Great news and a small victory in the battle to save Sheffield’s street trees

Great news and a small victory in the battle to save Sheffield’s street trees – as Memorial Trees saved from the chop!

See the source image

There was an announcement from Sheffield City Council this week that repays months and even years of street tree campaigning. One of the most contentious and for many, appalling, proposals was to feel numbers of healthy tree (now in their prime of life) and which were planted in 1919 to honour the fallen of World War 1. Emerging in the midst of the WW1 commemorations, the proposal was frankly in the worst taste and caused widespread offence. However, a change in those responsible in SCC seems to have signalled at last, a move towards a more reasonable and balanced approach.

The notes below from the BBC website give the main details as are known so far:

‘Dozens of trees planted in honour of fallen World War One soldiers are to be saved from being cut down.
The 32 trees in Sheffield, including 20 on Western Road, were among 41 memorial trees earmarked for felling and replacement, despite being healthy.

Councillors voted in December 2017 to remove the trees after estimating it would cost £500,000 to save them.
However, the council said an agreement had been reached with contractor Amey to retain the majority of the trees.
Green Party Councillor Alison Teal described the announcement as a “victory for common sense”.

Of the 41 trees under threat six have already been felled and three will be removed as they are decaying.

The trees on Western Road are a designated war memorial and were planted in 1919 in memory of pupils at a nearby school who died fighting in WWI.

The other trees are on Tay Street, Oxford Street, Binfield Road, Springvale Road and Heathfield Road.

Councillor Lewis Dagnall, cabinet member for Environment and Streetscene, said: “In this, the week of Remembrance Day, I am confirming that we have developed a plan to retain 32 of the 35 war memorial trees that were originally earmarked for replacement.

“Amey have agreed to fund the costs of delivering this new agreement, and there will be no additional cost to public money.”

One of my students, Grant Westley did a research project on these particular street trees and using the ‘i-Tree eco’ package calculated the ‘structural value’ (based on replacement costs) of the Weston Road trees to be around £981,126! Their carbon storage, important in climate change mitigation is worth around £18,500. These trees al deliver so-called ‘ecosystem services‘ such as flood mitigation, removal of pollution, climate-proofing, benefits to mental and physical health and wellbeing, (they make people healthier and happier!) and they enhance local property values too. This is all before we consider the biodiversity impacts –  on which we hope to report very soon.

 

More to follow!

https://www.ukeconet.org/store/p700/An_i-Tree_Eco_Evaluation_of_the_Ecosystem_Services_Provided_by_Street_Trees.html

A key question that is now asked is that if this is possible (i.e. to save them) for the Memorial Trees, then surely there can be a positive re-evaluation of the fates of many other wonderful trees across Sheffield, and indeed, elsewhere.

Well done all those in the campaign and the many others who have supported us so far.

The battle for our tree heritage is not yet won, but this is a significant and very positive step and shows a degree of common-sense previously lacking.

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4 Responses to Great news and a small victory in the battle to save Sheffield’s street trees

  1. Technotronic says:

    A letter to The Star, Sheffield Telegraph, The Yorkshire Post & The Guardian, dated 6th December 2017

    Notation and references have been added to support the content.

    *****

    “HOW TO RETAIN MEMORIAL TREES

    On 20th September 2017, The Star – a Sheffield newspaper – reported on the potential cost of retaining street trees [1]. An extortionate estimate of cost to retain trees was provided. Steve Robinson (then SCC Head of Highway Maintenance) was quoted:

    “That’s not a result of a detailed design. We would have to spend some money to do a detailed design.”

    Commenting on the possibility of tree retention, in a report dated 27th November 2017, Philip Beecroft – recently appointed SCC Head of Highway Maintenance – asserted:

    “Undertaking this work…would require prioritisation of the potential tree works against other pressing council priorities such as social care.” [2]

    Of course, instead, Sheffield City Council (SCC) could use some of the £2 million plus that they have fined Amey for sub-standard works [3]. After all, SCC never whinge when it comes to dipping in to that multi-million pound pot to needlessly squander funds on household felling surveys, a sham “Independent” Tree Panel, surveillance of citizen tree groups, PR, smear, campaigns of misrepresentation, or court cases. All of which have been unnecessary, avoidable and represent malpractice [4] – a reckless use of public resources. Even so, only a relatively small fraction of the fine money has been used on such things, leaving plenty to enable the retention of mature street trees and ensure the SCC Highways PFI Client Team – responsible for monitoring and enforcing standards for the £2.2bn “Streets Ahead” highway maintenance project – is adequately resourced [5].

    Amey is the service provider for the £2.2bn “Streets Ahead” highway maintenance project. In 2015, commenting on Amey’s contractual commitments, as SCC Cabinet Member For Environment, Recycling And Streetscene, Cllr Jayne Dunn informed:

    “Under the contract they have to fulfil any promise” [6].

    As I understand it, a contract is legally binding. In response to a 140 page letter from the Save Our Roadside Trees Group, dated 29th January 2016 (distributed to every Councillor in the city) [4], on 2nd February 2016, Amey released a “commercially sensitive” contract document [7]. Quote:

    “The removal of street trees will only be considered as a last resort where there are no other reasonably practicable management options available. […] As part of our commitment to only removing a street tree as a last resort, whenever a tree is found to be either damaging or discriminatory, we consider a list of engineering solutions to establish whether any of these can be employed to retain the tree in situ.”

    On 2nd September, 2015, at the second (most recent) meeting of the “bi-monthly” Highway Tree Advisory Forum, Steve Robinson – Beecroft’s predecessor – publicly presented a list of 25 ideas – “engineering solutions” – that could be used to retain mature street trees when resurfacing. The list included: EXCAVATION; “FLEXIBLE PAVING/SURFACING SOLUTION”; RAMPING/RE-PROFILING; USE OF THINNER KERBS; REMOVAL OF DISPLACED KERBS; PRUNING (including pollarding); “creation of LARGER TREE PITS” [7]. He informed:

    “THE ENGINEERING AND TREE-BASED SOLUTIONS COME AT NO EXTRA COST TO THE COUNCIL. SO, THE TAX-PAYER DOES NOT PAY if an engineering solution or a tree-based solution can be applied, and the reason for that is that the Streets Ahead project is a highway maintenance project and engineering and tree-based solutions are highway maintenance solutions.” [8]

    Should works be unaffordable, Mr Robinson informed: “The Council has a defence under the Highways Act – Section 58 defence under the Highways Act – of not having sufficient funding to deal with all those defects.”[9]

    There are a number of “strategic goals” listed within the contract document, such as:

    “MAXIMISE potential CANOPY COVER through… good arboricultural management”

    “Establish a SUSTAINABLE tree stock through… appropriate management.”

    “Improve compatibility with environment through HOLISTIC HIGHWAY DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT.”

    “Improve function of highway trees through INNOVATIVE DESIGN strategy.”

    On numerous occasions, the Council and Amey have asserted that they work to British Standard 5837. The standard states [10]:

    “ROOT SYSTEMS, stems and canopies, with allowance for future movement and growth, NEED to be taken into account in all projects…

    Where tree retention or planting is proposed…

    THE OBJECTIVE SHOULD BE to achieve a harmonious relationship between trees and structures that can be sustained…

    A PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH TOWARDS TREE PROTECTION SHOULD BE ADOPTED…

    […] Details of DESIGN PROPOSALS should be developed in conjunction with the project ARBORICULTURIST and, where required, input from a SUITABLY QUALIFIED engineer.”

    Time for SCC to enforce contractual commitments [6 & 7] and for SCC & Amey to start implementing current good practice [5].

    D.Long (BSc Hons Arb), Sheffield.”

    SOURCE:
    http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/845.html#comment-845

    *****
    NOTES & REFERENCES
    (new links provided)

    *****
    1)
    “Saving Sheffield’s war memorial trees ‘could cost £350,000’”:
    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/saving-sheffield-s-war-memorial-trees-could-cost-350-000-1-8764033

    2)
    See Paul Billington’s* report (“War Memorial Trees”) to the SCC Cabinet, authored by Philip Beecroft (the newly appointed Head of Highway Maintenance), dated 27th November 2017:
    http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/documents/s29127/War%20Memorial%20Trees.pdf

    Also see:
    “War memorial trees in Sheffield ‘would cost £500,000 to save”:
    https://www.thestar.co.uk/our-towns-and-cities/sheffield/war-memorial-trees-in-sheffield-would-cost-500-000-to-save-1-8894518

    *Paul Billington is SCC’s Director of Development Services – the substitute for David Caulfield (resigned). Mr Billington is responsible for all aspects of the £2.2bn, city-wide, Streets Ahead highway maintenance project that affect trees.

    3)
    See previous letters submitted to Johnson publishing Ltd which were never printed:

    Sustainability_FELLING_Rustlings Rd (aka: “FELLING: SCC/AMEY INCOMPETENCE AND DECEIT”, dated 22nd November, 2016):
    http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/701.html#comment-701

    “A LETTER TO THE SHEFFIELD TELEGRAPH” (dated 23rd November, 2016)
    http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/717.html#comment-717

    “COUNCIL INCOMPETENCE” (dated 19th December, 2016):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/important-update-from-deepa-shetty-on-behalf-of-stag/comment-page-1/#comment-1506

    “COST OF SUSTAINABILITY” (dated 29th September 2017):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/09/10/ignorance-pig-headedness-and-bullying-remain-the-order-of-the-day-for-the-sheffield-street-trees-strategy/comment-page-1/#comment-1851

    In addition to the above, listen to the attached audio clip, named:

    “Cllr Lodge – SCC Cabinet Member For Environment And Streetscene – 1st August 2016_Amey_Streets Ahead_PFI_Fines_160801_002_4_2”

    AUDIO:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AsWguV74n6x7i2XlyV9w9OIrY8Jc

    QUOTE:
    “We’re just in the process of taking some action against Amey… they’ve had financial penalties of TWO MILLION POUNDS last year, because of some of their working practices… two million in one year; IT WAS OVER TWO MILLION”

    4)
    See the SORT letter, dated 29th January, 2016, distributed by SCC to EVERY councillor in the city, as the Nether Edge petition hand-out. It can be accessed using the following link:
    http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/sites/default/files/files/SORT%20LETTER%20TO%20THE%20CABINET%20MEMBER%20FOR%20ENVIRONMENT%20AND%20TRANSPORT_29th%20January%2c%202016_v51.6_Corrected_1.pdf

    5)
    Listen to the attached audio clips, named as follows:
    “4_Cllr Lodge_1st August 2016_PFI_Client Team_160801_002_4_2”

    AUDIO:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AsWguV74n6x7i2awelpfeaiLJWpq

    QUOTE:
    “We’re having to shave back on where we’re monitoring. So, the money for the maintenance side is in there, but the monitoring – the client management side – is not part of that, and that’s where we’re having to make funding cuts…

    THE MONEY THAT WE NEED TO MONITOR THAT CONTRACT IS NOT THERE, because we try to make savings and… where people have left, we haven’t replaced. We’ve done vacancy management, so WE HAVEN’T GOT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THAT CLIENT MANAGEMENT TEAM WHICH WE OUGHT TO HAVE.”

    “Amey_Roadshow_Sharrow_Nether Edge_14th Sept_2016_Enquiries_PFI_Client Team_160914_003_7”

    AUDIO:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AsWguV74n6x7i2kxCH-jQedqaf0b

    QUOTE:
    “ THE COUNCIL’S PFI CLIENT TEAM. That’s where your enquiry will go, ultimately, yes, in the first instance. THEY’RE THE ONES THAT ENFORCE THE CONTRACT; THEY’RE THE ONES THAT ENFORCE OUR WORKS ON SITE…”

    6)
    An e-mail from Cllr Jayne Dunn to a lead participant within the Save Our Roadside Trees Sheffield Tree Action Group. It can be viewed using this link:
    http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/853.html#comment-853

    7)
    See the Amey PFI contract document for tree management that was made public on 2nd February 2016 (the day before the Nether Edge Sheffield Tree Action Group presented their 6,295 plus signature petition at a meeting of Sheffield City Council). It was released in response to a letter from the Save Our Roadside trees Sheffield Tree Action Group, addressed to Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport (Cllr Terry Fox), dated 29th January 2016 [4]:

    http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/sites/default/files/files/SCC_Sheffield%20Streets%20Ahead%205%20Year%20Tree%20Management%20Strategy.pdf

    Also see:
    ‘6Ds_SCC & AMEY HIGHWAYS INFRASTRUCTURE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA – LICENCE TO KILL_v4’

    https://1drv.ms/b/s!AsWguV74n6x7i2xM8pNCpe4WlSYi

    8)
    See D.Long’s previous letter: “The Battle For Sustainable Stewardship of Sheffield’s Street Trees” ( http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/852.html#comment-852 ).

    Also listen to the attached audio clip, from the second meeting of the “bi-monthly” Streets Ahead Highway Tree Advisory Forum, held on 2nd September 2015:

    “HTAF 2_2nd_September_2015_Steve_Robinson – SCC Head of Highway Maintenance_NO EXTRA COST SOLUTIONS_150902_001_2_3_2”
    (transcribed on page 47 of the SORT letter [4, above]).

    AUDIO:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AsWguV74n6x7i2pP_LEiBkpyZpxB

    QUOTE:
    “THE ENGINEERING AND TREE-BASED SOLUTIONS COME AT NO EXTRA COST TO THE COUNCIL. So, the tax-payer does not pay if an engineering solution or a tree-based solution can be applied, and the reason for that is that the Streets Ahead project is a highway maintenance project and engineering and tree-based solutions are highway maintenance solutions.”

    Please note that to date there has not been a third meeting, despite the SCC website continuing to assert:

    “Anyone who cares about the trees on Sheffield’s streets can come along to the Highway Tree Advisory Forum meeting.

    The forum has been set up to give people an opportunity to hear from a variety of experts from various fields from across the city to debate how highway trees should be managed.”

    SOURCE:
    https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/roads-pavements/managing-street-trees.html
    (web-page last updated on 2nd November 2017 at 10:39AM)

    9)
    Listen to the attached audio clip, from the second meeting of the “bi-monthly” Streets Ahead Highway Tree Advisory Forum, held on 2nd September 2015:

    “HTAF 2_2nd_September_2015_Steve_Robinson – SCC Head of Highway Maintenance_Section 58 Defence – Insufficient Funding_150902_001_2_3_2” (transcribed on page 45 of the SORT letter [4, above]).

    AUDIO:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AsWguV74n6x7i2vG8V8l8oxhYUn2

    QUOTE:
    “THE COUNCIL HAS A DEFENCE UNDER THE HIGHWAYS ACT – SECTION 58 DEFENCE UNDER THE HIGHWAYS ACT – OF NOT HAVING SUFFICIENT FUNDING TO DEAL WITH ALL THOSE DEFECTS.”

    10)
    Reference: The British Standards Institution, 2012. British Standard 5837:2012 Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction – Recommendations”. London: BSI Standards Ltd.
    http://crawley.gov.uk/pub_livx/groups/operational/documents/plappcomment/ehfp2040459_attachment_1.pdf

    GET IT WHILE YOU CAN, AS IT IS WORTH £224
    https://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030213642

  2. Technotronic says:

    COMMENT FROM STAG FACEBOOK, POSTED BY IAN CHALLIS, ON 30th July 2018

    Within the main “Streets Ahead Contract” it states:

    “28.8 Sample Inspections

    The Service Provider shall carry out the SAMPLING INSPECTIONS of the Carriageways and Footways Service, GROUNDS MAINTENANCE SERVICES and the Street Cleaning Services pursuant to Service Standards 2, 6 and 8 of the Output Specification. ”

    The sub contract document “SCHEDULE 2: SERVICE STANDARDS” has the following section of text within it:

    “1.7. ensure that an ANNUAL TREE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME is developed, approved by the Authority and carried out with all Highway Tree (and trees forming part of Highway Tree Clusters) replacements being UNDERTAKEN HAVING REGARD TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE HIGHWAY TREE REPLACEMENT POLICY ;”

    The “Annual Tree Management Programme” that is referred to above is the “5 YEAR TREE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY” document. This has a number of sub versions, but even within the “5 Year Tree Management Strategy 2016 Redacted” it states:

    “Ensure a safe tree stock THROUGH GOOD TREE MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION.”

    The above does not include the words “watering the trees” but it clearly would be under “Good Industry Practice” to water them so they don’t die.

    It should also be noted WITHIN THE MAIN “STREETS AHEAD CONTRACT” DOCUMENT* under “PART G – THE SERVICES” (starting on page 154) it states:

    “31. OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE THE SERVICE AND PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

    31.1 Standard of Service

    The Service Provider shall provide the Service CONTINUOUSLY THROUGHOUT THE TERM:

    31.1.1 IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOOD INDUSTRY PRACTICE;

    31.1.2 in order to comply fully with Schedule 2 (Output Specification)”

    THE SCHEDULE DOCUMENT WHICH IS REFERRED TO above is NOT named as “Output Specifications” however it is clearly the same document which in turn refers within it to “Schedule 6” for some content. Irrelevent “Schedule 2” is still referred to within the original contract under 31.1.2, which on PAGE 38 OF “SCHEDULE 2” REFERS TO THE “5 YEAR TREE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY”.

    As the main contract and sub documents, including the schedules and original “Streets Ahead 5 Tree Management Strategy” were all drafted as part of the same document set, and the “Tree Management” strategy was a clearly defined deliverable this makes them contractually linked.

    What is also clear is mulitple references within the main contract, schedules and sub documents to “GOOD INDUSTRY PRACTICE” – although it does not state a specific standard the fact this phrase has been used means that AMEY ARE CONTRACTUALLY REQUIRED TO FOLLOW GENERAL INDUSTRY TRENDS FOR CONDUCTING THEIR WORK, AND IF THEY DO NOT THEN THEY ARE BREAKING A CONDITION OF THE CONTRACT. If it can be demonstrating that general industry best practice is not being kept to by Amey (i.e. Not having a watering plan that suitably supports the trees in developing, not suitably assessing trees before deciding to cut them down, and not suitably using alternative engineering methods to retain existing trees and thus “ensure a safe tree stock through good tree management and protection”) then all these are items THE COUNCIL SHOULD BE USING TO ISSUE WRITTEN WARNINGS TO AMEY TO SUITABLY ADDRESS THROUGH “DISPUTE RESOLUTION” WHICH IS DETAILED IN THE CONTRACT, and if they do not do this then THE COUNCIL CAN SUITABLY TERMINATE THE CONTRACT (which should be at no cost when three disputes have not been addressed to the council’s satisfaction).

    In short they are contractually obligated and are hence breaking their contractual obligation not watering them…

    SOURCE
    (see the comments area):
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/392913244219104/permalink/1016723381838084/

    * The SCC website provides access to a document named ‘STREETS AHEAD CONTRACT’ (PDF 1MB), dated 31st July 2012:
    https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/content/dam/sheffield/docs/roads-and-pavements/streetsahead/Contract.pdf

    ************************************************************************************************************

    CONTRACTUAL COMMITMENTS & BAD PRACTICE

    ***
    CURRENT GOOD PRACTICE DOCUMENTS:
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/good_industry_practice#comment-85382

    ***
    THE COUNCIL AND THE STREETS AHEAD TEAM HAVE EXISTING POLICY COMMITMENTS, TO COMPLY WITH CURRENT GOOD PRACTICE:
    http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/484.html#comment-484

    ***
    TREE MASSACRE – A FEW FACTS
    (A letter to Sheffield Telegraph, dated 10th April 2018):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/chris-packham-in-sheffield-to-see-for-himself/comment-page-1/#comment-2180

    ***
    HOW TO RETAIN MEMORIAL TREES
    (A letter to The Star, Sheffield Telegraph, The Yorkshire Post & The Guardian, dated 6th December 2017):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/george-monbiot-addresses-the-sheffield-street-tree-issues/comment-page-1/#comment-1939

    ***
    BAD PRACTICE
    (HOW TO GET 66.7% OF MATURE HIGHWAY TREES FELLED: THE SHEFFIELD STANDARD):
    http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/407.html#comment-407

    ***
    AMEY SELF-MONITORING & AFTERCARE: THE SHEFFIELD TAXPAYER RIP-OFF:
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/latest-from-deepa-and-the-trees-campaign/comment-page-1/#comment-2308

    ***
    FELLING: SCC/AMEY INCOMPETENCE AND DECEIT (How SCC & Amey get it so wrong): a letter dated 22nd November, 2016:
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/like-thieves-in-the-night-they-came-to-cut-down-the-trees/#comment-1447

  3. Technotronic says:

    WESTERN ROAD ARMISTICE CENTENARY COMMEMORATION

    TODAY – Sunday 11th November 2018

    4.30pm: Lantern Procession
    from Wesley Hall, Crookes.

    5pm: Western Road Procession & Avenue of Lights.
    Ceremony at memorial plaque.

    Western Road will be closed for the duration of the event (5-6pm approx).

    Map: https://www.facebook.com/events/254589291915030/

    *****
    STAG FACEBOOK CONTRIBUTIONS BY LIZ CHURTON

    “Last year I made this animation with Oliver Lomax’s Poem, because I was appalled that 32 trees in Sheffield, including 20 on Western Road, were among 41 memorial trees earmarked for felling and replacement, despite being healthy.”

    Animation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/392913244219104/permalink/1089969674513454/

    “This time last year on Western Road…
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/392913244219104/permalink/1090234581153630/

  4. Technotronic says:

    TODAY…

    SORT – AN INVITATION

    Have a Heart and join us to commemorate 2 yrs since the Rustlings Rd tree felling

    On Saturday, 17 November 2018, it will be 2yrs since 7 mature, structurally-sound, large crowned street trees were felled around 4.30am on Rustlings Road, Sheffield. It was not dawn – it was officially night-time. Only 1 tree was saved that night by campaigners – Ellen – named after the Star journalist Ellen Beardmore, outside no.203 Rustlings Rd. Earlier efforts, by SORT, had successfully managed to avert the felling of three of the eleven mature street trees. All eleven had been scheduled for felling on the basis that perceived damage to pavements and kerbs hindered accessibility and mobility to road users and that represented a liability. Amey stated that the trees were: “causing damage… which cannot be adequately repaired without causing irreparable damage to their roots.”

    SORT (Save Our Roadside Trees – formerly Save Our Rustlings Trees), part of STAG (Sheffield Tree Action Groups) is once more asking you to have a heart and join us in commemoration.

    As Jarvis Cocker was reported as saying in the Sheffield Star on 7th April 2018, and also nationally: “Chopping down trees at 4am is a little bit surreptious – you’re obviously not sure if what you are doing is right”.

    The felling of the Rustlings street trees harmed many people – including the two pensioners who were arrested, detained in their nightwear, and dragged over the coals, awaiting court proceedings that were dropped on the day. Many people understood the implications for losing structurally-sound street trees in their area. The 11 street trees on Rustlings Road and their fate, had come to symbolise the 17,500 (or even 18,000) mature street trees that Sheffield City Council have targeted for felling. So far, over 5,500+ have been felled.

    Put forward by the Arboricultural Association, to offer expert opinion on the Council’s felling decisions for Rustlings Rd and elsewhere, the internationally respected arboricultural consultant, Jeremy Barrell (a member of the Expert Witness Institute), offered his expert opinion, when interviewed on the BBC’s The One Show, on 4th January 2017*. He commented:

    “I’ve looked at every tree here; none of them need to come out. This is contrary to government guidance and guidance from the chartered institute of highways & transportation – it’s a shocking affair that we have to make sure doesn’t happen anywhere else in the country.”

    Restocking with a sapling as a substitute for the loss of a mature tree is often, inappropriately, described as ‘replacement’. That is misleading, because it neglects to recognise and account for loss in the magnitude of a range of valuable eco-system services that benefit the health and well-being of the neighbourhood and communities. Larger trees deliver proportionately greater benefits.

    In September 2015, at the Council’s second and final ‘bi-monthly’ Highway Trees Advisory Forum, the people of Sheffield were told that there were THIRTEEN ‘engineering options’ within the £2.2bn highway maintenance contract that could be used, where appropriate, to enable the retention of mature street trees during highway works. The Council’s Head of Highway Maintenance informed:

    “The engineering and tree-based solutions come at no extra cost to the council. so, the tax-payer does not pay…”

    These options could have been used to retain the seven healthy lime trees that were felled.

    There is sparse evidence of the ‘free’ engineering options having been used anywhere else in the city to retain mature street trees.

    Two mobility scooters had been able to pass side by side, on the pathway, by each felled tree. The fellings were not about accessibility – but seeming spite. A simple case of putting profit before people. Many Sheffielders were shocked and sickened to suddenly realise that their Labour council was seemingly backing and facilitating a private company in its actions.

    It was clear that the powers that be, thought they could cut off the head of the Sheffield street campaign, by felling the Rustlings Road trees.

    As with all hubris, the outcome was very different and the campaign put down even more roots.

    Two years after the felling of the Rustlings Rd trees, you are invited to have a heart and come and remember with us in a candle light/torch walk.

    DATE:
    17.11.18

    TIME:
    4.15pm

    RENDEVOUS:
    Ellen the Tree – outside no. 203 Rustlings Rd & walk to Endcliffe Park in silence to where Delilah the Tree once stood.

    Bring your good hearts with you – wear them on your sleeve if you like

    * The One Show (BBC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESAF9A43PwM&feature=youtu.be

    *******
    SORT: A NEWS ARCHIVE (mainly video):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/dave-dilner-speaks-out-about-sheffield-street-trees/comment-page-1/#comment-2688

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