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  1. Thank you Longcol. Amended post below: When talking about the value afforded by large crowned trees, the correct terminology is 'Ecosystem Services'. These Ecosystem Services include: 1. Carbon capture 2. Pollution control 3. Flood prevention (Sustainable Urban Drainage System - SUDS) 4. Temperature regulation 5. Biodiversity 6. Habitat 7. Health and Well-being (evidence growing of significant effect) 8. Property price, 10-17% (controversial) 9. Noise buffering 10. Wind buffering i-Tree software is the best method of evaluating the above. Additionally, CAVAT measures the structural value of a tree, in terms of cost to replace trunk mass and crown. There has been a rough and ready calculation of the average worth of a single large crown tree as £65,000, when CAVAT and i-Tree valuations are combined.
  2. Bryan Lodge, Cabinet Member for The Environment, should really embrace what the SORT campaign has so far been about. As well as recognition of the ecosystem-service value of the trees and the potentially questionable legality of some Council actions; what has kept many involved has been the apparent lack of transparency and accountability for a massively important Project for the City. Despite much said and written by the Council and Streets Ahead as the process to go through before felling, there has been no evidence that it occurs - indeed the latest admission is reliance on self monitoring by Amey. The perpetual avoidance of most legitimate queries and the constant seemingly condescending attitude in those responses received and the obfuscation of the process and the contract is a continuing insult. The continued peddling of the '25 solutions' despite SCC effectively admitting they are not used, should be an embarrassment to them. One might list the things said, such as the falls on Rustlings Road that have turned out not to be as suggested - and try to get across the misdirection of the 'unaltered' nature of the paths in comments on discrimination. And the apparent abdication not only of the whole process, but now also the hoped-for independent City Tree Strategy to a private concern should be challenged. Amey’s dishonest 5 year tree management strategy 'Goals', is an unambitious document that does not appear to be passionate about saving anything.
  3. Some of us see the wider picture and fully understand the value of what has already been lost and what we still stand to lose This from Sheffield Groups for Good Governance: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1317792091568776/permalink/1348256065189045/ When talking about the value afforded by large crowned trees, the correct terminology is 'Ecosystem Services'. These Ecosystem Services include: 1. Pollution control 2. Flood prevention (Sustainable Urban Drainage System - SUDS) 3. Temperature regulation 4. Biodiversity 5. Habitat 6. Health and Well-being (evidence growing of significant effect) 7. Property price, 10-17% (controversial) 8. Noise buffering 9. Wind buffering i-Tree software is the best method of evaluating the above. Additionally, CAVAT measures the structural value of a tree, in terms of cost to replace trunk mass and crown. There has been a rough and ready calculation of the average worth of a single large crown tree as £65,000, when CAVAT and i-Tree valuations are combined.
  4. Comment (blue and red) on Amey's 5 year Tree Management Strategy here: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/report_request/trees.html 1.0 INTRODUCTION Strategic Goals This is a disappointingly unambitious and simplistic list which does not appear to respond to public concern or the ‘published’ statements/promises of the Sheffield City Council. It is of great concern that it is informing the draft SCC Tree Strategy and not vice versa – why is this? 1. Maximise potential canopy cover through species selection, good establishment and good arboricultural management – also by not felling healthy mature trees. 2. Establish a sustainable tree stock through improved planting design and appropriate management. The removal of trees should only be ‘as a last resort’ – why has this maxim not been stated here? Record all decisions regarding the rejection of straightforward footpath and kerb improvement works that are being carried out by dozens of other councils across Britain. 3. Minimise Achieve a sustainable level of future maintenance costs through species selection and appropriate management – such replacement species to reflect their location and the remaining trees within any group or urban setting. 4. Ensure sufficient appropriate funding for mature tree retention and ongoing maintenance. 5. Carry out full appraisal of economical equivalent tree ‘values’ (including their ecosystem-services) using internationally recognised software and criteria to inform these considerations. 6. Establish a resilient tree stock through species diversity and species selection – assess and prepare pits, and plant and maintain in accordance with best practice and guidance. 7. Establish and publish transparently agreed data across the tree stock and particularly for all trees proposed for felling. 8. Introduce appropriate new trees (not just replacements) into the highway to ensure a consistent flow of ages and a softening of the effect of future replacements (there are plenty of spaces left where trees have been removed and not replaced in the past). 9. Maintain Sheffield’s tree heritage by protecting and conserving where appropriate – research and understand what this is (including commemorative as well as historic and rarity indicators). 10. Increase biodiversity through species selection and protection and introduction of habitats. 11. Ensure a safe tree stock through good tree management and protection – and note that there are solutions other than felling. 12. Make improvements to the future well-being and safety circumstances of trees that are to remain when doing adjacent upgrades (e.g. introduce growth space, air and water permeability, drainage, flexible final surfaces, etc) to also help ensure full term growth potential is achieved. 13. Improve compatibility with environment through holistic highway design and management. 14. Understand ‘design’ when it comes to Highway trees (both removal and replacement). For example; the use of trees for reinforcing the street corridor and the feeling of safety and separation from traffic; alignment and wayfinding for those with various disabilities; emphasis of a significant entrance or intersection – again Bristol has set out simple exemplary guidance. 15. Improve public relationship with highway trees and highway tree Contractors through positive properly informed and interactive engagement and consultation and good management. 16. Improve understanding of benefits of urban trees through communications and events – this to apply equally to Amey/Streets Ahead. 17. Improve function of highway trees through innovative design strategy – and understand their full range of such possibilities (e.g. safety; security; guidance; and orientation from tree avenues). 18. Keep publicly accessible auditable records of all that is decided and done to highway trees. 19. Follow all relevant guidance and best practice regarding work to and around existing trees for upgrades, utilities, street lighting, proximity of equipment and material loadings, etc. 20. Ensure that the Council monitors the work of any contractors, and uses its powers to have anything that falls short of published guidance and best practice is redone. 21. All operatives, inspectors, designers, managers, etc to be appropriately qualified for the above. Also, with the introduction of the Sheffield Trees and Woodlands Strategy 2015-2030, ensure this Strategy properly comes under the auspices and control of that document and of its Managers
  5. The council's absurdness becomes more apparent by the day Mr Disturbed . They are in a jam, because they are simply not willing to challenge Amey or police them properly in terms of the contract conditions. They signed up to the £2.2 billion contract with Amey and they owe it to us as Sheffield citizens to make sure they manage it properly. They need to be braver with Amey and face up to this multinational, which is also being sued by Birmingham City Council for malpractice, and also Herefordshire Council over defective works that have not been rectified and works that were not delivered. http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/regional/11863789.Council_s___40m_legal_stand_off_with_former_major_contract_partner_could_last_another_year/ ---------- Post added 01-06-2016 at 21:04 ---------- http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/roads-contractor-amey-counter-claim-against-8858485 “They come out to fill a pothole, and there’s another 12 feet away and it gets left rather than being done at the same time” “The conditions of the roads now seem worse than they were before" ---------- Post added 02-06-2016 at 00:45 ---------- http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/birmingham-city-council-roads-contractor-7552 "BIRMINGHAM’S £2.7 billion roads contractor has been told to make more effort to talk to residents about repairs and works in a report from a council watchdog committee" ---------- Post added 02-06-2016 at 00:53 ---------- "Residents were not being adequately consulted or informed"
  6. It is patently obvious that no consultation with tree experts or engineers with the appropriate level of training and experience, were involved prior to signing of the PFI contract. If they had, alternative highway specifications that allowed the safe retention of trees on tree-lined streets would have been drafted. Search for the word 'tree' in the contract and it is not mentioned even ONCE. Proper protection for highway trees has NOT been accounted for at ANY stage of the process and this has been confirmed by Cllr Jack Scott in Aug 2014, when he said that Sheffield had no tree strategy. SCC have since dishonestly produced Amey's '5 year tree management strategy' last year, claiming that it existed since 2012, despite the evidence from Cllr Scott to the contrary. Furthermore, language from SORT documents and emails has been wholesale plagiarised.
  7. What do I think about an arborist who is siding with the council, because he stands to make a great deal of money from being a sub-contractor? Well I think that is pretty obvious. And forgive me for paying more attention to the opinion of seven other national and international tree experts who condemn Sheffield's lack of planning and strategy, because they don't have a vested interest in any outcome. ---------- Post added 31-05-2016 at 11:09 ---------- This is correct CGK. Steve Robinson, Simon Green and whoever else were involved with the signing of this 2.2 billion pound contract SHOULD have employed tree and engineer consultants, to ensure appropriate protection of Sheffield's green assets. This has NOT happened. Amey are doing the bare minimum to meet contract requirements, felling trees because it is expedient for their longterm profits. And Sheffield City Council is just sitting there, watching them - watching them fell perfectly healthy trees for no reason, damaging healthy trees with improper and unsupervised use of machinery within the root protection zone, improperly planting saplings with no aftercare, trenching within the RPA with no arboricultural guidance, using substandard materials for road and pavement repair, which are already degrading after a year of use.
  8. Ecosystem services include pollution control, flood prevention (SUDS), temperature regulation, biodiversity, habitat, health and well being, property price. Humphrey Road residents have been on SF to complain about the mindless felling, the fact that the birds and wildlife have gone and also the effect on their own mental health and well being. CAVAT estimates the structural value of a tree, in terms of replacement of trunk mass and crown. And it was Chris Neilan himself who calculated the figures for Rustlings Road, so the figures are unequivocal. And the canopy cover from highway trees has been stripped by 4000 units, worth 80 million in CAVAT estimation alone. Add to this the i-Tree valuations of YEAR on YEAR accumulation of lost ecosystem benefits, and the full nature of SCC's errors are fully revealed. ---------- Post added 31-05-2016 at 02:20 ---------- As I've said before, all campaigners are asking for, is that SCC comply with the current industry good practice that SCC already claim to comply with. Compliance with the UK Forestry Standard, BS5837; UKRLG guidance and NJUG, would be a good indicator of fulfilment of the Duty of Care and responsible, competent management. ---------- Post added 31-05-2016 at 02:27 ---------- SCC need to be hiring competent and experienced arboricultural consultants and highway engineers to manage our green infrastructure properly. SCC's oversight on this important point, has already cost Sheffielders dearly. And the most impoverished parts of Sheffield, where street trees have provided the most in terms of community ecosystem benefits, have been the worst affected.
  9. http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/mindless-vandals-destroy-50-young-trees-in-sheffield-1-7861532 "The Woodland Trust has said the incident ‘shows the folly’ of removing thousands of trees under the Streets Ahead programme" ---------- Post added 31-05-2016 at 01:32 ---------- You are fooling no-one with your continued deflection of a quite simple question Longcol. I can only conclude that you have no sensible answer to give. I will therefore answer for you. Canopy cover from the 10 healthy trees on Humphrey Road CANNOT be replaced. The birds and wildlife and ecosystems that took 100 years to establish are GONE for GOOD. The estimation of CAVAT value for each mature large crown tree is AT LEAST £65,000, so that's £650,000 SCC has squandered on this one street alone. And this is just the structural value. Combine this with i-Tree valuations which are YEAR on YEAR costings of ecosystem benefits, so multiply this by the remaining SULE (Safe Useful Life Expectancy) which was at least 100 years. SCC have really messed up here, in a BIG way.
  10. Perhaps now would be a good time to answer the question you have so far thrice deferred to answer Longcol. How is SCC planning to replace the canopy cover of the 10 mature trees felled on Humphrey Road? This should be interesting. ---------- Post added 31-05-2016 at 01:15 ---------- And as you have been reminded many times before Longcol, the saplings Amey are planting are high failure and of 'lollipop' species that live between 40-80 yrs max. Smaller trees that won't last a generation are NOT trees for the future. ---------- Post added 31-05-2016 at 01:20 ---------- http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/mindless-vandals-destroy-50-young-trees-in-sheffield-1-7861532 Living in a street is a harsh environment for a tree as it is, let alone factoring in vandalism. Poor oxygenation of roots, pollution, poor access to water and light. This is why it makes much more sense to protect the well established highway trees that we already have.
  11. 4000 mature highway trees have already been felled, most of these were perfectly healthy. ACTUAL street tree replacement would need to see 240,000 saplings planted in their stead. This is NOT happening and this is NOT therefore, a replacement programme. Impoverished substitution of healthy, flourishing trees, with weedy saplings that only have a 50:50 chance of survival to maturity, is what Amey is bringing to Sheffielders. And with that, the 60:1 loss of ecosystem services provided by each large crown tree felled. Amey is a second rate company, with second rate ideals and operated by senior staff members who do not have a single arboricultural qualification between them. And meanwhile, Sheffield City Council has not a clue on how to manage them, or their PFI.
  12. It actually really is High Greener, 4000 in total now. This PFI deal has been an ‘off the shelf contract’ which no-one in SCC appears to have properly scrutinised. Keeping trees is not on Amey’s radar and ultimately this has nothing to do with trees, but about paths. So Amey is chopping trees, so it can flatten paths and save money in the longterm for its shareholders. But SCC or Amey have yet to admit this in public and until they do, we cannot have an honest conversation. Mediation and collaboration is the only way forward from this point and to reach some kind of compromise. So do Steve Robinson, Head of Highways and Bryan Lodge, the new Councillor for the Environment, have the kind of skill sets to navigate such negotiations? Let's hope so, for everyone's sake.
  13. Another great article: http://www.hortweek.com/according-barrell-highway-engineers-failing-champion-trees/arboriculture/article/1372271 "The current generation of highway engineers is presiding over local decisions to meet their own narrow objectives, to the detriment of the wider population. We have the technology to get more trees into our streets. The challenge is persuading highway engineers to look beyond the roads and begin to work for the communities they serve, not outdated mantras"
  14. Here's the Arb association page: http://www.trees.org.uk/ And a link to an article from March, criticising Sheffield Council: http://www.hortweek.com/tree-felling-sheffield-criticised-consultant/arboriculture/article/1387442 "You don't have to fell trees to repair a footpath" The only reason HEALTHY trees are being felled in Sheffield, is to increase Amey's profit margins. SCC did NOT employ arboricultural consultants and engineers, with the appropriate level of experience of highway tree management, BEFORE signing the 2.2 billion pound contract. Basic and glaring error! We are getting cowboy management, because that is what we paid for.
  15. All campaigners are asking for, is that SCC comply with the current industry good practice that SCC already claim to comply with. Compliance with the UK Forestry Standard, BS5837; UKRLG guidance and NJUG, would be a good indicator of fulfilment of the Duty of Care and responsible, competent management.
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