Three months into a sparkly new role as Campaigning Assistant at the Woodland Trust is ample time to instil anyone with the passion to pursue a lifelong career championing ancient woodland. This is perhaps a good thing since legal wrangling over HS2 promises a long and steady schedule of man-versus-nature related strife, with the potential start date for work set to begin in 2022.
The announcement of the HS2 Y route on Monday the 28th January saw myself and courageous colleague Katharine ploughing through over 70 maps. From our valiant efforts we have an overview of what these plans will mean for the precious ancient woodland located in its path… However we desperately need more detail! Despite numerous requests we are still waiting for HS2 to supply the necessary geographical information system layer or ‘shape files’ which we urgently need to fully understand the layout of the route.
I’m hopeful of a long and fruitful career campaigning to protect our natural environment which seems to be under threat from so many angles. I expect plenty of challenges ahead… But so far I would say that the biggest hurdle has proven to be extracting this overdue information from HS2 and of course our fair leaders at the Department for Transport!
Almost a fortnight on and we are still waiting… If only high speed were indeed the order of the day!
Matina Loizou, Campaigning Assistant