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HS2: Protesters saving 500 acres in Steeple Claydon

They have been standing in front of diggers to stop the land being cleared

Published by the Mix96 News Team at 5:44am 15th October 2019. (Updated at 5:26pm 15th October 2019) 4-minute read.

HS2: Protesters saving 500 acres in Steeple Claydon

Villagers in Steeple Claydon have been protesting to stop HS2 from clearing 500 acres of land.

They have been standing in front of diggers coming out of a compound 3 to 5 times a day to stop the preparation work for the high speed rail route. 

So far they have been successful for the last eight days and will continue to do so until HS2 is stopped.

Charlotte from Mix96 went down there and met Frank, Lindsey and Marie - three of the campaigners. 

Also today:

Frank told us why he decided to get involved:

"It's very very simple.

"Now because of the review, nobody knows what's going to happen, and we believe wholeheartedly that they should not be doing anymore work.

"They decided when the review was launched not to pay the farmers for the land, so why are they working on these people's property when there's a review in place."

HS2 Steeple Claydon
The HS2 compound at Steeple Claydon

Marie and Lindsey both have children but have been spending as much of their time, come rain or shine, to stop the work. 

Nine campaigners currently work in shifts for around 10 hours a day.

Lindsey told Charlotte:

"It is cold and it is damp - but at the end of the day we don't think HS2 have the right to use this land at the moment.

"They keep telling us that they're trespassing, but we keep telling them that they're trespassing.

"They haven't produced any paperwork to show that they can be here to do this work."

HS2 Steeple Claydon
Some trees were cleared before the protesters could stop it

Marie said they will stand here as long as it takes until HS2 work is stopped:

"At the moment we're just having a little dance with the guys that are in the compound twice, three times a day, maybe up to four or five times a day.

"It's not their fault, they are just doing their job.

"But, we cannot let them get on with it because, well, it breaks my heart."

HS2 Steeple Claydon
A lot of the field have been fenced off by HS2
HS2 Steeple Claydon
This is the 9th day protesters will be standing against the work

You can follow updates from campaigners here.

An HS2 Ltd spokesperson said:

“As announced by government at the start of the Oakervee review, limited preparatory works on the project will continue in parallel.

"The haul road at Great Missenden will allow us to take construction traffic off local roads and limit disruption to the community.

"At Steeple Claydon we are working to clear the site ready for the construction of our Infrastructure Maintenance Depot and no significant works are planned at Fairford Leys in the near future.

“One of the biggest challenges facing this country is climate change, and road and air travel are significant contributors to this.

"The most effective way to cut transport carbon emissions in the UK and improve our air quality is to invest in rail, including HS2.

"This is the only way we will get people out of their cars, off domestic flights and take lorries off our congested roads.”

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