Oak in path hs2 line - cheshire wildlife trust

Cheshire Wildlife Trust says it has secured more funding to secure landscaping and ecology work when the HS2 rail line is built through South Cheshire.

Members of the trust say they have “received assurances” from the company that their concerns have been taken on-board for Phase 2a of the work.

HS2 Ltd announced the creation of a fund for landscape and ecology work in the Cheshire area affected by Phase 2a.

The Trust has applied continued pressure and the fund has now been increased by an extra £150,000.

It will pay for conservation enhancements in Cheshire East, over and above those proposed in HS2 Ltd’s Environmental Statement.

Cheshire Wildlife Trust took their concerns to Government level, including submitting a petition voicing objections.

HS2 Ltd say landowners surrounding the work will be encouraged to make improvements for wildlife, and they will identify locations where improvements could be made.

The Trust is particularly concerned about the impact that losing most of the 105-hectare Randilow and Bunker Hill Local Wildlife Site will have.

This forms an integral part of the Meres and Mosses Nature Improvement Area.

Rachel Giles outside the Houses of Parliament (1)

Rachel Giles at Houses of Parliament

“It has taken us two years of hard work to get to this point,” said Rachel Giles (pictured), evidence and planning manager at Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

“I’m pleased HS2 Ltd has finally listened to our concerns.

“Although we were never going to be able to prevent the railway going ahead, we have now had assurances that additional steps will be taken to lessen the impacts on wildlife.”

Extra funding will provide habitat for the species most impacted by the scheme such as farmland birds.

Benefits secured are only in relation to the first five miles of track from the Staffordshire border to Crewe.

“We will continue to keep the pressure on HS2 Ltd to make sure wildlife is considered appropriately in the next phase of the scheme,” added Rachel.

“The 30-mile stretch from Crewe to Manchester and Warrington (Phase 2b) will prove an even bigger challenge, not least because the impacts to wildlife are likely to be so much greater.”

People can keep up-to-date on the trust’s work, including its actions to support wildlife during the development of HS2, at its website www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/HS2

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