It's Time to Take Legal Action Against HS2 (Again)
It's Time to Take Legal Action Against HS2 (Again)
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If HS2 goes ahead, it will require the largest deforestation project this country has seen since the First World War.
I, Chris Packham, am taking on HS2 to put a stop to it - for good.
The enormous environmental damage that HS2 will cause is beyond doubt. This £106bn vanity project will destroy precious and irreplaceable natural habitats across the country. Carbon-capturing ecosystems will be destroyed and the route will slice England’s natural habitats in two.
The Wildlife Trust has detailed the terrible damage that HS2 will cause to vast swathes of natural habitats. The numbers are horrifying: we risk losing 108 ancient woodlands; 693 local wildlife site; 33 sites of special scientific interest; and all manner of rare and endangered wildlife.
And the damage has already begun. In September last year, following brilliant work from the NGOs and in the face of the threat of legal action from me, the Government caved and agreed to give Ancient Woodlands a temporary reprieve from the chainsaws and diggers.
But since then, HS2 Ltd and its many contractors have continued other works unabated, felling woodlands, clearing bushes, moving protected species, building roads. This is not ‘low level’. It is serious and irreversible environmental damage up and down the proposed HS2 line. It includes the destruction of important and diverse soils underpinning the health of our woodlands. It includes the unlawful clearance of a protected nature reserve by HS2 Ltd’s contractors without permission. And all this while the Government dithers and dallies on whether, if so how, the HS2 line should be built at all.
It’s utter madness. I have had enough and I’m doing something about it. But I need your help.
WHAT AM I DOING NEXT?
The Government promised to make a decision on the future HS2 by the end of 2019 at the latest, but there’s still no decision and still no certainty from Grant Shapps and Boris Johnson about when we will know. While Shapps and Johnson procrastinate, the relentless unnecessary destruction of the natural world by HS2 Ltd continues unabated. HS2 Ltd claims that this is just ‘low-level’ preparation work but the cumulative harm to our precious woodland, habitats and species is enormous.
All for a project that might not even go ahead.
With your help, my lawyers at Leigh Day will be writing to the Transport Secretary, to the Prime Minister and to HS2 Ltd calling on them to end this destruction now. If they refuse to do so, then I will take the serious but necessary step of challenging them in court - and for an injunction to stop the continued destruction immediately.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
There are lots of ways you can help us stop the environmental damage happening because of HS2.
First off, please consider donating to fund the legal challenge! Together we can win this. Thanks to the brilliant “Aarhus Convention”, I can do this for a reasonable cost. But I need your help to raise the legal funds. A small contribution from each of us who wants to stop this wanton destruction will go a very long way.
Second, I am crowd-sourcing photos and videos from individuals up and down the country who have witnessed first-hand the environmental destruction that HS2 has caused. If you have photos or other evidence of the damage, please visit Stand for the Trees and upload your evidence.
If you are located near an HS2 site, grab your camera and head to one of the sites to assess the destruction that has happened while the Government has stalled on deciding the future of the HS2 project.
AND WHAT IF HS2 GETS THE GREEN LIGHT?
Despite the ever-rising cost and the environmental damage it will cause, we are told that Grant Shapps and Boris Johnson may press ahead.
HS2’s costs are now predicted to be in excess of 100 billion pounds. HS2 Ltd has tried to justify the incredible costs by claiming the line will provide “a low carbon alternative to the car or plane”. But the Government’s own research tells us that’s simply not true: HS2 won’t be carbon neutral for at least 120 years.
For the government to give the go-ahead to a project that has such a vast and permanent environmental impact would be beyond madness and hypocrisy. It would be a catastrophe. Together we need to call out HS2’s grim environmental forecast and the insanity of giving HS2 to the green light in the fact of the climate emergency.
So if the Government decides to give the green light to the HS2 project, I will challenge that decision in Court: we have to stop the egregious environmental destruction that will take place.
I have taken legal advice and have a team of lawyers lined up. I need your help to take on this behemoth of HS2. Together let’s put an end to HS2 and an end to the eradication of our woodlands and wildlife.
Our target is £30,000. Can you help us achieve this?
Please donate, please share this post, please share your photos, videos and experiences of HS2's continued destruction of our beautiful landscape and wildlife.
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