Another incredible week in the tree campaign this week.
Firstly, the really good news, we’ve had another seven days without any felling of any Sheffield street trees anywhere across the city. We are now at 20 days since the pause began. We still don’t know the full reasons why, but we suspect it is because the Police have refused to attend felling sites and observe without action the private security staff assaulting peaceful campaigners. The Police’s already tarnished name is being further tarnished by being dragged into the mire. Sheffield Council and Amey will certainly be planning new tactics, and they could return to fell any day, so all of us need to remain alert.
Council Meeting “Sit in”:
Secondly, a big highlight of the week was the national coverage received on Wednesday night and Thursday morning as a result of a number of campaigners staging a peaceful “sit in” in the Council chambers during the latest Council meeting, where the campaign tables a motion for #transparency. The inventiveness of many in the campaign really is quite incredible. More details here , note the “respect” some of these elected council members show the campaign speaker.
Chelsea Road Elm Imminent Vandalism Mon 12th Feb and how to support:
However the big low from last week was the Council announcing plans to come and severely prune the Chelsea Road elm tree this coming Monday 12th February. In their press release, the Council are saying they are only doing essential safety work. This is a complete lie! Nobody in the campaign disputes the need for one decayed branch to be removed in the short term, nor the need for careful canopy pruning spread over a number of years, but the Council intend to do severe pruning tomorrow, which will wipe out the butterfly colony on the tree, and expose the tree to Dutch Elm Disease. Full details can be found in the press release here.
What we therefore need is as many of you as possible to do tomorrow is be at the elm tree from 8am onwards. Even if you can only spare an hour, please attend. The more support demonstrated the better. We know that you and the community support saving this tree very strongly. We therefore need to demonstrate to Amey, Sheffield Council and the media in attendance that we won’t be bullied by a Council that refuses to engage in evidence based discussion.
We are of course alive to the fact that with so many campaigners likely to be at the elm, Amey may try some hit and run felling elsewhere in Nether Edge and Carter Knowle. Patrols in key locations will still be in place, but all of you, whether at the elm or elsewhere, need to keep your phones on loud for alert messages elsewhere, and attend those sites if needed.
Sheffield Tree Art Sheffield (STARTS) – Chelsea Elm paint-off :
Thanks so much to everyone who braved the rain and came along to paint the Chelsea Elm with Street Tree Art Sheffield (STARTS) – Community Art Project this morning. What fabulous folk you all are! Some awesome artwork and great chats with passers by – and a surprise visit from Caroline Lucas, with Alison Teal and Natalie Bennett, to see what we were up to. Pictures here.