Concern about effect of High Speed Rail route

The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust is concerned about the number of sites that could be directly affected by the HM Government’s preferred route for the second phase of High Speed Rail 2 [HS2].

These include the River Mease SSSI/Special Area of Conservation where the chief concern is how run-off from the line into river will be dealt with, particularly how it will affect fish populations such as spined loach and bullhead. There are also Local Wildlife Sites [LWS] at Lockington and ancient woodlands near Tonge. 

Over 40 sites - SSSI, LWS and Regionally Important Geological Sites  are within 500m of the route, including our Cloud Wood SSSI nature reserve and Lount Meadows SSSI.

A range of species, for example, amphibians and reptiles, would be affected, including a number of great crested newt breeding sites within one kilometre of the line. One of these would be destroyed by the line.

There would also be an impact on part of our Soar and Wreake Floodplain Living Landscape Scheme and this would affect our ability to link existing wildlife habitats. 

The expected programme is that between mid-2013 and early 2014 the Government will launch a consultation on the preferred route for HS2 phase two. Then, in late 2014, the chosen route will be announced.

You can keep up to date via the Trust website and The Wildlife Trusts website www.wildlifetrusts.org.uk.

Photograph: High speed train (c. iStock)

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