.

Wildlife Trust in Cheshire raises concerns over HS2 plans

Pictures courtesy of Matt Lawton

Cheshire Wildlife Trust says it is in talks with HS2 to prevent the scheme damaging the local environment.

They are concerned about the proposed route, which cuts through just one of twelve designated nature improvement areas in the country.

Rachel Giles, Evidence and Planning Manager, at Cheshire Wildlife Trust, has been campaigning hard to ensure the best outcomes for nature: “Although Cheshire Wildlife Trust is generally supportive of sustainable transport schemes, we believe this must not be achieved at the expense of the natural environment.

“We have concerns that the proposed route, just south of Crewe, will cut through the Meres and Mosses Nature Improvement Area. This area was designated by the coalition government in 2012 in order to reconnect important wetland habitats, which had become isolated from each other. HS2 will effectively sever ecological connectivity with the eastern section, undermining the very reasons for its designation.

“Our view is that the proposals in the 5 mile Cheshire section of the route up to Crewe will destroy 69 ponds, 14 miles of hedgerows, and 27 acres of native woodland (including possible ancient woodland). We are particularly concerned about farmland birds, water voles, and globally endangered native crayfish - all of which are likely to be impacted by the route and its associated infrastructure.”

More from Local