More ancient woodland destroyed for white elephant HS2

Jones; Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire

NEWS AND OPINION: HS2 has rapidly become a white elephant, a project that is already out-of-date before the first sleeper and track has been laid. The project is devastating to wildlife in the UK because it destroys their habitat.

Jones; Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire

Jones; Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire. Photo in public domain

The latest scandalous destruction of habitat concerns a patch of ancient woodland, Jones’ Hill Wood, that is said to have inspired Roald Dahl when writing Fantastic Mr Fox. Dahl lived near to the wood at Great Missenden.

Trees in the corner of the wood have been felled and HS2 is waiting for permission to clear the rest of the area which amounts to 1.8 acres of the wood.

Jones’ Hill Wood is part of the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and one of 20 acres of ancient woodland that HS2 is ‘translocating’ to make way for the line. What does that mean? It must be a made up word to hide the fact that it means destruction.

HS2 would say that it means they are planting 4.1 acres of woodland near Jones’ Hill Wood with 22,000 trees. They say the new wood with help connect wildlife habitats to nearby Rushmoor Wood. It is a feeble excuse in my book as it’ll take a hundred years for it to replace what they are destroying.

For those campaigning to save woodland from the destructive forces of HS2 it is heart-breaking. Penny Gaines of Stop HS2 said: “The UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe, so even small woodlands matter especially if they are ancient woodland.”

Remote working (e.g. Zoom) which has been speeded up by the pandemic and systems such as China’s high speed maglev train (as devised by Elon Musk?) have superseded HS2. They’ve made it redundant and out of time. It is depressing to read of woodland being felled under these circumstances.

Source: The Times newspaper.

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