Tree-felling contractors in stand-off with Sheffield residents

Contractors attempting to resume Sheffield's street tree felling programme today (9 June) had to call in police after being obstructed by local protesters.

Amey contractors called the police to Bannerdale Road in the Carterknowle district to the south of the city, where their attempts to fell ten mature cherry trees early this morning were impeded by "around six" local residents and their cars. Police left after five hours without making any arrests.

Campaigner Anne Barr told the Sheffield Star: "We protested against the felling yesterday and managed to save three trees but they came back today earlier than before to try again.

"We had to move away from the first tree we were trying to save in our non-violent direct action because the police threatened us with arrest. We are now having to stand by and watch them destroy the trees."

Amey operations manager Jeremy Willis said the ten trees "have been identified for replacement by our qualified arborists", and "are either dead, dying or causing damage to adjacent structures or the highway network".

He added: "On Bannerdale Road, the threshold for referral to the Independent Tree Panel was not reached, as less than 50 per cent of residents who responded disagreed with our tree replacement proposals."

Campaigner Dave Dillner last month called for "non-violent direct action" to prevent further felling of street trees after his legal bid to stop the programme was unsuccessful.

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