STAG Thought of the Day – Mass Fellings

Please be very alert this week, Amey felling crews could pop up almost anywhere.

More here
It’s been a long and involving day across the city. We have seen the biggest attempted felling under this programme so far. We have had some losses in other parts of the city, but thanks to solid work on St Ronan’s Rd, none in our area.

We have seen new ‘legal’ notices put in place by SCC/Amey and signed by the Amey Operations Manager. These notices tell people that they are breaking the law by preventing ‘lawful’ felling or by simply entering the work area without permission. Neither of these claims is true. Such actions are perfectly lawful.

If people want to get involved in our peaceful, polite, actions against tree felling then please get in touch here as we need all the help we can get tomorrow and for the future. There is nothing to be afraid of, no-one has ever broken the law in our campaign, no-one has been convicted or even faced trial, no-one has faced any civil actions, and no-one has done anything other than prevent appalling acts on our city’s environment and ecology. If you’ve been thinking about getting involved then tomorrow may just be the time to do so.

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Latest Independent Tree Panel Recommendations and Council’s (depressing) response. 

Today, Sheffield Council released the latest Independent Tree Panel recommendations, and the Council response to those recommendations. Adding these to the previously released information, here are the summary statistics:
150 roads have been referred to the ITP, but so far the ITP recommendations have only been published for 64 of these roads. These 64 roads had 305 trees for consideration.
Of the 305 trees:

– 22 (7.2%) were dead or had already been removed;

– 55 (18%) were dying or diseased so the ITP agreed with their removal;

– 228 (74.8%) were perfectly healthy so the ITP seriously considered them.

Of the 228 healthy trees the ITP recommended:

– Saving 97 of them (42.5%), suggesting using one of the 14 free engineering solutions;

– Saving a further three trees (1.3%) as special cases (The Vernon Road Oak, a rare Italian Alder on Kenbourne Road, and a “magnificent” London Plane on Vainor Road) using one of the additional engineering solutions;

– Felling 128 of them (56.1%) as the damage to the road or pavement was too substantial

– The ITP advice was missing for a further tree

Of the 100 trees that the ITP recommended saving, the Council ignored them on 94 trees (94% of the time). 

Of the 6 trees “saved” by the ITP process, only one is a genuine “saving.” The other five trees were incorrectly identified or listed by Amey and were therefore administrative errors. 

In nearly all cases where the Council decided to ignore ITP recommendations to save, they have been vague about why, and have seemingly accepted Amey advice, unquestioned.

Extrapolating these numbers across the 6000 trees being felled in the first five years of the 25 year PFI contract: 

– 4488 would have been healthy, 1512 would have been dead, dying, diseased, or already removed

– 1966 of the 6000 trees are being unnecessarily being felled

In summary:

– Despite the lack of transparency, the ITP did at least at first seem to be genuinely independent;

– The Council have questionable engineering expertise, and so are pretty much forced to accept Amey advice above the ITP advice;

– So far the process has only saved 6 trees (2%) out of the 305 considered, only one of which (0.3%) is a genuine saving.

More here

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I completely despair at the ignorance of some people

With reference to the article ‘Residents tell protesters we want trees to be axed’ (Star, May 6). I hate to criticise some of my fellow Sheffielders but sometimes an occasion arises when things need to be said, even if it ruffles a few people’s feathers.

There are unfortunately areas of the city in which, due to a lack of education and understanding, people do not realise or appreciate the importance of what they have around them, trees being one of those things.

Unbelievably some residents are only bothered about sap from trees falling on their cars or having to sweep up leaves but sadly never see the wider picture of what a vital role trees play in keeping us healthy apart from the obvious benefits of their beauty and the way they visually enhance our neighbourhoods.

 Frightening statistics regarding our air quality have just been released which show that pollution across the country has exceeded dangerous levels and is causing 40,000 deaths per year and that is why it is so essential that we retain our roadside trees.
 Are the residents of Maple Grove in Handsworth not concerned about the future effect that felling large numbers of mature trees will have on their families’ health? They mention that the trees are breaking up pavements, (although this isn’t visible in The Star’s photographs), and are causing difficulties for the elderly and people pushing prams. However, in most cases the problem can be easily resolved by using engineering solutions already incorporated into the Amey contract without resorting to the extreme and unnecessary action of felling.

The residents need to wake up to the reality of what is happening throughout our city and the dangers to our environment caused by Sheffield City Council’s disgraceful felling of thousands of our city’s street trees, which provide us with essential protection from toxic road traffic pollution.

I despair at the ignorance of some people and their inability to understand the serious repercussions that the council’s deplorable actions will have on the health of all Sheffield citizens for many years to come.

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We hardly notice them. But street trees are monuments to city life

In the Guardian today, “Finally, we reached my own street, where in their imitation of the western front the amputated branches of the big London planes reach towards the sky. They could last for another century, though they may not. Cost is against them: like old human beings, old trees need more money to look after, which helps explain their controversial destruction in Sheffield by a private company, Amey, hired by the council to maintain them.”
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/13/plane-trees-london-monuments-city-life-shade-carbon-pavements?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_WordPress

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Tree-felling panel expected to cost Sheffield tax-payers at least £1m

http://www.thestar.co.uk/our-towns-and-cities/sheffield/tree-felling-panel-expected-to-cost-sheffield-tax-payers-at-least-1m-1-8540349

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Opinions differ from the online survey

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/your-say/opinions-differ-from-the-online-survey-1-8539616

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REVEALED: Air pollution hot spots in Sheffield where deadly fumes are more than twice legal limit

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/revealed-air-pollution-hot-spots-in-sheffield-where-deadly-fumes-are-more-than-twice-legal-limit-1-8533487

SHEFFIELD’S MOST POLLUTED SPOTS (areas where average nitrogen dioxide levels exceed EU limit):

ABBEYDALE ROAD CORRIDOR :

Butterworth Cycles,S7 1TA 

Abbeydale Road/Carterknowle Road

Abbeydale Road, S7 2BH

Chippendale, Abbeydale Road/Archer Road S7 2BJ

La Scala, Abbeydale Road 

Abbeydale Road South/Abbey Lane

CROOKES AND BROOMHILL:

Crookes Road (opp Hoole Road) S10 5BB

Newbould Lane/Watson Road 

Manchester Road/Fulwood Road junction

DARNALL:

Shop Front Parkway R/A S9 4AE

ECCLESALL (January and February only):

Books on the Park S11 8TG

Ecclesall Fisheries (over 50)

HILLSBOROUGH/MALIN BRIDGE/WALKLEY

Walkley Road/South Road (March only) (over 50)

KELHAM ISLAND:

Wicker

Lady’s Bridge 

Penistone Road

NETHER EDGE:

Nether Edge School 

Holt House School

PENISTONE ROAD

Penistone Road/Bickerton Road 

Catchbar Lane traffic light 

Winster Road

Penistone Road/Dixon Lane

SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY:

Sheaf Street 2

Sheaf Street station side

Station taxi rank 1 

Station taxi rank 2

Fitzalan Square

SHEFFIELD STATION:

14 monitors all exceed legal cap 

TINSLEY FORUM:

Town Street 

Siemens Close (M1 end)

Old Tinsley Infants School

Read more at: http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/revealed-air-pollution-hot-spots-in-sheffield-where-deadly-fumes-are-more-than-twice-legal-limit-1-8533487

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Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Urban Trees –

https://treecharter.uk/2017/05/08/health-wellbeing-benefits-urban-trees/?utm_content=buffer1c7e0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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Tree campaigners defend actions after dispute with Sheffield residents – The Star

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/tree-campaigners-defend-actions-after-dispute-with-sheffield-residents-1-8533454

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Press Release to The Star’s “Why aren’t protesters listening” 

Press Release in response to Saturday’s website article in The Star. http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/we-want-trees-to-come-down-so-why-aren-t-protesters-listening-1-8530239

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