Statement on HS2 and ecological concerns

William Hague (Lord Hague of Richmond) has written a letter to the Rt Hon. Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, in support of evidence relating to potential wildlife crime issues of the High Speed Two (HS2) project, compiled by a team of independent professional ecologists.

The ecologists’ concerns are set out in a document appended to Lord Hague’s letter.

The Wildlife Trusts, The Woodland Trust and RSPB have added a joint statement of concern to the document which Warwickshire Wildlife Trust endorses: 
“HS2 Ltd has had many years to plan and deliver what is the country’s largest major infrastructure project. The scheme must set an example and show best practice in its environmental protection and management, and not lead the system astray by limiting transparency or disregarding due diligence. In the case of ecological surveys and the obtaining of correct licences for instance, HS2 Ltd has had more than adequate time to follow the proper processes. 

It would be a grave error if the Government allowed work to proceed that could be illegal as well as actively endangering wildlife – risking undermining every environmental commitment the Government has made about HS2. We urge the Secretary of State to listen to and act on the concerns raised by professional ecologists."