Chris Ames 31 March 2023

Council and HS2 at loggerheads over tree felling

Council and HS2 at loggerheads over tree felling image
Image: The design of the Sheephouse Wood Bat Protection Structure is based around a series of arches.

Buckinghamshire council has served a tree preservation order on HS2 Ltd after discovering that the company was cutting down trees in a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Sheephouse Wood is a 141 acre (56.9 hectares) biological SSSI east of Charndon in Buckinghamshire. The council said that ‘with its ancient oak trees, diverse ground flora, breeding birds and uncommon invertebrates, this ancient woodland is a cherished site of local, national and international importance for nature conservation’.

It added: ‘It is protected through the planning process.’ However, it said that in recent weeks it had become aware of HS2 Ltd cutting back the wood and made enquiries as to why this was happening.

The company told it that the works are required for safety and technical reasons ‘to protect the bat structure they have decided to construct, and the railway line when it is operational, and that they have been given permission to do this by Natural England’.

The council said that the order served on HS2 Ltd will ensure that the trees cannot be touched for up to six months and will give it more time to discuss with the company ‘why they believe such brutal action is warranted, identify alternative options and to mitigate the impact of their works’.

It added:’ Preventing the loss of even just one tree in an ancient woodland is worth fighting for.’

To continue reading visit Transport Network.

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