Direct action against HS2 continues for a third day as firm tries to start de-vegetation in Steeple Claydon

Residents and campaigners continued direct action today (Monday) as HS2 workers attempted to get the machinery out and start clearing hedgerows near Steeple Claydon.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 11:13 am
Cllr Frank Mahon challenges HS2 workers at the site just outside Steeple Claydon

The Anti HS2 Save Our Countryside group were out at 10am this morning when workers arrived at the site in an attempt to start de-vegetation for a third time.

The first day of action was Thursday October 3 and Frank Mahon, chair of the Steeple Claydon HS2 Save our Countryside group said: “We arrived on site at 8am as was our intention and noticed the diggers were being taken out.

“We ran down and stood ten metres away from the compound which forced them to stop the machines.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Anti HS2 Save Our Countryside group protesting at the site in Steeple Claydon

“They came back and told us we were trespassing and claimed they had an injunction that allowed them to complete the works.

“We asked to see the injunction and they said we don’t have it on us to show you so we said we would stay put.

“They called the police and several hours later the police arrived and said it was a civil matter.

“We told the police we would be conducting a peaceful protest and only intended to cause a nuisance not to do anything criminal.”

The next day - Friday - saw a repeat of the previous day's events as campaigners again stood close to the compound forcing workers to stop moving machines.

Once again the police were called and Frank described the exchanges saying: “While the police were talking to us the HS2 workers attempted to get the machinery out.

“We saw what they were doing so we ran past the police officers down the field and stood in front of the diggers to stop them moving the machinery.

“The police pursued us across the fields and when they got there spoke to the workers and advised them to lock away the equipment.

“The police told us the documents allegedly allowing HS2 to work on the land, which we want to see before we decide on our next action, were with their legal team for verification.

“In the meantime we will carry on legally protecting the site from any destruction.”

There was no activity at the site but this morning (Monday) workers and the protesters returned.

Frank said: "They tried to take the diggers out again at 10am but we were already on site and were able to stop them by standing in front of the compound.

"The police were already on the site and made sure the protest remained peaceful.

"HS2 told us we were trespassing again and we said prove it which they could not.

"They said we were on private land but again they could not prove it.

"In the end they put the diggers away but we anticipate that they will try again tomorrow."