Stop HS2 Update

A stop HS2 sign next to a threatened reservoir

Originally published by Squat Net.

Despite a media blackout, lots is happening in the world of HS2 resistance. High speed 2 is a corrupt scheme now predicted to cost over £100 billion which will both devastate areas of natural beauty and enrich Tory cronies and construction companies. Whilst the idea to have a superfast railway line connecting the north of England to London has some merit, since the south-east is over-crowded and the UK desperately needs to reduce carbon emissions, the implementation of HS2 is completely stupid. It’s a slow ecological catastrophe. Instead of building better transport links in the north, HS2 construction has started in the south and the midlands. Ancient woodlands are being trashed by contractors who have ignored the nesting season for birds and used hawks illegally to clear zones. Just the other day in Denham, a beautiful alder tree was chopped down and a tree protector was hospitalised.

The HS2 railway project is a bloated white elephant which needs to be stopped. The Woodland Trust estimates more than 100 areas of ancient woodland will be trashed, over 30 sites of special scientific interest lost and more than twenty nature reserves destroyed. The most recent reserve under attack is Calvert Jubilee in Buckinghamshire, which has been compulsory purchased and will be cleared by HS2 beginning Tuesday 28 July. HS2 had previously entered the site in January pretending to be the owner and had chopped down trees. You know that something is going deeply wrong when the Tory leader of Buckinghamshire Council tweets: “Absolutely dreadful. Have visited this beautiful Reserve many times. This is a crime against nature”

So where is the resistance? Currently there are several protest camps dotted along the proposed route. It’s hard to find out exactly what’s going on without using facebook and twitter, so there’s clearly a need for anarchist and alternative media to do more on this important issue.

Onto a list of the camps:

  • The Wendover Active Resistance camp is currently located right next to the A413 road, close to Wendover in Buckinghamshire, just past Rocky Lane and the Ash Service Station. They’ve been there for a while so they are quite well set up. Basically if you drive from Great Missenden to Wendover and hit the roundabout on the edge of Wendover, you’ve gone too far, go all the way round the roundabout and go back down the road again. There’s signs in red paint for a concealed entrance, that’s the site. It’s pretty near Wendover town and the train station. Facebook – Wendover Active Resistance Camp
  • Jones Hill Wood. Also near Wendover, next to where HS2 is planned to go on to an ugly viaduct are some lovely woods where Roald Dahl used to walk and got inspired to write classics like the Fantastic Mr. Fox. Some eco-heroes including local councillors are in a protest camp to protect the trees. Facebook – Save Roald Dahl Woods
  • Harvil Road Wildlife Protection Camp near Denham. As far as I know this is now evicted. Camps had been there since 2017.  And they chopped down some trees the other day :{ The HS2 barrister asking for injunctions against activists claimed £16 million worth of costs had been incurred by these Hillingdon protests, so fair play! There’s a courtcase 28 July in Milton Keynes magistrates court for seven women arrested protecting an oak tree, on facebook it’s “7 Sisters Court Hearing”. There are also concerns that HS2 has interfered with an aquifer which will impact London’s drinking water.
  • Crackley Woods are under threat near Kenilworth in Warwickshire. There’s a camp set up.
    Facebook – Crackley Woods HS2 Protection Camp
  • Poors Piece Conservation Project, near Steeple Claydon. This is another one in Bucks. Facebook – Poors Piece Conservation Project