‘I salute you’ – that was the message from Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker as he returned to Sheffield to join hundreds of tree protesters in a march to the City Hall.
A downpour of rain did not stop hundreds of people of all ages from descending on the city centre in support of the campaign to stop controversial tree felling work planned by Sheffield City Council
“It’s great, it’s made me feel very proud of Sheffield. I don’t spend as much time as I used to in Sheffield, but I’m saluting you,” Jarvis said of the march.
He added: “Chopping down trees at 4am is a little bit surreptitious, you’re obviously not sure if what you’re doing is right.”
“I do think it’s a situation that requires communication from both sides.”
BBC Countryfile contributor, ‘Tree Hunter’ Rob McBride told the crowd: “This is the worst case of urban tree destruction on the planet.”
“The tree felling in this city is random, it’s indiscriminate. The council are out of their depth with the contract.”
“Egos and reputations are stalling progress in this city.”
“We will win, we will save the trees.”
Private contractor Amey is carrying out the work as part of Sheffield Council’s ‘Streets Ahead’ programme, a city wide road improvement programme.
It claims the trees earmarked for felling have been classed as dead, diseased or causing damage or obstruction – something the protesters dispute.