NEWS AND COMMENT: Many beautiful trees have been cut down to make way for the doomed and already outdated HS2 rail link. I have written before about oak trees being felled causing great distress among nature lovers.
HS2 is outdated already because the Covid-19 pandemic has catapulted many employers and employees into working online from home. There is no longer any real pressure on rail business to transport people up and down the country. There is a cheaper alternative as the bank HSBC agree. They are getting rid of 40% of their office space. If that isn’t an acknowledgement that things have profoundly changed nothing is.
HS2 has become a government white elephant soaking up billions of pounds for no real economic gain. Boris wants to keep it because he has promised levelling up between north and south. It is a now a failed political decision that is costing billions.
And beautiful trees standing in the way have to be felled. They’ve stood for hundreds of years and been admired for almost as long but now they must go.
Here are the before and after images:
One such tree is a 250-year-old pear tree in Warwickshire which was felled in October 2020. It was named England’s tree of the year in 2015. Residents are devastated.
It was believe to be the second oldest wild pear tree in England. One resident was unaware that it was scheduled to be chopped down. She was walking her dog when she noticed branches being chopped off. She said:
“I had to do a double-take. We knew it was coming, but I was just utterly devastated. I realised, it’s actually happening,” said Morgan. “I’ve had many a picnic sat under the pear tree. It was just beautiful”.
She had campaigned for it to be saved. She shed a tear for it. A fellow campaigner, Charlotte Griffin, found the whole thing “absolutely devastating”. She said the tree was part of the community. It was an icon and a symbol, she said.
There were 20,000 signatures to a petition to save it, all in vain. The Department for Transport said they tried to save it but hinted that its condition was not good adding, “… due to its age and condition, removal cannot be avoided.”
If HS2 had real benefit to the citizens of the country I’d reluctantly accept the felling of this tree and many other less well known trees but HS2 has become a white elephant. It has become outdate before any section of rail track has been laid. Times have moved on faster than the constructors can build. That’s what makes it sad. It’s government sponsored ecological vandalism.