The county’s leading nature conservation charity is continuing to push for the best outcome for wildlife after submitting its comments for the HS2 Phase 2a Environmental Statement Consultation.
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has scrutinised the Environmental Statement and raised a number of concerns.
The Trust is questioning how adequate the statement is for decision making, stating vital surveys have yet to be completed, and highlighting a number ofunnecessary impacts that could be avoided with simple design changes.
Around 50 Local Wildlife Sites will be affected by the proposed route – with 30 suffering direct losses if the plans are given the green light. 10 ancient woodlands will be directly affected, nearly 30 veteran trees could be lost, and several hundred kilometres of hedgerows will have to be removed.
Kate Dewey, Planning Officer for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said:
“We are concerned that a lot more needs to be done to avoid impacts and improve mitigation.
“A lot of important species will be affected as a result of HS2 – including regionally important bat populations, water voles, great crested newts, farmland and wetland bird populations as well as rare plants such as black poplar, bog pimpernel and small bugloss.
“We are due to be meeting with HS2 later this month, along with ecologists from local councils, to discuss in details our concerns and how the plans can be improved.”
People can support Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s work on HS2 by becoming a member online at www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk or making a donation to the HS2 appeal at http://www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/donate.
To read the Trust’s full comments letter visit www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/HS2Page