Trees for Cities pulls out of Sheffield over Streets Ahead concerns

Environmental charity Trees for Cities has said it will no longer work with Sheffield City Council due to its controversial street tree replacement policy.

Image: Chelsea Grubb (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Chelsea Grubb (CC BY 2.0)

In a statement released on Monday (6 March), it said:

"It is with deep regret that whilst these practices continue Trees for Cities is unable to develop further projects on council land. For the sake of the city’s trees, inhabitants and wildlife, we implore the decision-makers in the City Council, Amey and local politicians to urgently seek an acceptable resolution to this situation."

Trees for Cities has worked to plant trees in Sheffield for ten years, creating urban woodlands and community orchards and running projects in schools, during which it has planted over 25,000 trees - during which time "we have always received great support" from the city, it said. 

The charity added that it "believes there to be irrefutable evidence that a number of healthy mature trees have been felled where other options were available" in the city.

The council's cabinet member for the environment Bryan Lodge, has regularly defended the tree felling programme carried out as part of the Streets Ahead programme set up to repair Sheffield's infrastructure.

Lodge said in response: "We understand that Tree for Cities is a member-led organisation and it appears that some of its members are tree protesters who may have influenced the charity with incorrect information regarding our street tree programme."

He added: "In the next few weeks we will meet with Trees for Cities to update them on our tree replacement programme."

Reponding to Bryan Lodge's statement, Trees for Cities chief executive David Elliott said "Trees for Cities does not have members other than its Board of Directors, and so cannot in any way be influenced by a formal member base". 

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