HS2 Select Committee can consider mitigation for the devastating impact of HS2 – we call for ambitious nature restoration

Thursday 1st May 2014

After the disappointment of Monday’s vote in favour of HS2, The Wildlife Trusts are delighted that MPs have given the HS2 Select Committee a remit to consider environmental mitigation for the impact that the proposed route will have.

HS2 will have a massive impact which is why we’ve come up with a new vision that makes the case for a ribbon of natural areas, wild havens, green bridges and cycle ways along the corridor of the route

Whilst we want wildlife sites to be avoided, mitigation will be crucial to ensuring that the countryside along the route is restored.  The Wildlife Trusts hope that the mitigation package will be extensive and that it will benefit both our natural heritage and people too.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape at The Wildlife Trusts, says:

“The proposed route for HS2 threatens to destroy or damage hundreds of wild, precious and beautiful places that are treasured by people living along the entire route.  Fortunately MPs have decided that the HS2 Select Committee can consider how to mitigate for the loss of these much-loved woods and other parts of our natural heritage.  HS2 will have a massive impact which is why we’ve come up with a new vision that makes the case for a ribbon of natural areas, wild havens, green bridges and cycle ways along the corridor of the route.  We hope that the Government will rise to the challenge and aim for an ambitious mitigation scheme.”

Initial costings suggest that environmental restoration on this scale could be achieved with less than 1% of HS2’s overall budget of £42 billion.

A greener vision for HS2: Ideas for large-scale nature restoration along the proposed route (both summary and full length reports) are available to read on this page).

More information about The Wildlife Trusts' concerns regarding HS2 can be found here.

Tagged with: Living Landscapes, High speed rail, HS2