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Aerial view of the proposed development of the Toton site as the new station for HS2

HS2 and sustainability

We want a high speed railway network which changes the mode of choice for inter-city journeys, reinvigorates the rail network, supports the economy, creates jobs, reduces carbon emissions and provides reliable travel in a changing climate throughout the 21st century and beyond.

Sustainability at HS2 is about delivering social, environmental and economic benefits.

This includes delivering value to the UK taxpayer and passenger through taking decisions that seek to get the best value for money through the whole operating life of the railway. Our sustainability approach at HS2 groups our work into five themes reflecting the economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability.

  • Spreading the economic benefits
  • Opportunities for all
  • Safe at heart
  • Respecting our surroundings
  • Standing the test of time

These themes support the HS2 vision of being a catalyst for growth across Britain and our mission to be an exemplar project in our approach to engagement with communities, sustainability and respecting the environment.

The adoption of circular economy principles can play a key role in delivering this. They do so by stimulating new approaches, products and services, and by creating employment opportunities. Read more about our circular economy principles and our sustainability policy.

Our approach to woodlands

There are 52,000 ancient woodland sites in England. Our published assessments are that 43 will be affected by HS2’s route between London and Crewe. 80% of the total area of the 43 ancient woodlands will remain intact and untouched by HS2. Where an ancient woodland is described as affected, in many cases this means a small section of an overall woodland is affected. For example, on Phase One of the route, 32 ancient woodlands are described as affected but in 19 of these the total area of loss is less than 1 hectare (ha).

In addition, 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.

Find out more about and Our approach to woodlands

HS2 will plant 7m trees along its route and fund woodlands beyond it too
HS2 will plant 7m trees along its route and fund woodlands beyond it too