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5 March 2019, 18:30 | Updated: 5 March 2019, 18:38
One of the region's wildlife trusts, the Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, BBOWT, say clearance planned for one their nature reserves in Buckinghamshire ready for the High Speed HS-2 railway will be devastating for wildlife.
The 200 hectare work is planned for Calvert Jubilee near Steeple Claydon.
BBOWT say they're worried because it would be at the start of the nesting season and say they will consider refusing access to their land unless engineers address their concerns.
BBOWT has received notice from High Speed 2 (HS2) that they intend to carry out clearance works at one of our nature reserves; Calvert Jubilee.
The clearance would involve a huge area of approximately 200 hectares. We have met with representatives of HS2 to make it clear that the scale and timing of the works will have a devastating effect on wildlife, particularly as it is the start of nesting season. We have also sent a formal letter to HS2 requesting more specific details of the areas to be cleared, how this clearance will take place and the mitigation that will be put in place to compensate for any damage to wildlife.
We believe that the works will cause unnecessary and unwarranted destruction of important breeding and feeding habitats for a range of species. We therefore strongly object to the proposals as they stand.
BBOWT's Head of Planning, Policy and Advocacy Matthew Stanton said:
"We are currently engaging with HS2 in what we hope will be constructive discussions that accommodate both parties' interests. What we can be certain of, is that BBOWT will not be facilitating any works that may be harmful to wildlife."
If we do not consider that the mitigation proposed by HS2 is adequate we will, to the extent relevant legislation allows us to, refuse access to BBOWT's land until HS2 produce a scheme of works and mitigation that addresses our concerns and respects the needs of wildlife.
Picture: BBOWT Turtle Dove (c) Dawn Monrose