HS2 changes threaten nature reserve

Calvert Jubilee Lake - looked after by BBOWT - The proposed HS2 railline would pass over the lake on a viaduct ENGPNL00120110526152728
Calvert Jubilee Lake - looked after by BBOWT - The proposed HS2 railline would pass over the lake on a viaduct ENGPNL00120110526152728
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A nature reserve which is home to rare butterflies is under threat from HS2.

The high speed link is expected to take another 4.6 hectares of land from Calvert Jubilee Nature Reserve, which Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) says will wipe out the habitat of black hairstreak butterflies and turtle doves.

It will also prevent visitors from enjoying a circular walk around the nature reserve.

Parliament this week agreed to allow additional provisions to the HS2 Bill that make a number of changes along the line of the route.

One of these changes is to move the railway line and the security wall more than thirty metres further inside the nature reserve along the full length of the eastern side.

Matt Jackson, head of conservation and strategy at the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), said: “We knew that HS2 Ltd engineers were looking at further land take within the site. Now we are very worried about the effects on Calvert Jubilee nature reserve and the wildlife that will be affected.

“The line runs along the eastern side of the nature reserve, which is particularly important for both grassland and scrub habitats, and includes the area where black hairstreak butterflies are found.”

BBOWT is examining the impact of the changes to the HS2 route, and looking at what proposals HS2 Ltd is making to compensate for them.

“If we feel that the impacts on wildlife have not been properly compensated for, then BBOWT may bring a further petition to the HS2 Select Committee in the House of Commons,” said Mr Jackson.