Councillors and Lichfield’s MP have joined protesters on a walk highlighting the impact of HS2 work in the area.
The Stop Hs2 Staffordshire group travelled from Fradley Junction to nearby ancient woodland standing on the route of the high speed rail line.
They were joined by Cllr Richard Cox, Cllr Thomas Marshall and Michael Fabricant MP for the walk today (31st October).
The Conservative MP said:
“I wanted to show solidarity with the many people who care passionately about our Ancient Woodlands being forever destroyed by HS2.
“Over a hundred woodlands aged 400 years or older have been identified by the Woodland Trust facing destruction by HS2 – a line which might not even now be needed with the growing number of former commuters who will now work from home using video meetings technology.”Michael Fabricant MP
Mr Fabricant said the damage would be felt along the entire route of the controversial line.
“More than 40 hectares of rare ancient woodland will be destroyed by HS2 in England and it cannot be replaced by new growth.
“It takes 400 years to develop the soil environment of ancient woodland and is irreplaceable.”Michael Fabricant MP
Luci Ryan, ecologist at the Woodland Trust, said the entire ecosystem of historic woodlands will be lost forever when the line is built.
“In phase one alone, some 98 beautiful, rare, irreplaceable ancient woods will be destroyed or damaged by this scheme – yhat’s 98 habitats and ecosystems that support a whole host of mammals, birds, invertebrates, fungi and plants.
“And once that ancient woodland is gone, it’s gone forever so while planting new trees is all well and good, it’s no substitute for what will be lost.
“Their plans – which let’s not forget are a condition of the scheme, not being delivered out of the goodness of their hearts – fall woefully short of replacing what will be lost on something being touted as a green infrastructure project.
“None of this new planting will replace the ancient woodland destroyed – and the £2million they are making available as part of the Woodland Fund will not replace the ancient woodland they are destroying there.
“This is like smashing a Ming vase and replacing it with bargain basement crockery.”Luci Ryan, Woodland Trust