BBOWT's response to HS2 clearance works at Calvert Jubilee

We have met with representatives of HS2 to make it clear that the scale and timing of the works will have a devastating effect on wildlife and that BBOWT opposes the proposals as they stand.

BBOWT has received notice from High Speed 2 (HS2) that they intend to carry out clearance works at Calvert Jubilee nature reserve.

The clearance would involve a huge area of land covering approximately 200 hectares, which includes part of Calvert Jubilee nature reserve, a neighbouring Local Wildlife Site and farmland. We have met with representatives of HS2 to make it clear that the scale and timing of the works will have a devastating effect on wildlife, particularly as it is the start of nesting season.

We have also sent a formal letter to HS2 requesting more specific details of the areas to be cleared, how this clearance will take place and the mitigation that will be put in place to compensate for any damage to wildlife. 

We believe that 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.

BBOWT’s Head of Planning, Policy and Advocacy, Matthew Stanton said: “We are currently engaging with HS2 in what we hope will be constructive discussions that accommodate both parties’ interests. What we can be certain of, is that BBOWT will not be facilitating any works that may be harmful to wildlife.

If we do not consider that the mitigation proposed by HS2 is adequate we will, to the extent relevant legislation allows us to, refuse access to BBOWT’s land until HS2 produce a scheme of works and mitigation that addresses our concerns and respects the needs of wildlife.

New update, 17 May 2019:

We've denied contractors working on behalf of HS2 access to Calvert Jubilee nature reserve to carry out clearance works until they produce a scheme of works and mitigation that addresses our concerns and respects the needs of wildlife. Their works to create new habitat to compensate for habitat that will be lost as a result of HS2 should take place well in advance of any clearance works. The risk is that habitat is destroyed, HS2 is scrapped, no new habitat is created and we will have lost precious habitat and species for nothing. BBOWT strongly opposes HS2’s plans as they currently stand.

 

For more information on the reserve please visit Calvert Jubilee’s web page and read more about HS2, the impacts on wildlife along the route through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, and what BBOWT is doing to protect wildlife here