Wildlife Trusts set out vision for HS2 nature restoration

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The Wildlife Trusts are challenging the government to adopt an alternative vision for the planned High Speed 2 railway line, which they say will benefit wildlife as well as travellers.

A new report, published by The Wildlife Trusts, reveals the impact on wildlife sites, which cuts through areas of the North West.

Their vision includes large-scale nature restoration to help communities and the countryside most at risk from HS2, with parliament due to meet today for the second reading of the HS2 Hybrid Bill.

The trusts say the report, “HS2: A vision for large-scale nature restoration along the proposed route”, makes the environmental, social and economic case for the government to properly address the impact of HS2 on wildlife and ecosystems.

The Wildlife Trusts’ director of England, Stephen Trotter, said: “Currently, people and nature stand to lose if HS2 goes ahead, which is why our opposition to the current route for HS2 is unchanged. Like other affected groups, we will be petitioning against the proposals for HS2.

“But our vision offers a way for the damage to wildlife and habitats to be tempered by something positive that would enhance people’s lives and go some way towards replacing the natural heritage which would be obliterated by the line.

“Our proposals, which are still very provisional at this stage, would see around 15,000 hectares of new, interlinked wild places established along the entire length of the route that people can walk, cycle through and enjoy, ultimately providing a ‘net gain’ for wildlife.”