I wonder if the irony is lost on ‘the greenest Government ever’ when an environmental NGO is forced to dispute a ‘green transport’ concept – a position it was put in because of that government’s poor decision-making. We would have loved to have been able to welcome High Speed 2. We wanted to see it work to remove unnecessary traffic from our congested roads and reduce emissions – after all climate change is the biggest long-term threat to ancient woodland. We had hoped it would benefit the economies of all of the towns and villages it will touch along the way. We wanted it to be truly green and innovative in design and delivery. It held so much potential to be a pioneering project.
But there is a snag! It just ain’t green! The route means that 21 irreplacable ancient woods are going to be destroyed. These are valuable woods, part of ancient woodland which covers just 2% of our land, and once gone, they are never able to be replaced.
Contrary to the belief of Justene Greening MP – Secretary of State for Transport and the minister responsible for decisions being made around High Speed 2 – you cannot simply pick ancient woodland up and pop it somewhere more convenient. Add to this the many more ancient woods within 200 metres of the proposed route that will be damaged, and we are left with lots of questions around how this is a credible ‘green transport’ project?
Chris Byrne - Woodland Trust Caseworker - talks through the concerns for the chosen High Speed 2 route.
Watch our film and please tell us your thoughts – and maybe add your questions that remain unanswered alongside ours: