On Tuesday 22 September a team from HS2 took possession of a large part of the Calvert Jubilee nature reserve in Buckinghamshire. This was done without giving promised notice to BBOWT (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trusts), whose staff and volunteers have spent decades building the reserve up to encourage biodiversity. The HS2 team are now engaged in a process of destroying much of this valuable habitat. The reserve is one of only a small number of special sites that are a haven for all five Hairstreak butterflies found in the UK.
At a time when biodiversity is in crisis and species like the Hairstreaks are at risk, Butterfly Conservation is shocked that HS2 has seen fit to act in such a manner. At the very least, they should have agreed upon and be delivering positive mitigating actions to offset the damage being done along the whole route. Butterfly Conservation has an excellent track record of working with developers to get the best mitigation possible. We are, therefore, very disturbed by the ongoing failure of the team at HS2 to engage in such best practice by working with us to find the best ways to offset destruction and maintain important species found at sites such as Calvert Jubilee.
If no mitigation is carried out in this area, we will lose habitat and wildlife which we cannot afford to do. At a time when the world is failing to protect nature and biodiversity is plummeting, we wonder why HS2 is consistently failing to prevent this happening?
Read Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxford Wildlife Trust's statement here.