BBOWT dismayed at HS2 destruction of Calvert Jubilee nature reserve

BBOWT dismayed at HS2 destruction of Calvert Jubilee nature reserve

We are dismayed to discover that HS2 are destroying parts of our precious Calvert Jubilee nature reserve.

Whilst HS2 would say they have a legal right to enter our reserve and clear areas of rich wildlife habitat, we would have expected them to inform us that they were planning to move in with chainsaws imminently, rather than us find out from concerned members of the public.

It is absolutely nonsensical for irreversible works of destruction to take place whilst the whole of the HS2 project is being reviewed. The works should be stopped immediately and the Oakervee Review into HS2 be allowed to report back before any decision is made of whether clearance works should take place.

Over the last 50 years, this 20 hectare open-water habitat has become a haven for large numbers of overwintering waterfowl and waders. During winter you can watch the comings and goings of the resident birdlife, such as mallard, tufted duck and pochard.  In the shallower areas of the lake you can glimpse the scarcely seen bittern, perfectly camouflaged against the papery reeds.

All five UK hairstreak butterfly species have been recorded at Calvert Jubilee. This makes the area extremely unique in Britain. 

Felled ash by HS2 at Calvert Jubilee
The works should be stopped immediately

In February 2019, we received notice from HS2 that they intend to carry out clearance works at Calvert Jubilee. We believe the works will cause unnecessary and unwarranted destruction of important breeding and feeding habitats for a range of species. We therefore strongly object to the proposals as they stand.

In May 2019, we denied contractors working on behalf of HS2 access to Calvert Jubilee to carry out clearance works until they produce a scheme of works and mitigation that address our concerns and respects the needs of wildlife. There is a huge risk that habitat is destroyed, HS2 is scrapped, no new habitat is created and we will have lost precious habitat and species for nothing.