Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield trees: Endcliffe Park rally held after felling

Tree protest
Image caption The protest took place at Endcliffe Park at 12:00 GMT

Hundreds of people have attended a protest against Sheffield City Council's tree felling programme.

A rally held in Endcliffe Park follows the removal of eight trees on Rustlings Road in the early hours of 17 November.

The council claimed the trees were damaging pavements and would cost £50,000 to repair, but an independent report found no "arboricultural reason" to remove all but one of the eight.

On Friday, the authority apologised for the dawn felling.

At the protest, held close to Rustlings Road, people listened to speeches and banners with messages including 'Save the trees' and 'What happened to democracy' were waved.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Council contractors began work on felling trees at dawn on Rustlings Road on 17 November

Nicky Bea, one of the protest organisers, said people were "upset and shocked" at recent actions by the council.

"When residents are being woken up in the middle of the night, assisted by riot vans, with trees chopped down in the dark with no warning or legal procedures followed at all with regards to notice, it's really not on," she said.

Three people were arrested after confrontations with workers during the felling of the eight trees, but were later released without charge.

Councillor Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for environment at Sheffield City Council, said he would not be resigning despite criticism of how the tree felling programme was being run.

He said: "We've got to look at the whole network across the city ensuring our duties under the Highways Act - that we have safe passage on the highways, which includes footpaths as well as the road surface.

"The process is to rebalance the age profile of the trees going forward and make sure we have street trees we can protect in the long-term."

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