YP Letters: Last trees in polluted city centre are now facing the axe

From: Graham Wroe, Glencoe Road, Sheffield.
Sheffield's tree-felling programme continues to cause controversy.Sheffield's tree-felling programme continues to cause controversy.
Sheffield's tree-felling programme continues to cause controversy.

PLANS for the redevelopment of Fitzalan Square, Sheffield, may look good but there is a massive problem. They intend to fell the last four mature trees in the city centre.

Fitzalan Square suffers from poor air quality due to traffic pollution. The London plane trees are particularly effective at removing pollutants from traffic-heavy areas like this. Councillors keep discussing air pollution then propose cutting down our mature trees which are the one thing that protects us from it.

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The trees are among the few things of beauty in a square currently noted for its betting shops, litter and intrusive advertising boards.

They provide bio-diversity to the square including birds and insects which would be lost despite the planting of new saplings.

The Tree Condition survey, written by the council’s tree manager, states “removal of these four trees will have a significant impact on the immediate area.

“The city centre has the lowest percentage tree cover in Sheffield and there are relatively few large trees within the area.

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“Visually, the trees provide a natural living feature that helps to soften the harsh lines of the existing built environment.

“The trees play an important role in trapping and removing pollutants from the surrounding air as well as providing dappled shade for users of the square.

“The canopies also help to break up wind movement that may otherwise funnel between the buildings. All four trees are well established with a significant potential longevity. All are considered to be in their prime”.

Paving problems could be solved using flexi-pave. The council should listen to its tree officer.

From: Mrs M Wilkinson, Dodworth, Barnsley.

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A FEW months ago, one of your journalists expressed concern at the lack of new trees being planted, and the repercussions upon the environment, I was in total agreement with his sentiments. I am even more concerned, as I travel about the country, at the preponderance of trees by the roadside covered in ivy and dying because of it.

Nothing is done about this problem and the impact upon the environment must be horrendous.

Also, although owners of pastures are expected to keep their fields free of ragwort, the motorway banks are absolutely flourishing with this weed which, consequently, sends its seed to grow in nearby fields.