Thousands ask Prime Minister to stop and re-think HS2

High speed rail plans risk devastating environmental damage

On Tuesday a letter from The Wildlife Trusts, signed by over 66,000 people was delivered to 10 Downing Street by the CEOs of six Wildlife Trusts including Cheshire CEO, Charlotte Harris. The letter is a move to highlight the huge risks that HS2 poses to the environment, and asks the Prime Minister to ensure that the impact on nature is properly assessed as a matter of urgency.  

Charlotte Harris, CEO of Cheshire Wildlife Trust commented
“It is fantastic to see that the campaign has gathered so much support in just a few weeks.  In that time, over 3,000 people in our local area have signed our letter to the Prime Minister showing that they want the project to be held accountable for the devastation that it will ultimately cause our local wildlife. Current plans will devastate grassland meadows, ancient woodlands and internationally important wetlands putting local species on the verge of extinction. We’re calling on the Prime Minister to stop and re-think HS2 “

Current plans for the rail line cut right through one of the four likely remaining water vole populations in Cheshire. The species is already in rapid decline and, as it stands, HS2 is set to put their very existence in Cheshire at risk.

A recent report published by The Wildlife Trusts, revealed evidence of the vast scale of destruction and impact that HS2 could cause to nature. ‘What’s the damage?  Why HS2 will cost nature too much’ is the most comprehensive assessment of potential environmental damage.

Dr Rachel Giles, a leading figure in the creation of the report, commented
“In any definition of the word, it is not a sustainable scheme anymore; the environmental impacts of HS2 are enormous. We’ve lost so much biodiversity due to changes in land use and this will have a really big impact on the remaining wildlife. The impacts in Cheshire alone are going to be dire.”

The letter that over 66,000 people have signed to the Prime Minister is here. Delegates to Downing Street today include representatives of Wildlife Trusts along the proposed rail route.