Over the past few weeks I have been busy attending some of the HS2 first phase Draft Environmental Statement events that HS2 Ltd has been holding up and down the line.
I have been going along to these events to promote and hand out our HS2 Community Toolkits to the local communities. We created the toolkit to help people along the whole route understand why ancient woodland is so vital and how woods and trees are an important element of our landscape. We also cover how communities may be able to use tree planting to help mitigate against the impacts that HS2 will have on their local area.
For much of each event I was outside handing out the toolkits and discussing the importance of ancient woodland with the public. At all of the events I attended the toolkit was well received with everyone commenting that it was really helpful and provided them with good advice.
I did upon occasion venture into the halls where HS2 Ltd was presenting the section of line that would affect that particular community. I must admit that I found all the events I attended very fascinating. At the first event I attended when I walked into the hall I had three HS2 ltd members of staff make a beeline for me and ask if I needed any help. It wasn’t quite so overwhelming at the other 4 events, in fact at one they were even kind enough to come and offer if we would like a cup of tea!
Having attended five of these events across the route I can safely say that nearly every person that I spoke to after they had been into speak to HS2 Ltd left feeling as though the consultation was not adequate and that barely any information had been provided. This did not help when it was revealed to me at one of the events that the Draft Environmental Statement as it stands at the moment is not even 1/10th of the full Environmental Statement that is going to be deposited later this year with the Hybrid Bill.
All HS2 Ltd consultation events have now been completed and with only one more week until the actual consultation closes why don’t you take our action and let HS2 Ltd know that the Draft Environmental Statement they have produced is inadequate and incomplete.
Katharine Rist, Campaigner-Ancient Woodland