HS2 biodiversity claims

Charity report questions HS2 biodiversity claims in the Chilterns.

Last summer the Wildlife Trusts released a report revealing that HS2 Ltd got its nature figures wrong (webpage) on the claim by HS2 that the project would not result in any overall loss of biodiversity, and which identified several errors in their procedures.

Using the Chiltern Society’s own extensive records of HS2 construction in the AONB, the charity’s HS2 expert, Dr Jim Conboy, undertook a detailed study of what HS2 had predicted, and what is happening on the ground. The first part of his report considers CFA9, from the Chiltern Tunnel portal to Leather Lane, which is now available and questions some claims made by HS2.

The report reveals that just over half of the existing habitat will be replaced or recreated. HS2 predict that this will lead to a net increase in Biodiversity, although this rests on some unlikely claims regarding the quality of the habitat to be created, which the report examines in detail. While the claims cannot – yet – be disproved, the efforts at habitat creation currently underway suggest a very high degree of optimism entered into the HS2 Biodiversity assessment.

Read Biodiversity Loss in the Chilterns AONB (PDF), by the Chiltern Society’s Dr Jim Conboy C.PHYS, M.INST PHYS.

Please note that the above links in will open the document (PDF) in a new window.