The real effects of high speed line
TOM Jeffreys is a freelance writer and curator, originally from Chesham Bois in Buckinghamshire, and now based in Helsinki. In November he decided to walk the proposed route of HS2 from London to Birmingham to find out more about its impact upon individuals, communities and the landscape. His long-term intention is to write a book on the subject.
He said: “After walking the route of HS2, my overall impression is of the sheer diversity of the landscapes affected – from inner-city London, through suburbia, then out into the rolling hills of the Chilterns and the picturesque villages of Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.
“I grew up in Chesham Bois and continue to play cricket regularly for Hyde Heath so I’m well aware of the attractions of the Bucks landscape.
“The biggest surprise was the Colne Valley Park, which I had never visited before.
“After the best part of two days walking through largely residential areas, the Colne Valley was a breath of fresh air, quite literally: There I saw all manner of birdlife including a sparrowhawk and a kingfisher.
“Situated on the urban fringe, it is a fascinating ecosystem, and manifestly popular with ramblers, school groups and many others.
“The impact of HS2 could be catastrophic.”
Frank Partridge from Denham against HS2 is another who feels strongly about the potential impact on the Colne Valley from the construction of the rail line.
Mr Partridge led a protest walk along the towpath of the Grand Union Canal against the high speed rail link in March 2012 and it was so successful that the walk has now become an annual event.
He said: “We’ll be organising another one in the spring of 2015, during the run-up to the General Election. The first walk attracted 375 protestors.”