Residents have united to oppose the felling of 31 trees in a leafy Sheffield area, the latest branch of controversy in the city.
The trees are due to be axed from where they stand on Rivelin Valley Road as part of Sheffield Council’s Streets Ahead contract to resurface streets, upgrade lights and replace trees.
Contractor Amey says three trees are dead, one decayed, six have structural integrity problems and 21 are causing ‘damage to surface.’
But residents who received a letter about the impending work say that alternative methods could be used instead, and they intend to have an independent assessment of the trees’ health.
Helen Davison, of Manchester Road, said: “Rivelin Valley Road is beautiful because of the trees.
“It is just not a good enough reason in my mind to fell these trees. They say that some of them are dead but I don’t even trust that.
“If we are told by our independent assessors that they are dangerous or dying then we have to accept that comes first but with the trees on the pavement there is no excuse, there are other methods that can be used.
“I expect that, as long as we get the word out, people from all over the city will be interested in our campaign because even if they only come through twice a year they enjoy the trees on this road and they wouldn’t want them to be changed.”
Residents say they are prepared to take direct action. Some were involved in campaigning on Lydgate Lane in Crookes, where trees were given a stay of execution following the planned protest. The council has recently launched an independent tree panel to assess roads where residents have concerns about felling – but it is not yet running although work to cut down and replace trees is continuing.
A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “As we have always said, the replacement of a tree is always a last resort and we take the safety of residents and the public very seriously. In light of high winds this weekend, where some large branches were blown off highway trees, we have asked for three trees on Lydgate Lane to be assessed again for public safety. Once we have the outcome a decision will then be made about whether these trees will be replaced.
“There are 550 highway trees on Rivelin Valley Road and 31 have been noticed to be replaced.
“The detail of why these trees are to be replaced is on our website along with the species they will be replaced with.”