‘The HS2 high-speed rail project will destroy ‘huge swathes’ of ‘irreplaceable’ natural habitats, including 39 nature reserves and 108 ancient woodlands, a new report reveals.
HS2, which is estimated to cost £88 billion overall, aims to provide a high-speed rail service linking London and northern England.
But according to a new report by Wildlife Trusts, the current proposals risk the loss of ancient woodlands, nature reserves, wildlife refuges and more.
The organisation claims its new report is the ‘most comprehensive’ assessment yet of the environmental damage that HS2 could cause.
The organisation is now urging the government to rethink the rail project before it causes irreparable damage to the UK’s wildlife.
Eighteen Wildlife Trust nature reserves will be affected, including London’s Frays Farm Meadows, Holcroft Moss in Cheshire and Park Hall in Birmingham, as well as a further 21 local nature reserves.
HS2 will affect 26 large landscape-scale conservation initiatives in total, including four Nature Improvement Areas awarded £1.7 million of public money.
The Trust said ‘rarities’ such as the dingy skipper butterfly could also be made extinct locally, while barn owls and endangered wildlife such as white-clawed crayfish could be impacted. ‘