HS2 must not fail nature
Wednesday 22nd January 2014
The remaining challenges to Phase 1 of the High Speed Rail link (HS2) have today been dismissed in the ultimate stage of the UK judicial process.
Government must begin to communicate a compelling and ambitious vision for how HS2 will benefit nature and people’s connection to it, not just capacity, jobs and journey times
In response to this news, Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said:
“We are hugely disappointed at today’s rejection by the Supreme Court of an appeal objecting to Government proposals for pushing through the HS2 national high-speed rail link.
The Wildlife Trusts’ initial analysis suggested that more than 360 important wildlife sites are at risk along the whole route. This includes four Wildlife Trust reserves, 10 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), more than 50 ancient woodlands and numerous local wildlife sites in the first phase alone.
The conservation organisation warns that the project looks likely to dramatically fall short of protecting and enhancing our natural heritage.
Paul Wilkinson added:
“We have heard the Government’s argument for the economy, growth and jobs, but nothing on how HS2 will support nature’s recovery, by ensuring there is more wildlife and not less by the time the project is complete. It must ensure that HS2 is a pioneering example of minimum damage - and maximum repair - for nature. To do this, Government must begin to communicate a compelling and ambitious vision for how HS2 will benefit nature and people’s connection to it, not just capacity, and jobs and journey times.”