18th Dec, 2017

DNA cloning not for pear tree HS2 bosses told

Leamington Editorial 7th May, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

PRESERVING Cubbington’s ancient pear tree by DNA cloning is the ‘worst case scenario’, claim a village action group.

HS2 bosses have revealed plans to take grafts and seeds from the 200-year-old tree before removing it to make way for a high speed rail link.

HS2 spokesman Ben Ruse said: “We recognise the significance of the tree and will do all we can to ensure that wild pear trees continue to be a feature of the countryside around Cubbington.

“Because the hollow lower trunk makes it impractical to move the tree, we instead plan to propagate the cuttings, collect seeds and replant the young trees in the surrounding area.

“The felled tree will be moved to a newly created woodland next to south Cubbington Wood.”

But Cubbington Action Group against HS2 have hit back at the plans and have promised to continue their campaign for a tunnel to be created under the tree and surrounding woodland as an alternative.

Group member Rosemary Guinot told the Observer: “We would much rather they create a tunnel under the pear tree and woods. The tree is a relic. It means so much to local people, it still blossoms and bears fruit even though it’s so old.

“The next stage of HS2 is to petition for changes, and if we don’t get the tunnel the only other thing is to clone it. But that really is the worst case scenario.”

If it goes ahead the controversial £42.6 billion scheme will see a high speed line cut through the heart of rural Warwickshire including Cubbington, Southam and Kenilworth.

Visit www.hs2-cubbington.net to find out more.

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