A brief history
In 2012 Sheffield City Council entered into a £2.2 billion PFI contract with Amey, for the ‘upgrading’ and maintenance of Sheffield’s streets over a 25 year period. The resulting partnership was named ‘Streets Ahead‘.
In December 2012 it was revealed that Amey intended to fell 18,000 street trees in the first 5 years of the Streets Ahead contract.
“Also included in a very long list are items like replacing half of the city’s 36,000 highway trees”
By early 2013 reports were beginning to appear in the local papers of residents concerns at the loss of so many street trees.
On the 1st April 2014, Stocksbridge landmark, the ‘Martyr Oak’, was felled despite local opposition. Despite an independent investigation confirming that it was structurally sound, the council decided that it was diseased and needed felling.
In September 2014 residents of Heeley started a successful campaign to prevent the felling of 129 mature trees to make way for a new bus lane.
By April of 2015, felling notices had appeared on 11 mature street trees on Rustings Road, prompting the Save Our Rustlings Trees (SORT) petition. Campaigners set up a protest camp in Endcliffe Park opposite Rustlings Road, in order to protect the threatened trees and raise awareness of the campaign.
The summer of 2015 saw the first active resistance against fellings in the local area, when residents of Wayland Road blocked their road and offered tea and cake to contractors who had come to fell 8 trees on the street.
By September 2015, a number of local groups had sprung up across the city, including Crookes, Dore, Greenhill and Nether Edge. In addition Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG) was formed to act as an umbrella organisation and coordinate the city wide campaign.
Timeline of events
The scrollable list below shows some of the main events in the campaign so far.