Petitioning Cllr Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council Cllr Julie Dore and 2 others

Save Ecclesall Road Trees, Sheffield

We, the undersigned, refute the assertion that the felling of over one third of the street trees on Eccesall Road, Sheffield is necessary.

We demand, and believe it imperative, that sensitive, alternative highway engineering specifications for pavements and kerbs be adopted and implemented to enable the long-term retention of those mature street trees designated as damaging.

We also demand that those trees designated as dying be reconsidered in the light of the best arboricultural advice recently offered by experts such as Jeremy Barrell (BSc FArborA DipArb CBiol FICFor FRICS) with a view to retaining as many mature street trees on Ecclesall Road as possible and the felling of any of these trees be used only as a true last resort

It is estimated that since August 2012 over 5000 street trees have been felled across Sheffield. Many thousands more are under threat from the continuing tree felling operations and this includes over one third of the street trees on Ecclesall Road, 13 out of a total of 35.

Eight of these trees are designated by Sheffield City Council as damaging pavements or kerbs and five as "senescent" (dying). In the case of those designated damaging by the Council we believe the damage is minor and does not significantly hinder access or mobility, or use by people with disabilities, prams or pushchairs. It is our opinion that sensitive works such as pavement restructuring and use of low profile kerb stones would represent a sustainable solution to perceived problems. These works are allowed for in the current contract between SCC and Amey, their contractors.

In the case of those designated as senescent, or dying, we believe this designation is mostly incorrect. The main species concerned, Lime Trees and Sycamores, can live up to 250 years or more when managed correctly and are at present apparently healthy and less than half way through their expected lifespan. We demand that those trees designated as dying be reconsidered in the light of the best arboricultural advice recently offered by experts such as Jeremy Barrell (BSc FArborA DipArb CBiol FICFor FRICS)

The loss of these street trees would be highly significant in many ways on such a high profile thoroughfare. They improve the aesthetic look of the street scene enormously, they provide a home for wildlife in an urbanised environment including insects, birds and potentially bats, many scientific studies show that they mitigate the effects of pollution (especially important on such a traffic congested street) and climatic extremes (eg heat or flooding).

Research has also shown that the presence of trees on a street can even improve the retail economy of an area, so important for the many national and locally owned businesses in the area. SCC and Amey have pledged to plant small ornamental trees to "replace" the mature trees. Such trees have a smaller crown at maturity and significantly shorter useful life expectancy. It is impossible for these young trees to provide the magnitude of valuable environmental and other services that mature trees can in either the short or the long term.

 

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Cllr Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council
    Cllr Julie Dore
  • Cabinet Member of the Environment, Sheffield City Council
    Cllr Bryan Lodge
  • streetsahead@sheffield.gov.uk


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