Ex­ten­sion a ‘sig­nif­i­cant vic­tory’ in fight to save an­cient wood­land

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

AN EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL group is cel­e­brat­ing af­ter an an­nounce­ment that ar­eas of an­cient wood­land in Bucks could be saved from HS2.

The HS2 se­lect com­mit­tee of MPs, which has the power to rec­om­mend changes to the con­tro­ver­sial rail line be­fore it is built, last week an­nounced that ex­ist­ing tun­nel plans be ex­tended to South Heath near to Great Mis­senden.

If this were to hap­pen, it would mean that an­cient wood­land in Man­tle’s Wood, Sibley’s Cop­pice and Far­things Wood would be saved from de­struc­tion.

When the news was an­nounced, other cam­paign­ers hit out at the com­mit­tee be­cause it had re­jected their pro­pos­als for a full tun­nel un­der­neath the en­tirety of the Chilterns Area of Nat­u­ral Beauty.

How­ever, the Wood­land Trust says the sav­ing of the an­cient wood­land is a sig­nif­i­cant vic­tory for wildlife cam­paign­ers in the Buck­ing­hamshire area.

Nikki Wil­liams, head of cam­paign­ing for the trust, said: “We have cam­paigned pub­licly, lob­bied be­hind the scenes, sub­mit­ted reams of ev­i­dence to HS2 Ltd and the com­mit­tee and our se­nior con­ser­va­tion ad­vi­sor Richard Barnes even joined the of­fi­cial bus tour with the HS2 se­lect com­mit­tee re­cently on a visit to the Chilterns.

“While it’s dis­ap­point­ing that the full Chilterns tun­nel ap­pears to have been dis­counted so early, the com­mit­tee’s recog­ni­tion of the need to at lease ex­tend the tun­nel far enough to save three an­cient woods is hugely sig­nif­i­cant and a great re­lief.

“We urge HS2 Ltd now to gather what’s needed so that this amend­ment can be con­firmed.”

She added: “There are still 59 more an­cient woods in the fir­ing line on phase one alone.

“We will con­tinue to raise the need to avoid as many of these ir­re­place­able habi­tats as pos­si­ble when we present our own ev­i­dence to the com­mit­tee and hope it will re­alise more must be done.”

The woods which could be saved are home to

FIR­ING LINE: Man­tles Wood in the Chilterns could now be saved if a planned tun­nel ex­ten­sion get the go ahead wildlife in­clud­ing rare stag de­vel­op­ment. bee­tles, red kites, HS2 Ltd will now carry but­ter­flies and a va­ri­ety of out fur­ther work to as­sess plant life. the op­tion rec­om­mended

Man­tle’s Wood, near by the com­mit­tee, and if it Amer­sham, is the largest is con­sid­ered sat­is­fac­tory, threat­ened area of an­cient will lead to con­fir­ma­tion wood­land on the first that the three woods are phase of the HS2 safe.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.