High Speed 2 (HS2)

HS2 - the countryside at risk (Bluebells: Helen Walsh. Graphic design: www.lonelHS2 - the countryside at risk (Bluebells: Helen Walsh. Graphic design: www.lonelycottage.co.uk)

High Speed 2 is a Government proposal to build a new high speed railway network between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust believes that the proposed HS2 route will have a devastating effect on the county’s wildlife. 

The route, which is to be delivered in two phases, passes through four local authorities in Warwickshire (Stratford-upon-Avon District, Warwick District and North Warwickshire Borough) and Solihull. Phase 1 of the route includes a new interchange station near to Birmingham Airport and a spur from Coleshill into Birmingham. Phase 2 comprises the eastern leg of the route towards Leeds which splits from the main route at Water Orton. Both phases require the development of new railway infrastructure in Warwickshire and/or Solihull.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust believes that the proposed HS2 route will have a devastating effect on the county’s wildlife. Analysis by the Wildlife Trusts reveals that the scheme will impact on irreplaceable ancient woodlands, county important Local Wildlife Sites and numerous protected and priority species along the route. Furthermore, the route could sever important wildlife corridors and create a barrier to wildlife movement across the landscape; restricting the ability of species to respond and adapt to a changing environment (see report by Stephen Trotter, Feb 2011). This is an unwelcome step back at a time when we should be moving forward and creating more, bigger, better and joined-up spaces for nature.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has taken action locally, and at a national level with other affected Wildlife Trusts, to highlight our concerns and to challenge the approach the Government has taken to assessing and resolving the impacts of scheme on Wildlife. We have also been working constructively with a range of stakeholders, community groups and representatives of HS2 to ensure that the scheme is informed by the highest standards of survey, assessment and mitigation so that a positive outcome for wildlife can be achieved in the event that the scheme is approved by the Government.

The Trust firmly believes that new development, even sustainable transport schemes and the move to a low carbon economy, must not be achieved at the expense of the natural environment. We believe that, in the interests of sustainability, the scheme should therefore promote environmental benefits that are befitting of its status as a nationally important infrastructure project. However, this can only be achieved if the Government commits to going beyond the aim of solely minimising harm, and moves towards a scheme that secures gains for wildlife; fulfilling its own ambition to ‘improve the quality and increase the value of the natural environment across England’.

The Wildlife Trust’s report calls for the Government to develop an ambitious approach for nature restoration, with HS2 achieving net gains for biodiversity.

Click here for more information and news about the Trusts work in relation to HS2.

Annie English
Planning and Biodiversity Officer
t: 024 7630 2912
e: annie.english@wkwt.org.uk

A greener vision for HS2
A greener vision for HS2: Ideas for large-scale nature restoration along the proposed route. Summary and full versions can be viewed here.


FilenameFile size
WKWT HS2 Phase 1 ES Reponse.pdf245.32 KB
WKWT HS2 Phase 1 ES Response - WKWT - Appendices 2-10.pdf152.16 KB
WKWT HS2 Phase 2 Response - WKWT.pdf186.95 KB
HS2 Phase 1 Consultation Response - WKWT.pdf180.62 KB
HS2 impacts on wildlife by Stephen Trotter 18 Feb 2011.pdf137.19 KB
TWT HS2 Positon Statement 2010.pdf139.66 KB