HS2 high speed train

Thousands ask Prime Minister to stop and re-think HS2

High speed rail plans risk devastating environmental damage.

Today (4/2/20) a letter from The Wildlife Trusts, signed by over 66,000 people will be delivered to 10 Downing Street highlighting the huge risks that HS2 poses to the environment, and asking the Prime Minister to ensure that the impact on nature is properly assessed as a matter of urgency.

The Woodland Trust is also handing over 42,000 comments, including 7,000 handwritten responses condemning the potential loss of ancient woodlands and thousands of trees which will be impacted or felled to make way for the line.

Nikki Williams, The Wildlife Trusts’ director of campaigns and policy says:

“People want a commitment to ensure that nature does not pay the price for HS2.  In only three weeks over 66,000 people have signed our letter to the Prime Minister showing that they care deeply about the risks to wildlife such as barn owls, and precious plants like the endangered lizard orchid. Current plans could devastate irreplaceable meadows, designated ancient woodlands and internationally important wetlands, creating an environmental scar that will not heal.

“We’re calling on the Prime Minister to stop and re-think HS2; the fate of hundreds of treasured wild places and the wildlife that depend on them, is in his hands.”

Head of Campaigning at the Woodland Trust, Adam Cormack says:

“Government needs to realise that HS2 will cost far more than money, and that destroying our precious ancient woodlands is a grave mistake that will be looked back on in shock by future generations.

“Our ancient woodlands and the unique species they support are on borrowed time. We need the Prime Minister to stop the clocks and listen to the views of thousands before it’s too late to save these sites from destruction. It’s time to rethink HS2.”

Vice Chair at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Mark Ridler says:

“I was very excited to meet with representatives from other Wildlife Trust around the country to present a petition on a matter of national importance to the door of the Prime Minister. It was also interesting to talk to some of the people who had prepared the impressive “What’s the Damage?” report  about how they collated the data. We also felt a strong sense camaraderie with members of the Woodland Trust who were also handing in a petition.”

A recent report published by The Wildlife Trusts, including data from the Woodland Trust, revealed evidence of the vast scale of destruction and impact that HS2 could cause to nature. ‘What’s the damage?  Why HS2 will cost nature too much’ is the most comprehensive assessment of potential environmental damage.

The letter that over 66,000 people have signed to the Prime Minister is here. Delegates to Downing Street today include representatives of Wildlife Trusts along the proposed rail route.

If you’d like to support us further, please do consider becoming a member today so together we can to protect more wild places,  stand up for wildlife and work to bring people closer to nature.