The scale of work planned for HS2 will be the biggest ever undertaken by an infrastructure project within the UK. The work includes a large network of environmental projects that will stretch from London through to the North of England. The Phase One of the Route, which spans 216 km from London to the West Midlands, will run along a green corridor which is set to encompass:
â— 7 million new shrubs and trees, including over 40 types of native species which are specific to each location. The new woodlands will cover just over 9 square kilometres of land.
â— Over 33 square kilometres, which equates to an area around the size of 4,600 football pitches, of new and existing wildlife habitats. This is an increase of around 30% when compared to what is there now.
â— Custom-made homes for wildlife, from bat homes to 226 new ponds for newts and other amphibians.
â— The potential to support community projects and develop new amenity spaces, such as public parks, open spaces, nature reserves and access routes.
â— Landscaping and earthworks which will set out to re-use around 90% of the excavated material generated during construction.
The work planned for the pioneering initiative is expected to set brand new standards for how Britain and the rest of Europe build the next generation of infrastructure projects. Whilst the corridor is being delivered, HS2 is encouraging organisations and local people to get involved, from tree planting to landscape design and local environmental projects. The Government have confirmed a £2 million addition to the HS2 Woodland Fund, which will cover Phase 2a of the route from the West Midlands to Crewe. The funding is to help landowners who are situated near to the route to create new woodlands and restore ancient woodland sites. This is as well as the extensive plans for the ‘green corridor’ and community funds which are already in place along the wider route.
Nusrat Ghani, HS2 Minister, said “Our unique and beautiful countryside is one of our nation’s greatest assets. As we deliver the new high-speed railway our country needs, for economic growth and better journeys for passengers, it is imperative that we set a new standard for preserving, protecting and enhancing our diverse woodlands and wildlife”.
The appearance of the corridor is set to match the surrounding environment, with native tree species used to ensure that the new woodlands reflect the unique ecology and landscape of the regions that the line passes.
For more information about HS2 and to discuss any potential claim, get in touch with our specialist team here at Roger Hannah & Co.