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Forestry Commission publishes Sheffield street tree felling investigation

On 19th July 2019 the Forestry Commission completed an investigation of the alleged illegal felling of street trees by Sheffield City Council.

After reviewing photographic evidence for tree felling records, the Forestry Commission concluded that there was insufficient evidence to confirm that an offence of felling without a felling licence has been committed by Sheffield City Council and Amey. However, their investigation did identify a number of areas regarding the Streets Ahead programme where Sheffield City Council had fallen short of good practice. These areas include record keeping, engagement and consultation, tree management techniques and contract management.

The Forestry Commission has issued an advisory letter to Sheffield City Council and Amey informing them how to ensure any further tree felling they undertake is clearly and demonstrably compliant with the felling licence regime.

The investigation report has been published alongside an operations note to provide an updated good practice guide for highway tree management, both of which are available to read via the links below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alleged-illegal-tree-felling-investigation-report-sheffields-streets-ahead-programme

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/highway-tree-management-operations-note-51