More than £8m of government funding will create new woodlands and deliver safer roads on the route of Britain’s new railway, HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani announced today (25 June)
Speaking at the launch of HS2’s Green Corridor in Kenilworth, the minister supported HS2’s ambitious plan for connected wildlife habitats and native woodlands the length of the route, ensuring HS2 sets a new environmental standard for construction projects.
To support this vision, Ghani announced an additional £2m for theHS2 Woodland Fund, to help landowners along the route between Birmingham and Crewe plant new trees native to the area.
Ghani said: “As we deliver the new high-speed railway our country needs, driving forward economic growth and better journeys for passengers, it is imperative we set a new standard for protecting and enhancing our diverse woodlands and wildlife.
“HS2’s Green Corridor is one of the most significant tree-planting and habitat creation projects ever undertaken in this country. That’s why the government is backing it with an additional £2m for the Woodland Fund to support the creation of native woodland and restore existing ancient woodland sites between Birmingham and Crewe.
“We are also committed to putting in place a positive legacy of road safety improvements. An extra £6.5m of funding for local authorities on Birmingham to Crewe route will ensure communities in the region see and share in the extraordinary benefits of Britain’s new railway.”
Committing £6.5m to the HS2 Road Safety Fund for Birmingham to Crewe phase allows towns and villages on the route from London to Crewe to share more than £35m of cash to deliver improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
HS2’s Green Corridor will include 7 million new trees and shrubs on Phase One of the railway alone, comprising native UK species such as oak, silver birch, wild cherry, hornbeam and holly.
This will result in over 9 square kilometres of new native woodlands, alongside tailor-made habitats for species including bats, badgers and great crested newts.