The Wildlife Trusts: HS2 decision will destroy precious wild places

12 Feb 2020 12:06 PM

The Wildlife Trusts call for a redesign.

The Government yesterday gave the green light to the High Speed 2 rail project, without acknowledging the devastating impact on the hundreds of precious wild places and the wildlife that depends on them – that lie in the path of the route. The Wildlife Trusts recently published a report evidencing the vast scale of the destruction and impact that HS2 will cause to nature. 'What’s the damage?  Why HS2 will cost nature too much’ assessed the broad range of impacts across all phases of HS2 on protected wildlife sites, species and landscape restoration projects.

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. 

Nikki Williams, The Wildlife Trusts’ director of campaigns and policy, yesterday 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. Green and sustainable transport is vital, but the climate emergency will not be solved by making the nature crisis worse.

 “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.”

Editor’s Notes

Contacts: Emma Robertshaw

Senior media manager – The Wildlife Trusts

01636 670015 /  07779 657515

erobertshaw@wildlifetrusts.org

Liz Carney,

01636 670075 Mob: 07887 754659

lcarney@wildlifetrusts.org

The Wildlife Trusts

The Wildlife Trusts believe that people need nature and it needs us. We are here to make the world wilder and to make nature part of everyone’s lives. We are a grassroots movement of 46 charities with more than 850,000 members and 38,000 volunteers. No matter where you are in the UK, there is a Wildlife Trust inspiring people and saving, protecting and standing up for the natural world. With the support of our members, we care for and restore special places for nature on land and run marine conservation projects and collect vital data on the state of our seas. Every Wildlife Trust works within its local community to inspire people to create a wilder future – from advising thousands of landowners on how to manage their land to benefit wildlife, to connecting hundreds of thousands of school children with nature every year.  wildlifetrusts.org