Poors Piece anti HS2 campaigners 'fear the worst' as they face eviction from Steeple Claydon site

Protesters feel that they are on the verge of being removed from the protest site at Poors Piece Wood in Steeple Claydon.

Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 2:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 4:55 pm
Protesters have set up camp at Poors Piece wood in Steeple Claydon

Protestors have voiced concerns after HS2 Activity, including the use of drones to see what they were up to and visits from 'random' passers by suggests they will imminently move in on the site.

Caroline Thomson-Smith, a protester at the site said: “Indications point strongly to the eviction happening be at the end of January/beginning of February.

"Recent HS2 activity, drones overhead and visits from random inquisitive passers by suggest that this is on the cards.

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A young protester at the site

“The camp is situated in woodland at the edge of the Infrastructure Maintenance Depot on Phase 1 of the HS2 route.

“This is a strategically crucial area for the development of HS2.

“Local village communities have already been severely impacted with 550 acres of land seized including areas of ancient woodland and 1/5 of a nature reserve.”

The camp is situated at Poors Piece, a small but significant woodland at the edge of the Infrastructure Maintenance Depot on Phase 1 of the HS2 route.

This is a strategically crucial area for the development of HS2.

Local village communities have already been severely impacted with 550 acres of land seized including areas of ancient woodland and 1/5 of a nature reserve.

There are activists living in the trees to protect them from felling.

Caroline Thomson-Smith added: "What makes this eviction different is that activists will be demanding that the government make immediate assurances to the NHS about nurses pay, not in exchange for the trees which we consider to be invaluable, but to highlight the hypocrisy of allowing construction of a vastly overpriced environmentally damaging project during a pandemic which is placing huge strain upon our already overstretched and underpaid NHS staff."

An HS2 spokesperson said:

“Protest camps like this one at Poors Piece put the activists, our staff and the general public at risk, as well as putting unnecessary strain on the emergency services during a pandemic.

"The construction of HS2 is playing a vital role in Britain’s economic recovery from Covid-19, with over 13,000 people already working on the project and tens of thousands of additional jobs supported through our supply chain.

"These campaigners should be supporting a project that is providing work across the UK today, and in the future will get people out of cars, off planes and onto low carbon rail travel.”