To continue with the destruction of woodland in amidst bird breeding season is particularly irresponsible – going against good ecological practice, as well as HS2 Ltd’s own guidance regarding work within Ancient Woodlands.
In January, The Wildlife Trusts nationally published a report, ‘What’s the damage? Why HS2 will cost nature too much’, which assessed the broad range of impacts across all phases of HS2 on protected wildlife sites, species and landscape restoration projects. It evidenced destruction of nature on a massive scale. A huge concern raised by the report included the inadequate and inappropriate mitigation plans for habitat and species destruction, which remain to be addressed by HS2 Ltd and the Government.
It is vital that HS2 does not continue to threaten our meadows, ancient woodlands and internationally important wetlands. Whilst the High Court’s decision was to allow these non-essential enabling works to continue – despite the risk to breeding birds, insects and rare flora – we expect the proceedings to prompt HS2 Ltd to review and rethink their actions. The Wildlife Trusts are adamant that the climate emergency will not be solved by making the nature crisis worse. We will continue to lobby using evidenced based science to challenge HS2 to raise it’s aspirations for its environmental impact.