Cheshire reserve set to be lost to HS2


Cheshire Wildlife Trust (CWT) has revealed that its Sean Hawkins Meadow reserve near Lymm is set to be compulsory purchased by HS2 Ltd.

The site will be used for major utility works associated with building the high-speed rail line.

Much of the land surrounding the nature reserve is also under threat from HS2's plans to cut through this tranquil valley, including the ancient woodland at Millington Clough.

Sean Hawkins Meadow reserve and adjacent nature hot-spots are set to be lost to HS2 (Cheshire Wildlife Trust).

With beautiful wildflower meadows and a thriving population of Water Voles in Agden Brook. In spring, the valley is washed with a rich purple-and-gold tapestry of bluebells and marsh marigolds.

But all of this is set to be obliterated by HS2.

Dr Rachel Giles of Cheshire Wildlife Trust said: "It's extremely sad to lose Sean Hawkins Meadow, a wonderful place that was donated to us for the benefit of nature. You only need look at Calvert Jubilee Nature Reserve in Buckinghamshire to see what will happen to this wildlife stronghold when HS2 Ltd's chainsaws and bulldozers move in. The injustice is exacerbated by the lack of plans to make up for this huge loss.

"We're not aware of any specific proposals to compensate for the loss of the nature reserve and only 1.5 ha of new plantation is proposed for the loss of the neighbouring ancient woodland. There are no current plans to catch and relocate Water Voles during the construction process. This is unacceptable and is in part due to HS2 failing to use the information that we have provided them."

"We're seeing this same story the entire length of the HS2 line. A stretch of 330 miles of special places – nature reserves, Local Wildlife Sites, ancient woodlands and hedgerows – are being damaged with no adequate compensation plans to make up for the loss. There's a complete lack of recognition for the staggering scale of the damage that HS2 is causing."

This week Dr Giles will submit evidence to the House of Commons High Speed Rail Bill select committee to petition against HS2 Ltd.  

Two years ago, The Wildlife Trusts published a report called What's the Damage? Why HS2 will cost nature too much, which highlighted the true impact that HS2 will cause to nature.

If you want to hear more about Cheshire Wildlife Trust's work to hold HS2 to account, click here.