In the most comprehensive environmental assessment to date, The Wildlife Trusts reveal the sheer scale of potential damage from HS2.
Our report – What’s the Damage? Why HS2 will cost nature too much – shows that the deep cut HS2 will make across the landscape could stop nature’s recovery in its tracks. As the costs to nature escalate, we’re urging the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to use his power now to stop and rethink this project, or the scar may never heal.SIGN OUR LETTER
The report draws from data from the 14 Wildlife Trusts affected by the current plans, including Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and other charities and landowners along the route. The report shows that HS2 will divide and destroy huge swathes of irreplaceable natural habitat and important protected wildlife sites up the length of England.
This will cause permanent loss of nature, increased fragmentation of wild places, and the local extinction of endangered species.
In addition to the proposals risking the loss of, or significantly impact to 5 wildlife refuges of international importance, 33 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, 693 Local Wildlife Sites, 21 Local Nature Reserves and 18 Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves alongside many other impacts on wildlife habitats nationally – in Sheffield and Rotherham, the proposed HS2 project would directly affect 5 designated Local Wildlife Sites – 3 of which contain Ancient Woodland;
- Nor Wood and Locks – a Local Wildlife Site and Ancient Woodland– Construction of railway cutting and embankments and a viaduct would result in the permanent loss of 18ha of the LWS (31.5%), and a loss of 4.1ha of ancient woodland (12.7%). This is currently the single biggest potential loss of ancient woodland in Phase 2b.
- Nicker Woods and Ponds – a Local Wildlife Site and Ancient Woodland– to be impacted by the construction of a viaduct.
- King’s Pond Plantation – a Local Wildlife Site – a mixed woodland and large pond would be affected by a culvert and embankment.
- Firsby Reservoir – a Local Wildlife Site and Local Nature Reserve –noted for birds, including gadwall and willow tit. There could be permanent, adverse effects on the site integrity which is also designated as a local nature reserve for people to enjoy.
- Hooton Cliff Local Wildlife Site and Ancient Woodland– supporting the nationally scarce large-leaved lime. Without appropriate mitigation, the cutting and overbridge would result in a permanent adverse effect at the county/metropolitan level.
- with one further Local Wildlife Site and one further Ancient Woodland adjacent to the proposed route. – Foers Wood Local Wildlife Site wet woodland noted for its bat species and Pea Carr Woods – Ancient Woodland
The information for Sheffield is currently limited, with no assessment yet publicly available on the impacts of electrification of the existing line to make it compatible for high speed trains.SIGN OUR LETTER
Once you have signed our letter to the Prime Minister, you could take further action by contacting your MP to let them know that you have signed your letter. You can find contact details for your MP and contact them via Write To Them.
HS2 and the environment
Hundreds of important habitats and special wild places are under threat from the government’s proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) rail network. Ancient Woodland, lakes, meadows and other important habitats are at risk. Yet, there has not been a Strategic Environmental Assessment and the compensation plans being put forward are not good enough.
The Government and HS2 Ltd acknowledge that the route can’t be delivered without extreme harm to the natural environment. Furthermore, the deep cut and divisive scar the route will cause along the length of England’s habitats pose a genuine barrier to the urgent action required to recover nature and restore landscapes. The current approach to HS2 means that a Nature Recovery Network would be impossible.
The potential damage is too great – especially while we are facing an ecological and climate emergency. We need HS2 Ltd to stop and rethink.
SIGN OUR LETTER
“This hard-hitting report highlights the potential damage and inadequate mitigation currently proposed by HS2 Ltd locally and nationally. We are therefore calling on the government to Stop and Rethink HS2 and asking others to do the same. If HS2 has to go ahead, a new approach is needed – one that, in keeping with current government commitments, takes a greener approach which leaves the natural world in a better state than it was before. ”
Liz Ballard, Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust CEO
Photo credit: Nor Wood tree © Dr Nicola Rivers
Nor Wood is privately owned (with public rights of way through it) and we do not represent the views of the landowner.