King­fish­ers, glow worms, haulage?

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

ICK­EN­HAM res­i­dents are propos­ing an al­ter­na­tive route us­ing the old Uxbridge/Den­ham rail­way track, 200m west of HS2’s pro­posed haul road.

Fol­low­ing the rail­way’s clo­sure in 1964 the track was left to be­come a na­ture re­serve and is now cov­ered in ma­ture wood­land, home to mam­mals, birds and in­sect life, in­clud­ing rare glow worms.

It passes through Den­ham Lock Wood, where the lakes are pop­u­lated by many bird species, an area pop­u­lar with an­glers and walk­ers, then on through Frays Farm Mead­ows, a unique wet­land re­serve, a site of spe­cial sci­en­tific in­ter­est sup­port­ing en­dan­gered and rare species, in­clud­ing wa­ter voles.

All the way to Uxbridge the old rail­way fol­lows the Frays River and is a beau­ti­ful tran­quil area where herons, king­fish­ers and wa­ter­fowl abound.

Ick­en­ham Res­i­dents are right to chal­lenge HS2’s pro­posal but mov­ing the haul road onto the rail­way will cause ir­repara­ble dam­age to the beau­ti­ful ar­eas of the old rail­way track, Frays River, mead­ows and lakes, and de­stroy ameni­ties en­joyed by many res­i­dents of the area.

It will bi­sect the SSSI pre­vent­ing move­ment of wildlife and the Lon­don Wildlife Trust who look af­ter the area.

1,400 heavy lor­ries us­ing a haul road through a na­ture re­serve ev­ery day will de­stroy all this for­ever.

HS2 says that tak­ing the spoil away us­ing the Chiltern rail­way line, which runs past this site, is too ex­pen­sive and in­tend spend­ing £25m mak­ing the haul road to the A40.

Surely this is a pro­posal which should be re-ex­am­ined and a way found to pre­vent hor­ren­dous dam­age to our coun­try­side.

Ick­en­ham Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion al­ready has large ar­eas of nat­u­ral

beauty and in­ter­est which will be de­stroyed by the pro­posed HS2. Do we re­ally want to add an­other one? HE­LEN COPE Frays Farm,

Uxbridge

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