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Trust wins extra £150,000 to protect wildlife from HS2 rail line


CHESHIRE Wildlife Trust is celebrating after winning an additional £150,000 to safeguard wildlife along the route of the controversial HS2 railway line.
The Trust had been fighting hard for several years for a commitment to wildlife from the railway company.
Recently, HS2 announced the creation of a significant fund for landscape and ecology work in the Cheshire area affected by Phase 2a of the line.
Now they have informed the Trust they have taken on board their concerns and increased this fund by £150,000.
The area to benefit is in Cheshire East.
Rachel Giles, spokeswoman for Cheshire Wildlife Trust, said:
‘’It has taken us two years of hard work to get to this point.
“I’m pleased HS2 Ltd. has finally listened to our concerns. Although we were never going to be able to prevent the railway going ahead we have now had assurances that additional steps will be taken to lessen the impacts on wildlife.”
Although this is a milestone for the Trust, the benefits secured are only in relation to the first five miles of track from the Staffordshire border up to Crewe.
Phase 2b – the 30-mile stretch from Crewe to Manchester and Warrington, will prove an even bigger challenge, not least because the impacts to wildlife are likely to be so much greater.
In anticipation of this the Trust has had its surveyors on the ground this summer assessing wildlife-rich areas that are likely to be impacted by the next phase.
‘’We will not let HS2 Ltd underestimate the damage the scheme will do to wildlife and we will take every opportunity to push for better outcomes for nature. HS2 now know we are prepared to take our concerns to the government if necessary,’’ said Rachel.
People can keep up-to date on Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s work, including its actions to support wildlife during the development of the High Speed Rail line at its website www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/HS2


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