16th Nov, 2019

HS2 camp protesters going nowhere

HS2 protesters who have set up camp in woods in Cubbington and Kenilworth say they are going nowhere.

Campaigners are living in the ancient woods to stop contractors from the high speed line chopping down trees.

Shortly after a camp was set up in South Cubbington Woods a month ago a second camp was created in Kenilworth’s Crackley Woods.

HS2 has said it would not carry out any work across Warwickshire until early next year on sites including both South Cubbington Wood and Crackley Wood while a review into the controversial line is undertaken. The review has is yet to be concluded, with the conclusion not set to be announced until after the general election.

But protesters at both sites say they do not trust HS2 not to stick to its word and will continue to camp in the woods in shifts.

And after a month in Cubbington, campaigners believe they have protected the woods from the contractors.

Camp spokesman, Matt Bishop, said: “The reality is Cubbington would have been felled by now if we weren’t there. We have managed to save it so far and we are very proud of that.

“Since HS2 said work would stop, contractors have fenced off the footpath again, it feels like they are trying to pen us in.

“But we want people to visit us here, even stay over, and see what we are doing and why this is so worthwhile.”

So far the camp has had some 2,000 visitors and has up to 16 people staying each night.

A HS2 spokeswoman said: “We must strike a sensible balance between keeping the programme on track, and recognising that some works cannot be undone.

“We have assessed 11 ancient woodlands, parts of which were due to be affected by preparations to build Britain’s new high speed railway this autumn, during the period of the review.

“Work will now be deferred to autumn or winter 2020 on five of these sites, and to early 2020 on six of the sites, including South Cubbington Wood and Crackley Wood. We will also take measures to protect wildlife to ensure they are not affected when work begins in early 2020.”

 

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