A leading wildlife charity has warned the multi billion pound HS2 rail route will have a severe impact on local wildlife.
Cheshire Wildlife Trust believe the high speed line in south Cheshire will hit farmland species the hardest. The Trust claims birds such as yellow wagtail, skylark and tree sparrow are particularly vulnerable.
There's also concern mammals such as the water vole and several bat species will struggle to recover once their habitats are disrupted or lost. These farmland species are already in rapid decline as their habitats have either become fragmented in recent years by changing land-use or lost altogether to development.
The Trust's concerns are based around the loss of a core site from the Meres and Mosses Nature Improvement Area and the loss of two potential ancient woodlands which would be impossible to off-set through creating new wildlife areas.
Rachel Giles, Evidence and Planning Manager at Cheshire Wildlife Trust.
"We believe that in the rush to develop the scheme HS2 Ltd. has made a catalogue of errors vastly underestimating the impact to the natural environment."
"The current plans for Phase 2a show that High Speed Rail is set to push our local wildlife right to the edge as it severs the wildlife corridors and breeding sites used by species to move through the landscape to feed and rear young,"
HS2 Ltd said "We will be replacing, conserving or enhancing wildlife habitats affected by our plans, as part of a new green corridor alongside the railway.
"Parliament recently held a consultation on the Environmental Statement, which explains how we’ll be managing environmental issues along this part of the route. HS2 will review the consultation responses and will talk to local authorities, wildlife groups, communities and landowners, to consider ways to address their concerns as the project develops.”
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The entire Douglas promenade is due to get a facelift as part of the £21million project, estimated to take until 2021 to complete.
Tynwald parliament agreed to the proposed plans in July and blueprints are on public display at the Sea Terminal.
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