The first trees have been planted to mark the start of the city’s tree planting season. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Anne Murphy attended the ceremony held in Burngreave. Over 8,000 large and small trees will be planted from now until March 2018.
Scouts from the 76th Sheffield St Peter’s Ellesmere Scout Troop planted the first large tree, known as a heavy standard, in a small grassed area opposite St Peter’s Church. Smaller trees were planted near to the scout headquarters on Grimesthorpe Road.
The bigger trees will be planted following requests from the public and to replace those removed from parks and green spaces due to health and safety issues. Planting will take place across the city including Handsworth, Stannington, Richmond, Shirecliffe, Firth Park and Whirlow.
6,800 smaller trees are being planted as part of an initiative to create new woodland and increase biodiversity. All of the planting areas are designed so as to cause no shade to homes or gardens and improve drainage.
The mix of trees are species native to the UK and consist of oak, hazel, alder and cherry. The trees are young, two to three years old, so they can grow with the community around them.
Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure said: “These new woodlands will bring diversity to the landscape, encourage wildlife and give residents even more opportunities to connect with nature.
“I look forward to seeing these trees grow and thrive, thanks to the hard work of all the volunteers and all those involved in this vital project.”
The work is being led by the council’s community forestry team and one of their other main aims is to actively involve local communities in helping to replace the trees and expand coverage. Schools, colleges and community groups such as the Scout troop in Ellesmere are working with the council forestry team to plant the trees.
Tim Shortland, the Community Forestry Manager who is responsible for the tree planting added: “Sheffield’s existing woodlands are nationally renowned but many are in decline and will not last forever.
“The establishment of new urban woodland will preserve this amazing woodland legacy for future generations and , in the shorter term, provide a diversity of habitats for wildlife.”
The next tree planting, on 21 November, will be with students from Firvale School. These trees will include pin oaks on the main avenue in Burngreave Cemetery along with a silver birch and cut leaf alder in Abbeyfield Park.
As part of the Streets Ahead programme, more than 1,200 young trees will also take root along Sheffield’s streets this winter as the annual tree planting season gets under way. This is the sixth successive season of tree planting by Amey as part of the highways improvement programme – and will bring the total number of new street trees in Sheffield to almost 6,000 since the programme began in 2012.