Bucks Goat Centre: "We've had zero compensation, and HS2 have provided no help at all"

Staff at the Bucks Goats Centre feel let down by HS2
Staff at the Bucks Goats Centre feel let down by HS2

As part of our #EnoughIsEnough campaign, we interview people whose local businesses have been affected negatively by HS2.

This week, we've spoken to Ruth Gainsford who owns the Bucks Goat Centre in Stoke Mandeville.

The popular day out in a picturesque plot of land, is set to be encircled by HS2 to the South and a northern relief road to the North.

Ruth wants to stress, however that the business will remain open no matter what happens with the HS2 construction works.

She said: "We've had a lot of conversations with HS2, and the contractors.

"What we haven't had, however, is a lot of action. They have made the compensation process very difficult, and offered us nothing in return for what they are doing to our business."

Ruth says that business is currently going very well, but the shadow of the beginning of construction works is looming large over staff at the farm.

Many of the other local shops on Layby Farm are also concerned about the affects HS2 will have.

Dust and vibration from the construction works will affect the animals, and Ruth has asked HS2 to provide an animal welfare officer to help to mediate and plan for the potential effects noise and dust will have.

So far HS2 haven't agreed to any help.

She's also raised concerns about what will happen if the initial works cause a disaster with the animals. Apart from the land, Ruth has nowhere to take them if serious problems occur.

"HS2, BCC have offered us no contingency plans if things go wrong and the animals will suffer because of it.

"It will also affect our summer breeding programs. If the animals are pregnant and have to be moved, this will be extremely distressing for them."

"We've been really disappointed by their response really. I feel let down. They have promised a lot of things but haven't delivered on any of it.

"This beautiful swathe of countryside is set to be decimated. Surely there is a better route?"

Ruth also expressed her disappointment at Local MP's David Lidington inaction on the project.

She said: "I feel completely let down by Buckinghamshire County Council and David Lidington. They are supposed to serve their constituents but absolutely nothing's being done.

"Nobody is fighting our corner."