Cheshire nature reserve set to be lost to HS2 - Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Sean Hawkins nature reserve will be compulsory purchased by HS2 Ltd despite objections.

Sean Hawkins nature reserve, home to endangered water voles, is set to be compulsory purchased by HS2 Ltd for major utility works associated with building HS2 – the high-speed rail line.

Much of the land surrounding the nature reserve is also under threat from HS2 Ltd plans to cut through this tranquil valley – including the ancient woodland at Millington Clough.

The nature reserve is special for wildlife – it has a beautiful wildflower meadow and water voles thrive in the Agden brook. In summer, orange-tip butterflies can be seen searching for places to lay eggs; in spring the valley is washed with a rich purple and gold tapestry of bluebells and marsh marigolds, and in autumn sycamore trees burn red as they don their richest colours.

Soon all this could be obliterated by High Speed 2.

Dr Rachel Giles of Cheshire Wildlife Trust says: “It’s extremely sad to lose Sean Hawkins Meadow, a wonderful place that was donated to us for the benefit of nature. You only need look at Calvert Jubilee Nature Reserve in Buckinghamshire to see what will happen to this wildlife stronghold when HS2 Ltd’s chainsaws and bulldozers move in. The injustice is exacerbated by the lack of plans to make up for this huge loss. We’re not aware of any specific proposals to compensate for the loss of the nature reserve and only 1.5 hectares of new plantation is proposed for the loss of the neighbouring ancient woodland. There are no current plans to catch and relocate the water voles during the construction process. This is unacceptable and is in part due to HS2 failing to use the information that we have provided them. We’re seeing this same story the entire length of the HS2 line. A stretch of 330 miles of special places – nature reserves, Local Wildlife Sites, ancient woodlands and hedgerows – are being damaged with no adequate compensation plans to make up for the loss. There’s a complete lack of recognition for the staggering scale of the damage that HS2 is causing.”

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Posted On: 03/08/2022

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