SORT Christmas events

Deepa Shetty just posted an update on the petition

Sheffield City Council, Save the 12 Trees on Rustlings Road, Sheffield.

SORT Christmas events


Save the date!



SORT (Save Our Roadside Trees) would like to invite you to join us for a family-fun early evening of carols, hot chocolate and adult-only- toddies on Friday, 4 December, 5pm, at Delilah (Tree 1) on Rustlings Road.

We expect the gathering to last an hour or less and you don’t just have to sing carols!

We are also looking for voluntary professional singers and musicians for the event!

Please note – Media will be in attendance.

ALL welcome with or without Christmas attire!

For more details, please email:


We are seeking prizes to be donated for a raffle that is coming up soon for SORT and our citywide tree campaign.

If you have a quality prize that you can donate, know a business contact that could help us or would like more raffle details, please email Col & Di Carr: 


 Deepa Shetty

Sheffield, United Kingdom

18 Nov 2015 — THANK YOU to everyone who came to show support for STAG’s tree march on Saturday. What an amazing day of hope and solidarity! 🙂

Here’s a clip of the ITV news from the day:

STAG has also launched a website with lots of information and FAQ:

Toddla T is also supporting our campaign here:

6 months down the line and the Rustlings Road trees are still here! We are still demanding the same things:

1. A halt to felling until an acceptable tree strategy is in place.
2. Relaxation of pavement specifications to allow the safe retention of trees on tree-lined streets.
3. Valuation of the ecosystem services that large crowned trees provide. Where i-Tree or CAVAT software have been used in London, Edinburgh, Torbay, Bristol – these services amount to millions of pounds each year!
4. The SUSTAINABLE management of Sheffield’s urban forest, in accordance with The UK Forestry Standard.
5. Proportionate and REASONABLE actions, in accordance with good practice industry guidance and recommendations.

Please copy and paste this list, keep it somewhere safe and learn it by heart. If you find yourself on radio or TV talking about YOUR trees – you’ll know what to say!

Thank you for all your continued help and support in the myriad of practical and creative ways it is being offered to the trees of Sheffield. It is all seen. It is all appreciated.

STAG and ‘all-out’ elections May 2016!

Deepa Shetty
Sheffield, United Kingdom

11 Oct 2015 — Dear supporters. A federation has been set up under the name Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG). This is to act as a hub for people to share and access information from the many tree campaign groups across the city, ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL! The Facebook link is here:

‘All-out’ elections May 2016, means that all councillors will have to stand down and every council seat is up for election – everyone’s seat is up for grabs!! Voters get 3 votes instead of the usual one! So if you are unhappy with the inertia of this Labour Council and their councillors over bringing Amey to task for felling healthy trees – then this would be the time to vote for someone else. Doing so could improve the likelihood of getting a council that will commission alternative highway engineering specifications, that could enable the safe, long-term retention of many, of the thousands of larger-crowned street trees currently scheduled to be felled before 2018 . Alternative highway engineering specifications, drafted by competent highway engineers, working in cooperation with registered/ Chartered arboricultural consultants, would help preserve the ecological, economic and social benefits that street trees provide, which benefit our health and well-being.

This is a generational opportunity to get rid of an entrenched, embedded Council that completely ignores the wishes of it’s constituents! If you want our highway trees to be managed in a sustainable manner, or if you would like greater honesty and transparency, or if you are fed up with having all enquiries secretly converted to Freedom of Information requests, then subsequently dismissed as “vexatious” and “manifestly unreasonable” – voting may be your best opportunity to change things for the better (btw, yes, this IS the way ALL tree related enquiries that relate to the £2.2bn Amey PFI project, are now being handled!).

If you want our council to adopt current and widely accepted industry guidance and recommendations, as befits “The most wooded and treed city in Britain” (SCC, 2015), or if you would like to see that officials ensure that their decisions are soundly based on available evidence and not unduly influenced by transitory or exaggerated opinions formed by vested interests, voting may be your only opportunity for positive change! You can find out more about these things online, by visiting Stocksbridge Community Forum and following the link to the SORT letter to Cllr Fox, dated 14th July, 2015:

As always, thank you everyone for all of your endeavours, wherever you are, for the trees of Sheffield – each of your individual efforts are seen and very much appreciated by the rest of us!

All the best




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4 Responses to SORT Christmas events

  1. Lammergeier says:


    A letter submitted to The Star newspaper on Sunday 1st November, 2015 (unpublished)

    “The 3rd meeting of the bi-monthly Highway Trees Advisory Forum is due to take place next week, but to date, a date has not been suggested or announced by Cllr Fox (self-appointed organiser and Chairman).

    It is over a week since The Star reported (22nd Oct) that Simon Green (Executive Director of the Council’s Place Management Team) had announced the creation of an entirely new management position within the Council’s Highways department:

    “David Caulfield will be leading the trees strand of the Streets Ahead project on an ongoing basis… in partnership with the residents of Sheffield.”

    To date, campaigners have not heard a word from Mr Caulfield. Given that Streets Ahead is a £2.2bn city-wide project, and the Council have agreed that up to 18,000 mature highway trees can be felled (50% of the population), according to Cllr Bramall, within a 5yr period, it does appear to be nonsensical not to have created this position 3yrs ago, at the start of the project, or before the PFI contract was approved. It is also odd that the Council have not appointed a professional arboriculturist or urban forester to the role: a person who has gained expertise in the field of trees in relation to construction, through RELEVANT education, training and experience; a person with an understanding of the requirements of the particular tasks being approached and able to advise on the best means by which relevant industry guidance recommendations may be implemented.
    SORT and Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG) are very concerned that Streets Ahead have repeatedly failed – at least on Rustlings Rd and Clarkehouse Rd – to adhere to the industry guidance and recommendations that they have claimed to (NJUG and British Standard 5837:2012), by:

    a.) using trenching and tarmac lifting machinery within a radius from the trunk equal to 4x stem circumference – measured at 1.5m above ground (the “Protection Zone”);
    b.) not providing on-site supervision by a competent arboriculturist for the duration of excavation and resurfacing works; and by
    c.) not using an air-spade, thereby causing serious, avoidable damage to roots and “soil”.

    SORT have repeatedly requested to see the Arboricultural Method Statement used to help ensure trees are not damaged during excavation works – as recommended by BS 5837. To date, requests have been ignored.

    On 29th Oct, at the AGM of Crosspool Forum, Darren Butt – Amey’s Operations Director – justified the felling of three trees (each ~250yo), on the basis that Amey fear liability and would rather fell old trees than inspect and maintain them at appropriate intervals. The National Tree Safety Group (NTSG) has published guidance to help temper a risk-averse approach to tree management. You can find it online at the Forestry Commission’s website, here:

    Click to access FCMS024.pdf

    Previously, Streets Ahead have justified felling (e.g. on Abbeydale Park Rise) on the basis that their tarmac lifting machine may damage roots, thereby increasing the likelihood of disease, and of trees subsequently becoming dangerous. They have even prescribed felling on the basis that mowers or excavations by Streets Ahead operatives could damage roots and lead to the same consequences.

    Can we really trust the Council to supervise the Amey contract in an adequate manner, without a tree strategy in place?”

  2. Lammergeier says:



    These healthy, mature trees were classed as “Damaging” and/or “Discriminatory”, because of mild pavement “ridging” or minor kerb dislodgement. Alternative highway engineering specifications for footway construction could have been used to overcome all perceived problems and enable the safe, long-term retention of these valuable healthy trees: a key component of the urban forest (as defined by The UK Forestry Standard) and a significant, valuable component of green infrastructure. Unfortunately, the £2.2bn doesn’t stretch to employing registered or chartered arboricultural consultants to work with competent highway engineers to draught alternative specifications. Besides, it is easier to resurface pavements without trees, as machinery can be used to do the job really quickly without having to work around roots by hand, as would be required in order to comply with National Joint Utility Group guidance and British Standard 5837.

    In the “Rustlings Road Response” PDF, prepared by Ms Stephanie Roberts of and for the Streets Ahead Customer Services Fulfilment Team, during the afternoon of 8th July, 2015, Streets Ahead (the AMEY/SCC PFI partnership) stated:

    “The Streets Ahead team work to National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) regulations and relevant British standards for construction works in the vicinity of trees and will continue to do so…”

    National Joint Utilities Group, 2007a. Volume 4: NJUG Guidelines For The Planning, Installation And Maintenance Of Utility Apparatus In Proximity To Trees (Issue 2). [Online] Available at:
    [Accessed 20 March 2014].

    National Joint Utilities Group, 2007b. Volume 4: NJUG Guidelines For The Planning, Installation And Maintenance Of Utility Apparatus In Proximity To Trees (Issue 2) – Operatives Handbook. [Online] Available at:
    [Accessed 20 March 2014].

    The British Standards Institution, 2012. British Standard 5837:2012 Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction – Recommendations”. London: BSI Standards Ltd.

  3. Lammergeier says:


    “Residents across the city are being asked for their views, and if 50 per cent of people on a street have concerns about the felling planned, it will be referred back to the panel for reconsideration.

    But on Newfield Green Road the letters arrived too late, as several trees had been taken down the day previously.”

  4. Lammergeier says:

    Dr Mark Johnston’s Contributions to Arboriculture and Urban Forestry


    Mark Johnston is a Chartered Arboriculturist.

    “Dr Mark Johnston MBE is at the forefront of urban forestry and has been instrumental in developing it from a concept to an accepted tree management term in Britain and Ireland. […]

    He…became the first person to gain a PhD through the route of arboricultural education. […]

    In 2007 he was awarded an MBE for his contribution to the development of urban forestry in Britain and Northern Ireland. In 2009 Mark was the first British person to receive the International Award of Merit from the International Society of Arboriculture for his career in developing urban forestry, including his work on Trees in Towns II. […]

    Over the last 30 years urban forestry has developed from a buzzword that
    people considered an Americanism to a term which has been accepted into
    the mainstream as a name for modern urban tree management.”
    (Ryan, 2011)

    “Dr Mark Johnston has been award the Alex Shigo Award for Excellence in Arboricultural Education for 2013. The prestigious award was presented to Mark at the ISA’s Annual Conference, Trees & People – Growing Stronger through Diversity, in Toronto. Mark is the first UK recipient of a prestigious award from the ISA. The top international accolade is in recognition for his work in enhancing the quality and professionalism of arboriculture through education. ISA President Terrence Flanagan said, ‘Dr Johnston has worked as a contractor, consultant, tree officer, and college professor…’ ”
    (Arboricultural Association, 2013)

    Dr Mark Johnston is also a leading figure in the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG).

    “The Trees and Design Action Group
    (TDAG) is a pioneering group
    of individuals, professionals and
    organisations from both the public
    and the private sectors who have come
    together to increase awareness of the
    role of trees in the built environment
    throughout the United Kingdom.”

    Arboricultural Association, 2013. 2013 Alex L. Shigo Award for Excellence in Arboricultural Education: Dr Mark Johnston. [Online]
    Available at:
    [Accessed 6 June 2013].

    Ryan, J., 2011. Profiles in Arboriculture: Mark Johnston. Essential Arb, pp. 8-10.

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