Petitioning Sheffield City Council and 3 others

Save The Netheredge Trees

We, the undersigned, refute the assertion that the felling of trees in Netheredge Sheffield is necessary. Instead, we demand, and believe it imperative, that sensitive engineering solutions (1) be adopted and implemented to enable the long-term retention of these trees.

Evidence indicates that such large trees contribute significantly to local climate regulation (2), filtration of atmospheric pollutants (3), sustainable urban drainage (4), biodiversity (5), ecology (6): health and wellbeing (7) and amenity (8); through their beauty and our pleasure of its enjoyment, which enriches our lives.

So far between August 2012 and July 2015 2,019 trees have been felled across the city. The SCC argue that the trees are damaging the pavements and roads and are therefore are "dangerous and/or discriminatory to disabled people and those using pushchairs". We believe the damage is minor and does not significantly impair accessibility for disabled people, or the use of prams and pushchairs. It is our opinion that sensitive engineering solutions, such as pavement restructuring and localized remediation near trees, with kerb stones sculpted to accommodate root morphology, would represent a sustainable solution to perceived problems.

Loss of these trees would represent a significant loss of a valuable foraging resource for bees, bats, owls and many other insects and birds. Not to mention the emotional wellbeing of Sheffields residents. Lines could be painted on the road to prevent parking under trees, thereby minimizing the risk of damage to vehicles, to a level firmly within the “broadly acceptable region” of tolerability (9).

SCC and Amey have pledged to plant small ornamental trees to "replace" the mature trees. These are not a replacement. Sapling trees cannot provide the same that mature trees can its impossible. Some of these trees are over 100 years old. It is ignorant to suggest that it is possible to just "replace" them. 

Sub-veteran, mature trees represent our cultural heritage (10) and are irreplaceable. We demand that alternative, sensitive engineering solutions be implemented as an alternative to felling.

Much of Netheredge is deemed a conservation area, these trees are an invaluable part of Sheffield heritage and cannot be allowed to be destroyed.

References:

1) Trees and Design Action Group. (2014) Trees in Hard Landscapes: A Guide for Delivery. TDAG http://www.tdag.org.uk/trees-in-hard-landscapes.html

2) Forestry Commission (2011). The UK Forestry Standard: The governments’ approach to sustainable forest management. 3rd ed. Edinburgh: Forestry Commission. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/ukfs

3) Karl, T., Harley, P., Emmons, L., Thornton, B., Guenther, A., Basu, C., & Jardine, K. (2010). Efficient atmospheric cleansing of oxidized organic trace gases by vegetation. Science, 330(6005), 816-819.http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6005/816.short

Escobedo, F., Kroeger, T. & Wagner, J. (2011). Urban forests and pollution mitigation: analyzing ecosystem services and disservices. Environmental Pollution, Volume 159, pp. 2078-2087.http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?cluster=14928633190131047233&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5

4) Trees and Design Action Group (2012). Trees in the Townscape: A Guide for Decision Makers, s.l.: Trees and Design Action Group.http://www.tdag.org.uk/trees-in-the-townscape.html

Construction Industry Research and Information Association, 2013. CIRIA Research Project RP993: Demonstrating the multiple benefits of SuDS – A business case (Phase 2). Draft Literature Review. [Online] Available at: http://www.susdrain.org [Accessed 25 May 2015].http://www.susdrain.org/files/resources/ciria_guidance/ciria_rp993_literature_review_october_2013_.pdf

5) Ewers, R. M., & Didham, R. K. (2006). Confounding factors in the detection of species responses to habitat fragmentation. Biological Reviews, 81(01), p. 117-142. http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?cluster=1003233194462145743&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5

Gilbert‐Norton, L., Wilson, R., Stevens, J. R., & Beard, K. H. (2010). A Meta‐Analytic Review of Corridor Effectiveness. Conservation Biology, 24(3), p. 660-668. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01450.x/full

6) Gonzalez, A., Rayfield, B., & Lindo, Z. (2011). The disentangled bank: how loss of habitat fragments and disassembles ecological networks. American Journal of Botany, 98(3), p. 503-516.http://www.amjbot.org/content/98/3/503.full

7) Sarajevs, V. (2011). Health Benefits of Street Trees, Farnham: Forest Research. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/INFD-8JCEJH

Williams, K., O'Brien, L. & Stewart, A.. (2013). Urban health and urban forestry: how can forest management agencies help?. Arboricultural Journal: The International Journal of Urban Forestry, Volume 35, pp. 119-133.http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03071375.2013.852358

8) Shackell, A. & Walter, R. (2012). Greenspace Design For Health And Well-being, Edinburgh: Forestry Commission.http://www.forestry.gov.uk/PDF/FCPG019.pdf/$FILE/FCPG019.pdf

Velarde, M., Fry, G. & Tveit, M. (2007). Health effects of viewing landscapes – Landscape types in environmental psychology. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Volume 6, p. 199-212.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1618866707000416

9) The National Tree Safety Group. (2011). Common Sense Risk Management of Trees: Guidance on trees and public safety in the UK for owners, managers and advisers. Forestry Commission Stock Code: FCMS024 ed. Edinburgh: Forestry Commission.http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/publications.nsf/searchpub/?SearchView&Query=(FCMS024)&SearchOrder=4&SearchMax=0&SearchWV=TRUE&SearchThesaurus=TRUE

10) de Groot, R., Alkemade, J., Braat, L. & Hein, L. (2010). Challenges in integrating the concept of ecosystem services and values in landscape planning, management and decision making. Ecological Complexity, Volume 7, p. 260–272. http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?cluster=17957884838351513211&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Sheffield City Council
  • Amey
  • Councillor Fox
  • streetsahead@sheffield.gov.uk


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