The development of the HS2 project will have undoubted benefits for commuters and rail travellers, but it is also boosting wildlife conservation.
The route will see the development of an unprecedented conservation project in Warwickshire, along the line of the route.
Work will start this month at Finham Brook, Kenilworth, which will see the creation of six new ponds and new woodlands featuring over 6,200 trees and shrubs.
With the new habitat expected to be completed by the end of the year, it will contribute to supporting local wildlife species, ranging from birds to great crested newts. The habitats are part of an unprecedented conservation project, creating a green corridor of connected wildlife habitats alongside the railway. It will see some seven million new trees and shrubs, as well as wetland, ponds, heathland and meadow.
Anthony Coumbe, High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd’s Head of Environment for this region said: “The new habitats at Finham Brook will be the first of many to come between London and the West Midlands. They will help us to care for the local environment and serve as a new home to wildlife affected by the future development of the railway.
“At Finham Brook, we’re creating a bigger and better habitat than local species such as great crested newts currently have. We’ll relocate newts to the habitat next year, once it has become properly established, while other wildlife will start to use the area naturally over time.
“Ultimately, we’re aiming to create a railway that works for nature as well as passengers, with a green corridor of connected habitats running through the spine of the country.”
The development of the Finham Brook site is part of the ongoing preparatory works being conducted for the first phase of HS2, from London to the West Midlands. These range from nature conservation activity to archaeology investigations, with main construction work due to start in 2018/19 following detailed design work.