Around 1,300 people from all over the country turned out in Denham Country park on Sunday morning in order to join BBC’s Chris Packham and campaigners to Stand for the Trees and take a walk for Wildlife and Water.
The walk through Colne Valley, organised by Extinction Rebellion, Stop HS2 and Save the Colne Valley Wildlife Protection Group was aimed at telling the truth about the high speed rail project
The event highlighted the plight of the water supply of some 3.2 Million Afﬁnity Water Customers and the devastating loss of wildlife and habitat at the hands of HS2 should the project go ahead.
The route enabled walkers to see much of the vegetation and trees already cleared to make way for a temporary road through Denham Country Park and to see how much more will be lost when work begins again in the New Year.
Many were shocked to see that work on the HS2 project had not stopped pending the results of the Oakervee Review as many people were led to believe, and were stunned that the beautiful Local Nature Reserve would be so transﬁgured by mere preparatory works.
The walk culminated outside the Blackford Pumping Station where walkers joined hands in a show of solidarity against the project.
Blackford is where Afﬁnity Water draw from to supply Buckinghamshire and 22% of London with drinking water and protesters say it is being put at signiﬁcant risk by HS2 along with over 100 irreplaceable ancient woodlands and other precious wildlife sites.
Further, campaigners say HS2 is incompatible with the Climate and Ecological Emergency declared by Parliament and incompatible with the UK Government's Net Zero emissions goal.
Using the hashtag the groups say it is time to #ReThinkHS2.
On 22nd December, Chris Packham, who presents Springwatch as well as many other nature programmes for the BBC, presented a petition to number 10 Downing Street calling on the government to #ReThinkHS2, on behalf of the #RethinkHS2 alliance of environmental organisations, Extinction Rebellion, and their 5 million members.
Mr Packham describes the threat of HS2 as:
“Catastrophic … the largest deforestation process that we’ve undertaken in the UK since the ﬁrst world war, at a time when we know we should be reforesting the environment, not taking it down. The wildlife that we’ve got, we should be ﬁghting tooth and nail to protect. These cathedrals of biodiversity cannot be replaced. You can rebuild Notre Dame and it will look pretty much the same, but if you cut these woods down you cannot rebuild them by sticking in a few saplings. Let’s stand for the trees.”
HS2 have been approached for comment but had not responded at the time of publishing.