Leather Lane – letter to DEFRA

The Campaign to Save Leather Lane has submitted this letter to DEFRA, asking them to intervene with HS2 (and their contractor, EKFB), to ensure adequate weight is given to the protection of wildlife, and in particular rare bats, in deciding on how the Lane should be realigned to accommodate a new bridge over HS2.

Regrettably, but not unsurprisingly, Lord Goldsmith came up with this Greenwash by way of a response. While claiming that “route design and delivery plans minimise any loss of trees as far as possible” he ignores the fact that our design will save trees threatened by the design proposed by HS2

Bridge plans

Bridge designs (both under development)

EKFB have made improvements to the South Side route, but a significantly greater loss is inevitable with this alignment.

Supporting Statements

We are most grateful for the following organisations and individuals for their support –

  • Dr Anna Berthinussen, Conservation First
    “Any disruption or fragmentation of this corridor would not only result in the direct loss of valuable bat habitat but may also cut off access to other important habitats with significant adverse effects on local bat populations.” (Letter of support)
  • Professor John Altringham, Emeritus Professor of Ecology and Conservation and scientific advisor to the National Trust –
    “Planting any number of new trees is no excuse for removing established trees unless it is absolutely unavoidable – and the reasons why it is unavoidable must be clearly stated.”
    (Letter of support)
  • Dominic Woodfield, Managing Director, Bioscan
    “There is thus a clear risk of the substantive removal of the commuting corridor offered by Leather Lane having a regionally significant impact on bat populations.”
    (Letter of support)
  • Adam Cormack, Head of Campaigning, The Woodland Trust
    “Evidence of the environmental impact of the loss of these trees and engineering reports commissioned by the local community both warrant serious consideration by HS2 Ltd. and its contractors to prevent the loss of the mature trees on Leather Lane.”
    (Statement of Support)
  • The Chiltern Conservation Board
    The Chilterns Conservation Board supports the mitigation hierarchy being fully applied
  • The Chiltern Society
    “The Chiltern Society support the aim of the ‘Save our Leather Lane Oaks’ Campaign to minimise the loss of mature oak trees along this ancient sunken lane.” (more…)
  • Prestwood Nature – “wholly support the design proposals (Option 7) submitted by the Campaign to Save Leather Lane Oaks.”

Further Information

See our News Page for the latest information on the campaign, and links to our petition and Crowdfunder.