Find out where Sheffield's new war memorial trees are being planted - and how many each park will get

The sites where almost 300 war memorial trees will be planted in Sheffield have been mapped out.

Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 4:50 pm
The new planting scheme follows a controversial decision to fell memorial trees on Western Road, Crookes, in Sheffield.

A total of 299 trees are to be planted by the council at 15 parks in the city, with one site - Parson Cross Park - proposed as the location for as many as 50 trees that will honour Sheffield's war dead.

The sites will be marked with signs and plaques, and dedication ceremonies are planned at each spot. It is hoped much of the planting can take place before Armistice Day in November this year, which will commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One.

The measure, supported by the Royal British Legion, follows a controversial decision in December by the council to fell and replace 41 memorial trees as part of its Streets Ahead roadworks programme with contractor Amey. Twenty-three of those to be felled were on Western Road, in Crookes, and remembered local school pupils who lost their lives from 1914 to 1918. Cabinet members, who were told the trees were causing damage to pavements, voted in favour of replacement after it was claimed keeping them would have costed £500,000.

In December a pledge was also made to replant memorial street trees chopped down years ago. The council says half the original tributes have been lost and not reinstated. The new additions would bring the stock back up to peak levels.

Lisa Firth, the council's head of parks and countryside, said a number of new sites would be created in Sheffield 'so everyone in the city has the opportunity to visit a war memorial'.

Research by the authority's community tree team had ruled out several places, 'for a variety of reasons', and a shortlist had been drawn up representing the most suitable parks.

Forty trees are to be planted in Richmond Park while Mortomley Park in High Green, Graves Park, and High Hazels in Darnall are to get 30 trees each. Middlewood will be the site for 25 trees, the parks at Herdings, Meersbrook and Charnock are to get 20 trees apiece while 15 will be planted in Bingham and Crookes Valley Parks.

Four 'extra large' trees are to be planted at Hillside in Mosborough, the remembrance garden in Hollinsend Park and the parks at Hillsborough and Millhouses.

"In Hillsborough and Millhouses, there is insufficient space to plant a number of trees and so the proposal is to plant a large tree and create a new memorial in each of these parks," said Ms Firth.

"Hillside in Mosborough was chosen due to limited other opportunities in the area and because of its central location."

Maps indicate how the trees will be laid out, highlighting the scheme's scale. At Parson Cross, a long avenue is proposed, spanning either side of the park from Buchanan Road to Deerlands Avenue. Similar avenues are suggested at Meersbrook, High Hazels and Graves Park.

Certain factors were taken into account when compiling the shortlist: accessibility; whether there was enough space for new trees, such as interrupted stretches alongside paths; the suitability of each park's landscape and the overall benefit the trees would bring.

It is envisaged that each site will be dedicated as a centenary field through an initiative to protect outdoor spaces in perpetuity.

"We have already talked to Sheffield's Armed Forces Covenant Group and have support from the Royal British Legion," said Ms Firth. "We now want to hear feedback from Sheffield residents on the proposal, including the parks proposed, plaques and ceremonies."

Robert Mortimer, the legion's county president, previously said members were proud to back the council. "Memorial trees planted in parks offer a tranquil sanctuary to those wanting to pay their respects to our late comrades lost in battle.”

In numbers: the chosen Sheffield parks and how many of the 299 trees they will get

Parson Cross Park - 50

Richmond Park - 40

Mortomley Park - 30

Graves Park - 30

High Hazels - 30

Middlewood Park - 25

Herdings Park - 20

Meersbrook Park - 20

Charnock Park - 20

Bingham Park - 15

Crookes Valley Park - 15

Hillsborough Park - One extra large tree

Millhouses Park - One extra large tree

Hillside, Mosborough - One extra large tree

Hollinsend Park, Remembrance Garden - One extra large tree