Woodland Trust urges "more rigour" in listing ancient wood losses to HS2 phase 2

As details of the impact of the second phase of HS2 rail project north of Birmingham are published, the Woodland Trust has called on HS2 Ltd to be more rigorous in documenting ancient woodland that would be lost.

Image: steve p2008 (CC BY 2.0)
Image: steve p2008 (CC BY 2.0)

Woodland Trust ecologist Luci Ryan said: "We already know Phase 2a will destroy parts of ancient Whitmore Wood near Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire – the route goes straight through it. And, sadly, we fully expect there to be more.

"However, we sincerely hope HS2 Ltd has learned from its mistakes on Phase 1 and carried out far more rigorous assessments, taking full account of the irreplaceable nature of this precious habitat and the huge variety of wildlife it supports."

She said the environmental assessments carried out by HS2 Ltd for Phase 1 of the scheme between London and Birmingham "proved completely inadequate, with 14 ancient woods left unaccounted for", adding: "It took rigorous checks by the Woodland Trust to reveal these extra woods to be threatened and further lobbying for HS2 Ltd to finally recognise them."

The Commons HS2 Select Committee agreed with the trust's call for an investigation into HS2 Ltd's attempt to prove the scheme would achieve no net loss of biodiversity.

"We expect Natural England to publish a report soon," Ryan said. "Where irreplaceable ancient woodland is destroyed, it is impossible to prove no net loss of biodiversity. Therefore HS2 Ltd must be advised to alter their calculations and admit the scheme in its current form cannot achieve this aim."

The three-volume Environmental Impact Assessment for HS2 Phase 2a (West Midlands to Crewe) has now been published.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What's in store for arboriculture in 2017?

What's in store for arboriculture in 2017?

Biosecurity, contractor scheme, electric equipment, flood mitigation and pest threats.

Buyers' guide - chainsaws

Buyers' guide - chainsaws

Chainsaw sales are buoyant at the moment; it's that time of year. Winter gale damage needs clearing and firewood preparing. But if you are in the market for a chainsaw, how do you pick the best out of the hundreds of options available?

Tree stakes and ties

Tree stakes and ties

There are various different methods to provide support for trees depending on their size and location, Sally Drury explains.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Arboriculture Contracts & Tenders

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.