Public to have their say on how Sheffield looks after its woodland and 2.2m trees

THE PUBLIC is being asked to help plan how Sheffield Council will care for the city's 2.2 million trees.

Monday, 15th February 2016, 4:11 pm
Updated Monday, 15th February 2016, 4:15 pm
Carly Mountain and other tree campaigners outside the Town Hall in Sheffield where they handed in a 5000 signature petition against tree felling in January.

The council has come under criticism in recent months over plans to cut down some trees as part of a city-wide programme of improvements to roads. Earlier this month campaigners even secured a High Court injunction to pause felling for three months.

This latest move will ask the public to have their say on a new Trees and Woodland Strategy, which will set out how it looks after all trees in the city; including those in parks, woodlands, green spaces and on the highway.

It is separate to Five Years Street Tree Management Plan - which identified 2,000 trees on highways that needed to be replaced, the subject of the furore.

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An event will be held at the Town Hall on February 26, where the public will be able to view the draft framework. The draft strategy goes out for wider consultation in the Spring.

Coun Sioned-mair Richards, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Sheffield Council, said: “We know that the issue of trees is very important to communities across our city, which is why we’re organising the event in order to share our plans from the earliest possible stage.

“Highway trees are part of this strategy and will be informed by the recently released Streets Ahead Five year Tree Management Strategy. However street trees form a small proportion of the trees we manage, with the majority in parks, woodlands, cemeteries, housing estates and schools.”

Sheffield is one of the most wooded cities in Britain and the council has a Tree Risk Management policy which involves checking around 360,000 trees on a cyclical basis to ensure they are safe. The new strategy will aim to address a wide range of tree-related topics including the current tree stock and distribution, and a breakdown of species.