HS2 has vowed to deliver the biggest green corridor ever created for a UK infrastructure project, including a 23 sq km native woodland that will run alongside phase one of the £55.7bn rail line. The full article can be found here: HS2 pledges UK’s ‘largest ever’ green corridor

The Woodland Trust has responded as follows:

HS2 Green Corridor Nothing More than Greenwash Nonsense

HS2 has today (Monday 25 June) launched plans for what it calls “an unprecedented green corridor” stretching alongside the route of this destructive project.

But the Woodland Trust believes the only thing unprecedented about it is the amount of ancient woodland the railway will destroy.

HS2 Ltd’s announcement includes the news that seven million trees will be planted along the line of phase 1 from London to Birmingham, and an additional £2m is being made available in the Woodland Fund to support the planting of trees along phase 2a from Birmingham to Crewe. More than 40 hectares of rare ancient woodland will be destroyed by HS2.

Luci Ryan, ecologist at the Woodland Trust said:

“This is utter greenwash nonsense from an organisation trying to pretend that HS2 isn’t the most environmentally destructive infrastructure project this country has seen in decades. Some 98 beautiful, rare, irreplaceable ancient woodlands will be destroyed or damaged by this scheme. That’s 98 habitats and eco-systems that support a whole host of mammals, birds, invertebrates, fungi and plants. And once that ancient woodland is gone, it’s gone forever so while planting new trees is all well and good, it’s no substitute for what will be lost. Their plans – which let’s not forget are a condition of the scheme, not being delivered out of the goodness of their hearts – fall woefully short of replacing what will be lost on something being touted as a green infrastructure project. None of this new planting will replace the 30ha of ancient woodland destroyed on Phase 1 and the £2million they are making available on Phase 2a as part of the woodland fund will not replace the 10.2ha of ancient woodland they are destroying there. This is like smashing a Ming vase and replacing it with bargain basement crockery.”

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