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Steve Bullman

Sheffield chainsaw massacre

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I work for Amey, but not involved with this. At the start I thought what they were doing was correct but now I'm starting to think differently.

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Amey, who are the PFI main contractor / 'partner' (?), have contracted a couple of the AA Approved Contractors to undertake the works, including one who have worked for Sheffield for many years, and they paint a very different story to that reported in the press.

 

Cheer..

Paul

 

PS Before anyone asks the AA position statement is here Arboricultural Association - Jeremy Barrell comments on the Sheffield Street Trees issue

 

When have the media ever let the truth get in the way of a good story?

 

I followed the topic on UKTC and is apparent that the protesters, or some of the protesters, are zealots - not prepared to listen to any opposing opinion whatsoever, but overall it's good to see the groundswell of public opinion to retain trees.

 

The lack of oversight appears to be the biggest issue, which I find unsurprising as much of our recent work has been on refurbishment/improvement schemes of social housing where the local authority appear to have no involvement at all. We've removed loads of decent, structurally sound front garden trees to allow driveways to be installed, changing the landscape of the estate totally. Of course there's replacement planting, but scraggy cherry and birch are inadequate replacement for maples, limes, horse chestnuts etc. The result is a net loss of canopy cover in localities where it is below average to start with.

 

I often feel that highway departments and the construction industry, as a whole, under-value trees, viewing them as a barrier to their objectives, so are these the right organizations/departments/etc to be the decision makers in a scheme of this magnitude?

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Here we are continually removing many street trees due to pavement lifting and residents complaints about 'dechets' leaves, dust, residues, fruit...

Unless a tree can be found which poses no risk, makes no mess and costs nothing to maintain then we will lose almost every urban 'street' tree within a generation.

Parks are the future of 'urban' trees.

Ty

 

That is not how it should be, the difference a few trees on a road makes is absolutely huge. Totally changes the feel and look of the place.

 

Im all for removing dead, damage or infected trees but ripping a loads of trees out to save a few bob isnt going to do any good.

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As a born and bread Sheffield lad, im appalled that Amey thinks it can get away with removing some of the mature trees that ARE structurally sound and causing no damage to the pavements or roads. I run my own small arb firm in Sheffield, and whilst driving around i see notices on trees on nearly every road where there are decent sized trees or where road works are due to commence. It scares me. One of the reasons is alot of these trees are being removed is due to the fact that Sheffield council are way behind with the management of the street trees. I do feel sorry for the climbers or crew members that do show some animosity towards the felling but have no say as their job is on the line.

 

I know they are doing some good removing the dead or diseased trees that i have seen, big respect, but don't go replacing the felled trees with Birch! As its been said before, its more cost effective to remove the trees and replant then to keep the ongoing maintenance of the trees. Heres to the next 25 years!

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Here we are continually removing many street trees due to pavement lifting and residents complaints about 'dechets' leaves, dust, residues, fruit...

Unless a tree can be found which poses no risk, makes no mess and costs nothing to maintain then we will lose almost every urban 'street' tree within a generation.

Parks are the future of 'urban' trees.

Ty

 

In a bizarre twist of fate, we'd be back to pre-Victorian Britain. I for one wouldn't welcome the pleasure gardens as the only source of landscaping! Keep trees on the streets. :thumbup1:

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All it needs are planners and highway designers to consider trees at the design stage and allocate sufficient space for large species. Lots of Europe are already doing this (lmany examples in TDAGS last publications) but the absence of arboriculturists in positions to promote and ensure this, means that trees to often end up as an afterthought or budgets are cut and planting schemes are savaged. Maybe some European countries have a greater appreciation of tree benefits than we do.

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As its been said before, its more cost effective to remove the trees and replant then to keep the ongoing maintenance of the trees. Heres to the next 25 years!

 

And that is all Amey care about, money. Go for the cheapest option evertyime and then talk a good game about what they are doing is the right choice for everyone.

 

Also Amey bosses didn't want any landscaping or arb jobs in the contract, all they were bothered about was the highways ( roads, paths, street lights and traffic lights) Sheffield City Council put in the contract that Amey must take on the landscaping and arb side of things too.

That's just mine and many other people's opinion though as they will never admit that.

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And that is all Amey care about, money. Go for the cheapest option evertyime and then talk a good game about what they are doing is the right choice for everyone.

 

Also Amey bosses didn't want any landscaping or arb jobs in the contract, all they were bothered about was the highways ( roads, paths, street lights and traffic lights) Sheffield City Council put in the contract that Amey must take on the landscaping and arb side of things too.

That's just mine and many other people's opinion though as they will never admit that.

 

Which is why I think it is ridiculous to have one firm doing both jobs. They aren't really going to put much thought and effort into the tree side of things when it's something they don't want to do.

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I'm not sure how much support there is, for or against, but STAG have been very proactive and vocal.

 

Is that good practice grabbing a stem with a clamshell bucket, as it's something I'd be too confident about.

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