A Film from Eve Wood – Edit Director | Devised and Written by Richard and Eve Wood
RUNNING TIME: 117 Minutes CERTIFICATE: 12A | RELEASED IN UK CINEMAS FROM 9TH DECEMBER 2022
The Felling is an epic tale of people power, telling the true story of a small group of
residents in Sheffield who battled to stop a powerful city council and a giant
multinational corporation from chopping down thousands of healthy street trees as part
of a massive £2.2 billion private contract to maintain the city’s highways.
What started as a local protest, soon attracted national and international support. As the
stakes increased with threats of bankruptcy and imprisonment, ordinary citizens were
forced to ask themselves the crucial question: How far am I prepared to go to save a
This is an extraordinary and shocking first-hand account of what happened on the tree-
lined suburban streets of Sheffield.
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT FROM EVE WOOD
I live around the corner from the street featured in the first scene of the film, where, in
2016, seven trees were brutally felled at 5 am in the morning. Two ‘pensioners’ were
arrested as well still in their dressing gowns, of which one ‘pensioner’ Professor Jenny
Hockey, is a good friend of mine. At the time I was too busy to get involved in the
protest myself (which I feel bad about).
The producer and self shooting director of the main footage, Jacqui Bellamy, however did get involved and started filming the protest in January 2017, and kept telling me about it. She had been my sound woman on various occasions. I lent her some equipment and helped with a crowdfunder video to raise money, but that was it as I had my hands full with a full time job and two kids at home. But when I left my job in 2020, Jacqui had finished filming and my production company Sheffield Vision, which I run with my husband Richard Wood, took the film on and I became the edit-director and Editor.
At that point I knew little about the story and did not know how much footage Jacqui had. Looking through the footage together, she talked me through what was happening. The more I saw, the more shocked I became.
I found Jacqui’s bold approach of going straight into the action incredibly brave. She
managed to capture an amazing mix of the disturbing, the comedic, the moving and the
absurd with all the ingredients for a drama.
Richard, producer and writer on Sheffield Vision’s previous music documentaries Made
in Sheffield- The Birth of Electronic Pop and The Beat is the Law -Fanfare for the
Common People, came on board to pull the story together like a fiction drama.
To me it felt like a privilege to be able to work with this unique footage of Jacqui and
other video footage from the campaigners, as well as the amazing contribution of
Sheffield musicians donating their music.
I hope this film shows the arrogance of public bodies and multinationals that seemingly
feel they can get away with misleading the public to protect their own interests at the
expense of innocent people standing up for what they believe in.
CREDITS – The Felling – An Epic Tale of People Power
Paul Powlesland – Barrister (Pro Bono) for the campaign and Nature rights activist
Baroness Jenny Jones – Green Party member of the House of Lords.
Paul Billington – then (unelected) Director of Culture and Environment Sheffield City
Darren Butt – then Account Manager for Spanish owned Multinational infrastructure
Brian Lodge – Councillor Sheffield City Council
Julie Dore – then Councillor and Leader of Sheffield City Council
Alan Billings – South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
Producer Jacqui Bellamy
Edit Director Eve Wood
Self Shooting Director Jacqui Bellamy
Additional Footage Contributors.
BANAMAN – Urban Archives, Rob McBride, Alan Story, Paul Wiseman, Gary
Stimson, David Glass, BBC News, Sheffield Live! Community TV, BBC Radio
Mobile Phone Footage Contributors.
Russell, Kaarina, Neil, Isabel, Jan, Dave, Mark, Craig, Devin
Drone Footage Chris Pickering
Photographs Chris Saunders, Jacqui Bellamy, Fran Grace, Deepa Shetty
Camera for Interviews Paul Wiseman, Jim Wraith
Sound Jacqui Bellamy
Written and devised by Richard & Eve Wood
Editor Eve Wood
Motion Graphics Alex Noble
Sound Design Eve Wood
Sound Mastering Alan Smyth at 2Fly Studios
Voice Artists. Gerry Fletcher, Steve Marles
Artwork Ian Anderson in The Designers RepublicTM
Legal Services Tony Morris, Swan Turton LLP
Producer Richard Wood
Executive Producer Gary Stimson
Sieben, Rasp, The Cuckoo Clocks, Black Cat White Cat,
Don Valley and the Rotherhides, Rumpus, Benoit,
Mzylkypop featuring Stephen Mallinder
The following artists appear courtesy of the 23 tracks in memory of Paul Bower album,
compiled by Jamie Headcharge.
Adi Newton, Dean Honer, Andy Vonal, Fierce Whirlpool
The Felling | A Sheffield Vision Film 2022.