The chief executive officer (CEO) of Cheshire Wildlife Trust has joined with five of her peers to deliver a letter asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson to re-think HS2.

Charlotte Harris, CEO at the Malpas-based Trust, helped deliver the letter signed by more than 66,000 people to 10 Downing Street last week.

The letter is a move to highlight the 'huge risks that HS2 poses to the environment', and asks the Prime Minister to ensure that the impact on nature is properly assessed as a matter of urgency.

“It is fantastic to see that the campaign has gathered so much support in just a few weeks," said Ms Harris.

"In that time, more than 3,000 people in our local area have signed our letter to the Prime Minister showing that they want the project to be held accountable for the devastation that it will ultimately cause our local wildlife.

"Current plans will devastate grassland meadows, ancient woodlands and internationally important wetlands putting local species on the verge of extinction.

"We’re calling on the Prime Minister to stop and re-think HS2."

Current plans for the rail line cut right through one of the four likely remaining water vole populations in Cheshire.

The species is already in rapid decline and, as it stands, HS2 is set to put their very existence in Cheshire at risk, according to the Trust.

Dr Rachel Giles, a leading figure in the creation of the report commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, on the potential impact on nature, added: “In any definition of the word, it is not a sustainable scheme anymore.

"The environmental impacts of HS2 are enormous. We’ve lost so much biodiversity due to changes in land use and this will have a really big impact on the remaining wildlife.

"The impacts in Cheshire alone are going to be dire.”