Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife trust take their fight against HS2 to the House of Commons

The group will discuss the environmental impact of the new High Speed rail.

Monday, 21st November 2016, 1:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 10:21 am
Matt Jackson discusses HS2 impact with Local MPs

The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) have taken their arguments to parliament, about the potential damage that will be caused by HS2 and its impact on the environment.

On Wednesday 23rd of November Matt Jackson, Head of Conservation and Policy at the BBOWT is speaking up for wildlife in Parliament when he faces the house of Lords Select Committee to discuss the impacts of HS2 through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

The BBOWT says it is “extremely dissapointed” by the Government’s rejection of findings in the Natural England report that reviews HS2 Ltd’s approach to wildlife.

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The report, which was published on 9 November, was prepared in response to complaints raised by the BBOWT trust and other conservation organisations at the House of Commons Select Committee hearings.

Matt Jackson said: “I will ask the Committee to endorse Natural England’s recommendations; especially that Ancient Woodland and Sites of Special Scientific Interest must be treated separately, and that compensation for impacts on wildlife habitats, including woodlands and meadows, should be provided in line with Natural England’s review.”

“The Government’s proposal to increase compensation by £5 million is derisory, and goes no way to actually compensating for the loss of habitats along the route between London and Birmingham.”

The Natural England report states: “In order to achieve ‘no net loss’ of biodiversity and placed for wildlife, significant changes should be made to both HS2 Ltd’s assessment of their impact on the natural environment, and to the levels of compensation that are required to meet HS2 Ltd’s own environmental targets. The Government and HS2 Ltd had previously told MPs and members of he House of Lords that there would be no overall loss of wildlife as a result of the new railway.

Matt Jackson added: “the House of Commons Select Committee said that HS2 ltd should not be marking their own homework when it came to the natural environment. But that’s exactly what they are trying to do.”