Sheffield’s trees are being needlessly felled under a secret ‘Streets Ahead’ highway renewal PFI contract, run by Amey on behalf of Sheffield City Council. What is needed is a more considered and expert-led approach to the management and guardianship of the city’s street trees, for the long-term benefit of both residents and the environment.
The Council claim felling is a ‘last resort’ and the contract includes several common, low-cost methods for repairing pavements without felling trees. However, an investigation by the Information Commissioner found that these are not being used, even though they have been paid for. Trees with many decades to live have been destroyed, ignoring the advice of SCC’s own Independent Tree-Panel and maximising Amey’s profits. 5,000+ trees have already gone and another 1,000 are at immediate risk, with a combined value of £60 million. They have recently voted to chop down some trees planted as memorials for fallen soldiers.
As a paper-folder, my relationship with trees is a close one and I’ve always felt that creating small works of art is a better use of paper than the countless other ways in which it is wasted. I’ve been trying to create a design that forms a kind of symbol for the issue, part of the long tradition of political iconography.
Feel free to use it in any way to help publicise this campaign. If I can help in any other way, please get in touch.