I have only visited Sheffield once when I was 19. It was in late autumn and I remember clearly walking the tree lined avenues with the crunching leaves beneath my feet and that wonderful smell of leaf litter, so evocative in a city.
Sheffield lost its claim to being the ‘greenest city in Europe’ based on tree to people ratio a while ago to Amsterdam. Such an enviable claim was surely worth pursuing and not many extra trees were needed to reclaim the crown. Instead, Sheffield has embarked on an unbelievable crusade against its trees. The images are truly shocking:
Image from Rob McBride aka The Treehunter
Whatever the reasons for felling – one thing is apparent; that the consultation process was lacking, considerably.
The text of the Aarhus convention is far from ambiguous (and its not as though Sheffield City Council are unaware of the convention!):
‘Each Party shall make appropriate practical and/or other provisions for
the public to participate during the preparation of plans and programmes
relating to the environment, within a transparent and fair framework, having provided the necessary information to the public.’
‘Acknowledging that the landscape is an important part of the quality of life for people everywhere: in urban areas and in the countryside, in degraded areas as well as in areas of high quality, in areas recognised as being of outstanding beauty as well as everyday areas;’
Have Sheffield Council decided to simply plough on with a hope that no-one notices? As the campaign against the tree felling increases this adds considerably more cost for everyone
. Which given the current financial climate for many seems wholly unfair to Sheffield locals.