Threatened Sheffield street trees "worth £11.4m"

A report prepared by tree experts for street tree campaigners in Sheffield has used the CAVAT method to calculate the value of 448 street trees scheduled for felling by contractor Amey by the end of the year.

Image: Sam Saunders
Image: Sam Saunders

Qualified arborist and tree officer Ian Dalton prepared the report with Chris Neilan, who originally developed the Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees (CAVAT) method, arboricultural consultant Jeremy Barrell and Matt Larsen-Daw of the Woodland Trust, with further input from numerous local campaigners who provided data on the threatened trees.

The evaluated trees are among those due to be felled by the end of this year by Sheffield City Council under its Streets Ahead programme being implemented by lead contractor Amey.

"By only including trees placed in the 'Damaging' and 'Discriminatory' categories, as determined by tree inspectors employed by Amey , it was assumed that all of these trees are healthy, which was confirmed upon inspection by unqualified, yet well-informed volunteers," Dalton states.

He and the other experts also inspected "a wide cross-section" of the trees, in order to assign "realistic" values to the trees based on their health and Safe Useful Life Expectancy (SULE), both of which feed into the CAVAT valuation.

The volunteers from Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG) also collected diameter at breast height (DBH) measurements of all the trees. Bringing together this information under Neilan's guidance yielded an asset value of the 448 trees of "at least £11,400,000", Dalton said.

He added: "Extrapolating this figure out over the other 2,147 trees lost so far as a consequence of the Streets Ahead programme, we have an estimated total value of at least £66,100,000 in lost assets."


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