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Unprecedented conservation project starts in Warwickshire

As part of preparations for Britain’s new high speed railway, HS2 (High Speed Two) Ltd is starting to create its first new wildlife habitats anywhere along the line of route.

Work at the Finham Brook site in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, starts this month and includes the creation of 6 new ponds as well as new woodlands featuring over 6,200 trees and shrubs. It is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

The new habitats will support local wildlife species ranging from birds to great crested newts. They are part of an unprecedented conservation project, which will see a green corridor of connected wildlife habitats created alongside the railway, including up to 7 million new trees and shrubs, as well as wetland, ponds, heathland and meadow.

Anthony Coumbe, HS2 Ltd’s Head of Environment for this region said “The new habitats at Finham Brook will be the first of many to come between London and the West Midlands. They will help us to care for the local environment and serve as a new home to wildlife affected by the future development of the railway.

“At Finham Brook, we’re creating a bigger and better habitat than local species such as great crested newts currently have.  We’ll relocate newts to the habitat next year, once it has become properly established, while other wildlife will start to use the area naturally over time.  Ultimately, we’re aiming to create a railway that works for nature as well as passengers, with a green corridor of connected habitats running through the spine of the country”

Various preparatory works for the first phase of HS2, from London to the West Midlands, are currently underway, ranging from nature conservation activity to archaeology investigations. Main construction work is set to start in 2018/19 following detailed design work. 

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