Malpas-based Cheshire Wildlife Trust has called on the government to abandon HS2 in its current form and take on a 'greener' approach to the rail network, in a report published this week.

The Trust believes the report – 'What’s the damage? Why HS2 will cost nature too much’ – reveals the vast scale of the destruction and impact that HS2 will cause to nature and is a complete assessment of the environmental damage they believe HS2 will cause.

Dr Rachel Giles, Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s evidence and planning manager, has been a leading figure in the creation of the report, while her team’s work has identified key sites around Cheshire that will be severely impacted.

She said: "HS2 is the biggest infrastructure project this country has ever seen and will cut a swathe through the landscape up to half a mile wide in certain particularly sensitive locations in the North West.

"Although sold as a sustainable transport system, the truth is the environmental impacts will be truly devastating and the measures put forward to mitigate the impacts to wildlife are hopelessly inadequate.’’

The Trust's chief executive officer, Charlotte Harris, says they back sustainable transport but wants a greener approach to the government's thinking.

She added: "Under the present plans, the scheme is simply too damaging to local and national wildlife to allow it to continue.

"We must see dramatic changes in order to bring it in line with Government policy. Our local wildlife deserves and so desperately needs better consideration than what is being given.

"HS2 should be creating green corridors that feed into a nature recovery network, instead it stands to fragment our wild spaces and isolate them further.”

Combining data from 14 Wildlife Trusts, other charities and landowners along the route, the report states that HS2 will destroy huge areas of irreplaceable natural habitat and protected wildlife sites across the country.

This will cause permanent loss of nature, the separation of natural spaces, and the local extinction of endangered species.

For more information and to see the report on the Trust's website, visit