HS2 Appeal

HS2 is coming... Join the fight for local wildlife!

HS2 is coming... we need your help to get the best deal for nature

With the planning and development of HS2 gathering pace, Cheshire Wildlife Trust has launched a campaign to get the best deal for Cheshire's wildlife. We can’t stop HS2, but we need to hold them accountable for the damaging impact on our wildlife.

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What we’ve already achieved for Phase 2a

Rachel Giles outside the Houses of Parliament

Rachel Giles outside the Houses of Parliament

  • We highlighted errors in HS2 Ltd’s calculations, showing that they have underestimated the impacts the scheme will have on biodiversity. They have given us legally binding assurances that more will be done to compensate for the loss of habitat.
  • We identified a new Local Wildlife Site, designated for bats and farmland birds, meaning HS2 Ltd can no longer ignore the importance of this area and will have to take measures to reduce the damage they will cause.
  • £850,000 has been secured for habitat restoration and creation to replace lost wildlife habitats.

What’s still to do for Phase 2b?

Eight times longer than 2a, Phase 2b will directly impact 12 designated wildlife sites in Cheshire, Warrington and south Manchester including several ancient woodlands. Crucially, there are many more potential Local Wildlife Sites that, without designation, have no protection.

Donate today

Train track c. Adrian Royston

Train track c. Adrian Royston

We need your help to:

Watervole c. Tom Marshall

Watervole c. Tom Marshall 

• Designate and protect new Local Wildlife Sites.
• Gather evidence and respond to upcoming consultations and continue to meet with HS2 Ltd to influence the plans.
• Ensure HS2 Ltd abides by its commitment to achieve ‘no net loss of biodiversity’, creating and improving enough new woodland to compensate for the impacts of the scheme.
Fight for the creation of habitats, particularly wetlands and wildflower grasslands.
• Provide communities and MPs with information on the impact of High Speed Rail in their area.
• If necessary, take our concerns to Government, securing the right to give evidence at the House of Commons Select Committee.

But we can’t do all this without your help.

To achieve what we did for the five miles of Phase 2a took more than 2,000 hours of staff time. There is so much more work to do to get the best deal for wildlife along the 45 miles of Phase 2b.

We need to raise at least £20,000 to fund our HS2 campaign for the next two years.

Can you help us get the best deal for nature?

Letter writing

A gift of £16

could help us write detailed letters to HS2 Ltd

Bluebells c. Neil Aldridge

Bluebells c. Neil Aldridge

A gift of £30

could pay for us to identify important wildlife havens in the area.



A gift of £75

could pay for the survey of a threatened area

Veteran tree

Veteran tree

A gift of £500

could pay for the designation of new Local Wildlife Sites on the route

Select Committee

Select Committee

A gift of £1000

could pay for us to take our concerns to the House of Commons Select Committee.

HS2 Proposed route

HS2 proposed route

Designated Local Wildlife Sites within 50m of the proposed HS2 route (at 1st October 2018) as marked by the orange circles:

1. Eleven Acre Common near Culcheth
2. Silver Lane Ponds near Culcheth
3. Fox Covert near Lymm
4. Hancock’s Bank South (ancient woodland) near Rostherne
5. Ryecroft Covert near Rostherne
6. Ecclesfield Wood near Ashley
7. Davenport Green Wood
8. Arley and Waterless Brook Corridor
9. Leonard’s and Smoker Wood (ancient woodland)
10. Winnington and Peas Wood (ancient woodland)
11. Long Wood, Lostock
12. Shropshire Union Canal (Middlewich Branch)
13. Fields Farm Flashes near Elworth
14. Clay Lane Verges, Moston
15. Brookhouse Pools near Maw Green
16. Mere Gutter with Basford Brook near Crewe
17. Randilow and Bunker Hill near Wrinehill

Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves (marked as grey circles)

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within 500m of the proposed HS2 route:
• Holcroft Moss
• Rostherne Mere (Ramsar Site, a wetland site of international importance)

Wildlife sites at risk

Potential Local Wildlife Site

Trent and Mersey Canal

Home to: reedbeds, deciduous woodland and veteran trees.

Trent and Mersey Canal c. Claire Huxley

Local Wildlife Site

Greenheyes Farm Potential

Home to: wet woodland, bluebells, species-rich hedgerow and veteran trees

Greenheyes Farm c. Claire Huxley

Local Wildlife Site

Leonard’s and Smoker Wood

Home to: lowland deciduous woodland, fungi, river wildlife

Leonard’s and Smoker Wood c. Claire Huxley

Your planning team

Planning team

Planning team

Dr Rachel Giles Evidence and Planning Manager (centre)
“My job is to scrutinise plans, surveys and impact assessments and write detailed consultation responses highlighting any issues. I also meet with HS2 Ltd. staff to try and influence the project design.“

Andrea Powell Conservation Officer (left)
“I look after the Trust’s GIS datasets and produce maps for wildlife surveys and management plans.“

Fiona Wood Conservation Officer (right)
“I work on the ground to find locations that meet the Local Wildlife Site criteria. These are usually priority habitats such as native woodlands, species-rich grasslands and reedbeds.”

Other ways to take action

Our planning team are currently assessing the draft Environment Statement for HS2 Phase 2b and we will be updating this page with our response.

In the meantime, you can stand-up for nature and write to your MP about your concerns about the impact for wildlife of HS2 Phase 2b.

Find you MP and their details here.

What is HS2?

HS2 is a high-speed rail network connecting London to Manchester and Leeds, with the aim of boosting the economy across the UK. However, there are major issues relating to the impact of the scheme on habitats and species.

HS2 Phase 2 is being delivered in two stages:
• HS2 Phase 2a – West Midlands to Crewe, five miles through our region. Expected to complete in 2027
• HS2 Phase 2b – Crewe to Manchester, and the West Midlands to Leeds, 45 miles through our region.
Expected to complete in 2033.