rooted in our lives, our hearts, our souls. They are part of us. So, if they’re compromised at best and felled at worst, humans and animals will all suffer.

I’ve witnessed the distress of my 85-year-old mother, chronically ill and housebound, when a magnificent tree across the road was felled, which was neither dead, diseased, nor dangerous (the 3 Ds!) from what we could determine. She had a lovely view of it from her bedroom window, it was a source of constancy and consolation as well as being beautiful. When the cavalry came a-calling with their chainsaws and massacred it, she was distraught and enraged in equal measure. As for the relatives of those whom the threatened memorial trees were dedicated to, their feelings of distress and disrespect must be unimaginable.

The public has spoken and continues to do so. I know that GPs and mental health workers are bound by confidentiality and are not at liberty to discuss their cases, but being at the sharp end and dealing with the fallout, it would be good if they could possibly give this an airing and get some dialogue going with the council if this is any way feasible. The council need to know that people are actually being affected to the point where they seek medical help, and who knows, this might offer some kind of way forward. After all, things have gone too far now and it should be game over.

CM Langan

S8