An action plan, which supports a new approach to managing the city’s street trees, has been agreed between the council and Sheffield Trees Action Groups (STAG).
A number of areas of common ground have been reached following collaborative working between the council’s highways contractor, Amey, and members of the campaign group.
The plan identifies practical solutions for retaining more street trees as well as proposing ways of doing things differently, as part of a new approach adopted by the council and its wider partners.
Cabinet member for Environment, Street Scene and Climate Change at Sheffield City Council, Councillor Mark Jones said:
“This is a day for holding up our hands and admitting we got things wrong. We have been working collaboratively and productively with partners including STAG for some months now, and this report marks the next step in the process of learning lessons from the tree replacement works that led to such a damaging situation for the city we all love.
“We fully recognise that our approach to managing street trees has, in the past, been the subject of different strongly held views about what is in the best interests of the city.
“The programme of works forms part of our Streets Ahead contract. And whilst we know that there have been challenges along the way, the investment in our infrastructure has been invaluable.
“Our vision for the city’s street trees remains unchanged – we always wanted to ensure a long-term and sustainable future for our urban forest, which includes managing and replenishing the stock until 2037. However, we know that we could have approached some things differently by listening to people’s views sooner and by being more open with what we were doing and why.”
Alongside the action plan, a draft Street Tree Strategy, developed with partners and independent expertise, will be finalised in the coming weeks and reflect our shared ambitions for the City’s urban forest following a series of facilitated workshops being led by the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.
The strategy will consider best practice as well as the views of all parties whilst acknowledging the unique challenges of trees growing in a highway environment.
A copy of the ‘Lesson Learned on Street Tree Inspections Action Plan’ can be found at: www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/roads-pavements/managing-street-trees