Campaigners from across the country build campsite near Wendover to fight HS2

A group of activists from across the country have set up camp in woods just outside Wendover in an attempt to stop the construction of the HS2 rail line.

Loosely calling themselves The Wendover Active Resistance, the campaigners have come from as far afield as Blackpool and Manchester to disrupt the building of the high speed rail link.

The Wendover Active Resistance

The Wendover Active Resistance

The campsite is on the planned HS2 route and various group members told the Bucks Herald that they are prepared to be arrested for what they believe.

Speaking to one of the organisers before we visited the site, Ross Monaghan told us:

“We went to Wendover and met some locals and they were crying out for some support. As an environmental campaigner for 15 years I felt that because the report hasn't been published yet and because there's very little mitigation in the Wendover area we needed as a wider movement of environmentalists to highlight that and try to bring some attention to it.”

He added:

HS2 protester in Wendover

HS2 protester in Wendover

“We've come from all across the country but at the request of people from Wendover, and our objective is to hold that piece of land for as long as possible.”

As we arrived at the site we found the activists in good spirits and defiant as they warmed themselves around a fire, with hot drinks in hand.

One member told us:

“The world is on fire and we need to preserve as much natural habitat as we possibly can. There is no possible justification for hacking a tree down to build a railway line when we have an NHS that's crumbling and needs the money far more.”

Campaigners around the camp fire playing the guitar and singing songs

Campaigners around the camp fire playing the guitar and singing songs

He continued:

"Let's not kid ourselves that it's about anything other than putting public money into private hands."

Another added:

“People up and down the line are getting turfed out of their homes with these compulsory purchase orders. Businesses as well are getting turfed out. People are being made homeless and jobless all for a train line.”

Signs and pictures at the Wendover camp site

Signs and pictures at the Wendover camp site

Summarising their message, one campaigner said:

"We're here to resist, to fight back against what HS2 are doing to this community."

Another concurred:

"We're not separate from the community resistance, we've just come to help them."

It is perhaps their parting shot however that best summarises the group's cheerfulness in spite of the cold and the mud:

"Come down for a visit and a brew - the kettle's always on!"