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Wildlife Trust bans HS2 from Calvert nature reserve

Wildlife Trust bans HS2 from Calvert nature reserve

Published by Charlotte Fisher at 11:41am 21st May 2019.

HS2 has been banned from accessing a nature reserve in Calvert.

The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust has denied contractors access to Calvert Jubilee nature reserve to carry out clearance works.

BBOWT wants them produce a scheme of works and mitigation that addresses their concerns and respects the needs of wildlife.

In February they were made aware of HS2's plans and they had this response:

"We have met with representatives of HS2 to make it clear that the scale and timing of the works will have a devastating effect on wildlife.

"We have also sent a formal letter to HS2 requesting specific details of the areas to be cleared, how this clearance will take place and the mitigation that will be put in place to compensate for the damage to wildlife.

Wildlife Trust bans HS2 from nature reserve
Campaigners branded land cleared for HS2 a crime scene last month

"We believe that the works will cause unnecessary and unwarranted destruction of important breeding and feeding habitats for a range of species. We therefore strongly object to the proposals as they stand.

"If we do not consider that the mitigation proposed by HS2 is adequate we will, to the extent relevant legislation allows us to, refuse access to BBOWT’s land until HS2 produce a scheme of works and mitigation that addresses our concerns and respects the needs of wildlife."

They have now put that legislation in place because there's a risk habitat will be destroyed, HS2 is scrapped, no new habitat is created and we will have lost precious habitat and species for nothing.

BBOWT strongly opposes HS2’s plans as they currently stand.

Matthew Stanton is Head of Planning, Policy and Advocacy at BBOWT:

"We are not permitting HS2's contractors access to our site to carry out any clearance works.

"We've demanded that they provide us proper schemes of mitigation and detailed plans of work they plan to carry out.

"For any clearance works to happen during nesting season is completely unacceptable."

A spokesperson for HS2 said:

Wildlife Trust bans HS2 from Calvert nature reserve
HS2 has planted 350,000 as part of the new Green Corridor

“We understand some communities along the route are concerned about activity in their area and we are working closely with them, interest groups and the local council, to minimise the impact of our works.

"The works currently being delivered by HS2 Ltd are necessary to build the new railway, and are already supporting over 7,000 jobs through business in the supply chain.

“At Calvert Jubilee we have had meetings with the Wildlife Trust over several years, have shared our Environmental Statement with them, including details of all mitigation work.

"We would like to assure people that all our mitigation work complies with environmental standards, follows established best practice guidelines, and we have met with BBOWT to describe this approach.”

“HS2 is well advanced with the creation of a Green Corridor along the route of the new railway and, so far 350,000 new trees have been planted and 26 areas of new habitat created for wildlife.

"Near to the Calvert Jubilee Nature Reserve, this includes Decoypond Wood in Bernwood Forest where 2,000 trees have already been planted to create a new flight path for a rare species of bat native to the area.

"This is part of a programme of planting which will see 35,000 new trees planted in to improve connectivity between existing habitats in the Calvert area over the next 12 months.”

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