23 of the War Memorial trees on Western Road in Crookes, Sheffield, are due to replaced as part of the Streets Ahead PFI contract to upgrade the city’s highways. Other memorial trees on adjoining roads are also under threat. Most have been condemned because they are displacing kerb stones and damaging pavements, making access more difficult.
While stone-built monuments are given protection in law – and desecrating them is a crime – these trees have no special legal status and the Council stand by their decision to fell. They intend to plant new Memorial Trees elsewhere in the city; many think that these trees, invested with so much symbolism, cannot simply be replaced.
Planted a year after World War I ended, these trees mark a particular moment in our collective history and there is nothing more apt than a living memorial to honour the dead.
For more information on these and other notable trees that are facing the chop visit: Save Sheffield Trees.