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Wildlife Trust highlights risks from HS2 decision

A graphic from the Wildlife Trusts highlighting species at risk from HS2
A graphic from the Wildlife Trusts highlighting species at risk from HS2

WARWICKSHIRE Wildlife Trust has voiced its fears about the impact of HS2 on the county's wildlife after the project was given the green light to the project today, Tuesday.

Wildlife Trusts from across the country recently published a report highlighting the vast scale of the destruction and impact it says HS2 will cause to nature. It assessed the broad range of impacts across all phases of HS2 on protected wildlife sites, species and landscape restoration projects.

In this area, it calculates more than 8.1 hectares of ancient woodland will be lost across South Cubbington, Crackley North, Roughknowles, Broadwells Wood, Sych Wood and North Wood and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust nature reserves within 5 kilometres of the route include Leam Valley, Tocil Wood and Bubbenhall Wood along with a number of Local Wildlife Sites.

CEO Ed Green said: “The potential damage from HS2 is too great – especially while we are facing a climate emergency. Green and sustainable transport is vital, but we won’t solve the climate crisis by making the biodiversity crisis worse.”

Last week, the Wildlife Trusts delivered a letter to the Prime Minister calling for the project to be reappraised. The letter was signed by 66,000 people.

The Trusts’ director of campaigns and policy, Nikki Williams, said: “Nature is paying too high a price for HS2. We urged the Government to re-consider in the light of The Wildlife Trusts’ report which evidenced the serious risk that HS2 poses to nature – and to take notice of over 66,000 people who wrote to the Prime Minister asking him to review HS2.

"Today’s announcement means that it is more critical than ever that the whole project is redesigned – before HS2 creates a scar that can never heal. It is vital that HS2 does not devastate or destroy irreplaceable meadows, ancient woodlands and internationally important wetlands that are home to a huge range of wildlife, from barn owls to butterflies.”

“As HS2 contractors get on with bulldozing and building, the public can help wildlife by being alert to works near them. Contact your local Wildlife Crime officer if you believe HS2 Ltd or contractors are undertaking works without permission. Wildlife trusts along the route will continue to advise and engage with HS2 Ltd locally.”

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