Sheffield Council to "reassess" heritage elm threatened with felling following protest

On Saturday 2 January about 100 residents protested around the tree, in the city's Nether Edge, which was due to be replaced as part of the city's controversial Streets Ahead programme being carried out by contractor Amey.

Image: Paul Selby
Image: Paul Selby

The protesters highlighted the relative rarity of the tree, aged between 150 and 200 years old, as most British elms were wiped out by Dutch elm disease in the 1970s. Protest organiser Paul Selby also claimed it is home to a colony of white letter hairstreak butterflies.

A survey had sought residents' views on the felling, but some have claimed the tree was not detailed on it - which the council disputes.

A council representative said: "The tree is currently being reassessed and we can confirm it will not be removed until we have the results of resident's consultation and the reassessment."

Residents' surveys have been widely used in implementing the city-wide programme, and are intended to trigger an independent review of proposed tree removals if more than 50 per cent of respondents express concerns.

But the implementation of the surveys has received widespread criticism, with the council admitting it was "aware of technical issues" around the issue. It has given until today (8 January) for residents to submit concerns over the elm.

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