Woodland Trust responds to 'full horror' of HS2 environmental statement

By agency reporter
October 13, 2018

The Woodland Trust has responded to the publication of the draft Environmental Statement for HS2 Phase 2b.

Woodland Trust ecologist Luci Ryan said: “We were braced for bad news but this is far worse than we were expecting.  At least 19 ancient woods will be lost, almost double our estimate.

“The brutal destruction of at least 16.7 hectares of ancient woodland on Phase 2b will be catastrophic for the environment. This is significant permanent loss and the figure is only going to go up as HS2’s review of woods not listed on the Ancient Woodland Inventory progresses.  HS2 is continuing to ride roughshod over precious, irreplaceable centuries-old ancient woodland and in doing so the homes and populations of many wildlife species will be destroyed too.

“Ancient woods are home to many rare species that depend on this type of undisturbed, complex habitat.  It cannot be recreated and if lost, we lose the species that call it home.  Rare birds such as the lesser spotted woodpecker, the willow tit and the wood warbler, bats such as Bechstein’s and barbastelle, butterflies such as the purple hairstreak and silver-washed fritillary, as well as dormice, badgers and hedgehogs are all at risk.

“There are many species of plant and fungi that rely on ancient woodland’s unique and stable conditions as well. With just two per cent of the UK covered by ancient woodland, any further destruction will cause serious loss of biodiversity.  No amount of tree planting can ever make up for the loss of this precious habitat.

“We are going to need some time to digest the full horror of the draft Environmental Statement but rest assured we will stand up and fight.

“Thanks to the dogged determination of our campaigners we’ve already helped to save over 14 hectares of ancient woodland on Phase 1 and 2a and we will be asking our army of supporters to add their voice to ours to affect change and stand up for woods and trees. “

Woods which will be destroyed by HS2 Phase 2b:

  • Cheshire: Bull’s Wood, Winnington Wood, Leonard’s Wood and Smoker Wood (one site), Hancock’s Bank South, Brickhill Wood.
  • Greater Manchester: Coroner’s Wood, Davenport Green Wood.
  • Nottinghamshire: New Farm Wood, Watnall Coppice.
  • Derbyshire: Padley Wood, Owlcotes Wood, Robinson’s Lumb, High Wood, Nor Wood.
  • South Yorkshire: Hooton Cliff, Unnamed wood west of Barnburgh Cliff, Watchley Crag Wood, Nicker Wood.
  • West Yorkshire: Howell Wood.

* The Woodland Trust https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/

[Ekk/6]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.