The following letter regarding HS2 was published in the Times today ... to support The Wildlife Trusts "Letter to the Prime Minister" go here.
High Speed 2 (HS2) should not get a green light from the Prime Minister in its current form. The financial costs of the project are under intense scrutiny, but so should the huge impact on the natural environment. It will be far too damaging to hundreds of important wild places and the nature that depends on them.
The recent report from The Wildlife Trusts shows that if allowed to continue unchanged, HS2 will risk damaging or destroying irreplaceable habitats such as internationally important wetlands, ancient woods, meadows and Sites of Special Scientific Interest that are supposed to be protected under UK law. Once lost, they will be gone forever.
Large areas of land that have already been restored using public money will also be at risk. Scientists say that nature is in deep trouble in the UK; the HS2 project threatens to be a severe setback to the great efforts being made to restore it. It is not just wildlife that will lose out – people will too. Many of the wild places at risk are treasured by locals who value the connection these provide to the natural world and the increased health and happiness they bring. Green transport is vital but the climate emergency will not be solved by making the nature crisis worse. The two are inextricably linked. We urge the Government to stop and rethink this project. The impact on the natural environment must be properly assessed and the proposals fully reviewed. Major infrastructure projects should seek to boost the natural world, not put it further at risk. Nature need not pay a price for HS2. Yours faithfully,
Hilary McGrady, National Trust John Sauven, Executive Director, GreenpeacePatience Thody, Acting CEO, The Wildlife TrustsJulie Williams, Chief Executive, Butterfly ConservationCraig Bennett, CEO, Friends of the EarthTanya Steele, Chief Executive, WWFDarren Moorcroft, CEO, Woodland TrustMatt Shardlow, Chief Executive, BuglifeBeccy Speight, Chief Executive, RSPB
We will also be adding the names of the following supporters:
Chris Baines, Naturalist and Vice President of The Wildlife TrustsChris Packham, Naturalist and TV presenterJulian Pettifer, Vice President of The Wildlife TrustsSophie Pavelle, Zoologist & Science CommunicatorDr Amir Khan, GP and Presenter, GPs Behind Closed DoorsDavid Oakes, Actor and Host of Trees a Crowd PodcastAmy Jane Beer, Biologist and writerMelissa Harrison, AuthorAbi Elphinstone, AuthorYussef Rafik, Zoologist and wildlife presenter
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