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Safety work on elm tree to go ahead

21 February 2018

An elm tree in Nether Edge, which is showing signs of decay, will undergo essential safety work this week.

An independent survey conducted on the elm tree on Chelsea Road in 2016 showed evidence of decay and therefore the need for safety work.

Whilst this essential work was aborted last week due to protestor action, discussions have taken place in subsequent days with the Save Nether Edge Trees group who are now supportive of the work, based on an agreed schedule of pruning and the oversight during the work of an independent arborist.

As part of the discussions between the Council and the Save Nether Edge Trees group, they have agreed to hold further talks beyond this week’s safety work to better understand their respective positions on the long term future of the tree. This will take place over coming weeks during which the butterfly mitigation plan will be monitored. The tree is not at risk of replacement during this period.

A Sheffield City Council spokesperson said: “We’re pleased that this essential public safety work can now go ahead and we welcome the recent discussion with the Nether Edge tree group on this matter and their support of the work.”

The safety work will take place on Friday 23rd February and the Save Nether Edge Trees group has asked its supporters to respect the work to avoid any further disruption.

Save Nether Edge Trees spokesperson, Paul Selby, said: “There was concern last Monday from our members about the specific plan for the tree, particularly that it might be felled that day. As a result, the essential safety work that we all recognise is needed, was prevented.

“I welcome the open and transparent conversations that I’ve subsequently held with Sheffield City Council and Amey which have clarified the plan for this coming Friday. Therefore I’m encouraging all street tree campaigners to allow Friday’s work to go ahead unhindered.”

The work will also ensure the translocation of a rare butterfly from the tree, with this element of the project being assisted by the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, with the backing of Butterfly Conservation UK.

Liz Ballard, Chief Executive at the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust said: “We hope that this agreement on all sides will help to secure a longer term future for this important elm. We are assisting with the butterfly egg relocation from the canopy cuttings on Friday and encourage local people to support this and the agreed works. Our aim is to see the tree retained in good health for some years to come and to support the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly colony to flourish in Sheffield.”

To find out more, visit: http://www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk/council-agrees-plan-to-save-priority-butterfly/