Cheshire Wildlife Trust has put forward proposals to amend the HS2 Phase 2a Hybrid Bill.

The organisation has also submitted a petition to the House of Commons Select Committee voicing their objections to the bill, which is providing the first opportunity for the Trust to give wildlife a voice in the region.

Hybrid bills are used by the government to secure powers to construct major infrastructure projects of national importance such as Crossrail in 2008 and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link in 1996.

“We know that the development of HS2 Phase 2a will have significant long-term impacts on biodiversity which is of county importance in south Cheshire and that it will substantially increase the fragmentation of wildlife habitats in the Meres and Mosses Nature Improvement Area," said Rachel Giles, evidence and planning manager at Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

"We strongly believe there is a failure to address these impacts in the current Bill. This is why we have taken every opportunity possible to raise awareness of our concerns – we really hope that the committee will take our proposals on board and make improvements for wildlife in the Hybrid Bill.”

The Trust believes that the current proposal will result in the loss of the majority of a 105 hectare wildlife site - Randilow and Bunker Hill Local Wildlife Site - which forms an integral part of the Meres and Mosses Nature Improvement Area. The area received £568,470 from Defra between 2012 and 2015 to create joined up and resilient ecological networks on a large, landscape scale.

If Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s petition is successful the next stage will be that the objections and proposals are considered in any adaptations of the Hybrid Bill and this could result in an opportunity for the Trust to air their views in front of the House of Commons Select Committee.