Sheffield calls on public to help shape tree policy

Sheffield City Council has launched a consultation on the city's draft trees and woodlands strategy, and has invited the public to have their say in shaping future policy in one of Europe's leafiest cities.

Image: chelseasmile (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Image: chelseasmile (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Following on from a public consultation event in February, the new draft document sets out the council's vision, aims and actions to manage the city's trees and woodlands for the next 15 years.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, said: "We have some very clear aims within the strategy; we will plant two trees for every one removed, we will plant more trees in the areas that have fewer woodlands, with access to better data we will plan and manage our trees much more effectively and we will continue to find ways of managing our woodlands sustainably.

"Better still we have aspirations, to plant a tree for every baby born in the city each year, that's around 7,000, and watch them grow together, and be explored and enjoyed for many generations to come."

The strategy addresses tree and woodland management, bio-diversity, tree planting, the character of Sheffield's woodlands, archaeology, the outdoor economy, tourism, employment, health and wellbeing, community engagement, education, recreation and interpretation.

Some data will come from an i-Tree survey of tree cover and species, giving a more accurate picture of the city's tree cover, the council said.

The draft strategy incorporates the city's controversial five-year Highway Tree Strategy, part of its wider Streets Ahead programme with contractor Amey intended to "upgrade Sheffield's highway assets during the first five years and then maintain the assets thereafter for the remainder of the [25-year] contract term".

The consultation lasts until 1 December with a final version of the strategy to be implemented next year.

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