hs2-affected-sites

How HS2 is affecting nature and Wildlife Trusts along the route

Wild Places at Risk

Wildlife Trusts along the HS2 route are continuing to monitor the impact of works in their area as best they can, with the limitations and site restrictions in place for COVID-19.  We continue to record concerns that have been raised with us, and to highlight examples of issues including breaches of formal assurances and breaches of license conditions at a number of sites near or at Wildlife Trust nature reserves. Read about some of these below.

The proposed route for HS2 will badly damage wild places along its route. Fourteen Wildlife Trusts have campaigned against the development which will devastate many of the wild places that they care for:

Phase 1: London; Hertfordshire & Middlesex; Berks, Bucks and Oxon; Beds, Cambs and Northants; Warwickshire; Birmingham and Black Country; and Staffordshire.

Phase 2: Staffordshire; Cheshire; Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside; Leicestershire and Rutland; Derbyshire; Nottinghamshire; Sheffield and Rotherham; and Yorkshire.

Calvert Jubilee

In late December 2019, contractors acting on behalf of HS2 Ltd began works without permission at Calvert Jubilee Nature Reserve. Image by Mark Vallance.

Example

Calvert Jubilee, Buckinghamshire

In late December 2019, contractors acting on behalf of HS2 Ltd began works unexpectedly and without permission at Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust’s Calvert Jubilee Nature Reserve. This September, despite assurances that BBOWT would be notified, HS2 Ltd took over Calvert Jubilee site without prior warning.

Read more
Great grey shrike

Great grey shrike © Pete Richman

Example

Jones Hill Wood, Buckinghamshire

HS2 works at this ancient woodland, famous for inspiring Roald Dahl, were apparently paused in October 2020 following the discovery that rare barbastelle bats may be present. Without the appropriate Natural England license in place, disturbing this species constitutes a wildlife crime. The Wildlife Trusts have backed a call for a pause in works by HS2 Ltd, while investigations into possible wildlife crimes can be carried out. On 8 November 2020 a statement of concerns highlighting possible illegal activity and the need for better transparency from HS2 Ltd was sent by independent ecologists, EcoTech, to Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State responsible for HS2. A joint statement of support from us, the RSPB, and Woodland Trust was included, urging the Secretary of State to listen to and act on those concerns raised.

Read more
Little Lynton and Fulfen Woods

Starting in September 2020, hundreds of trees have been felled in the two ancient woodlands of Little Lyntus and Fulfen woods. HS2 Ltd broke assurances that work was not to start before October 1st, 2020. Photo by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

Example

Little Lyntus and Fulfen woods, Staffordshire

Starting in September 2020, hundreds of trees have been felled in the two ancient woodlands of Little Lyntus and Fulfen woods. Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has criticised HS2 Ltd for breaking assurances that work in Lichfield was not due to start before October 1st, 2020. Originally HS2 Ltd was given permission by Natural England to start felling in these woods in spring, a vital time for wildlife. After protests, work was delayed until autumn but still started earlier than planned.

Read more

Other sites affected by the route

Many more wild places along the HS2 route are facing damage and destruction, including sites cared for by The Wildlife Trusts. Read about some of these below.

EXAMPLE

Great Manchester Wetlands

The Environmental Statement for Phase 2b currently ignores this vitally important network of wildlife corridors and stepping stones that allows wetland habitats to thrive and survive in the area. Already spliced up by the M62 and  Liverpool-Manchester railway, HS2 will fragment the landscape even further. This puts at risk rare wildlife including willow tits.

Read more
EXAMPLE

Holcroft Moss

This special site for wildlife is a favourite for breeding yellowhammers and also home to common lizard and plants like cranberry and cotton grass. A rare lowland bog, the HS2 route runs close by and an embankment will create a barrier for wildlife moving between the Cheshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve and other wild places.

Read more
EXAMPLE

Water Haigh Woodland Park

Over 70% of this Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve will be lost to HS2, destroying broadleaved woodland, pasture, hedgerow and wetland - and a wild place for skylarks, otters, long-tailed tits and red kites.

Read more