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HS2 and woodlands

We are determined to manage the impact of HS2 carefully. Find our the HS2 facts about woodlands.

HS2 Ltd’s approach to ancient woodlands during the Oakervee Review

As highlighted by the Secretary of State, during the Oakervee Review we must strike a sensible balance between keeping the programme on track, and recognising that some works cannot be undone.

We have assessed 11 ancient woodlands, parts of which were due to be affected by preparations to build Britain’s new high speed railway this autumn, during the period of the Oakervee review. Work will now be deferred to Autumn or Winter 2020 on 5 of these sites, and to early 2020 on 6 of the sites. We will also take measures to protect wildlife to ensure they are not affected when work begins in early 2020.

The work affecting 11 ancient woodlands will be deferred as follows:

Five sites to be deferred to Autumn / Winter 2020

  • Roughknowles Wood
  • North Wood
  • Un-named copse off Drayton Lane
  • Rookery Wood
  • Burnt Firs

Six sites to be deferred to early 2020

In these locations, we will need to carry out measures to protect wildlife. This will involve some localised removal of selected tree branches for essential protected species mitigation works to meet legal requirements ahead of the works in early 2020. However, we will not remove branches from any ‘ancient’ or ‘veteran’ trees within an ancient woodland so as not to affect the integrity of the ancient woodlands.

  • Fulfen Wood
  • Broadwells Wood
  • Birches Wood
  • Crackley Wood
  • Unnamed Woodland south of Ashow Road
  • South Cubbington Wood

Other essential preparatory works will continue including low level vegetation clearance, fencing and preparation of site accesses.

HS2 aims to be one of the most environmentally responsible infrastructure projects ever delivered in the UK. It will be a greener way to travel offering some of the lowest carbon emissions per passenger kilometre, significantly less than cars and domestic air travel.

We are determined to manage the impact of HS2 carefully and will improve the natural environment along the route wherever possible.

HS2 facts about woodland

There are over 52,000 ancient woodland sites in England. Of these, 43 will be affected by the route between London and Crewe. Our ecologists have worked closely with our route engineers to ensure that over 80% of the total area of these 43 ancient woodlands will remain untouched by HS2.

We are creating a green corridor along the route between London and the west Midlands which will encompass an area equating to the size of 4,600 football pitches for new and existing wildlife habitats – that’s an increase of around 30% compared to what’s there now.

We will also plant 7 million new trees and shrubs on the first phase of the railway alone including 40 native species, specific to each location.

Learn more about the Lincolnshire nursery that is growing millions of new trees for along the HS2 route.

HS2 Woodland Fund

Our Woodland Fund is another example of how we work at HS2 and the environment improvements we deliver.

In addition, for Phases 1 and 2a, a £7 million HS2 Woodland Fund is available to help restore existing ancient woodlands and to create new native woodlands that connect or extend existing ancient woodlands.

Learn more about  the HS2 Facts by reading our HS2’s Ancient Woodland Strategies.