Quite rightly, the world condemned the Brazilian Government for destroying the country’s precious rainforests – home for indigenous people and wildlife alike. It is also a vital part of the planet’s ecosystem, which affects all of us.
The UK Government was among those voicing disapproval.
Most British politicians like to claim to be ‘green’ but, in my view, only when it suits. (I’m sure there will be genuine ones who care about people, animals and the environment but I can’t think of any, please let me know if you do).
There is much talk of climate change but what’s the point of discussing this topic if trees keep getting replaced with concrete?
I do think investment in public transport is a fantastic thing. We need fewer cars on the road but if there isn’t a viable alternative, why would people give up their vehicles?
So, when I first heard of of the HS2 project, it sounded a good idea. Investment in our train service? I’m all for that… Good for people, good for the environment…
The HS2 – which could cost £85 billion, £30 billion over budget – is supposed to make the train journey from London to the North of England quicker.
But it will be at a cost of 34 ancient woods, 56 hectares, along the London to Birmingham leg of the route. And that’s just the start of the destruction…. It’s thought more than 100 of these woods are under threat in total.
The contractors are due to start felling the trees next month, even though a spending review is underway and this expensive project may not even go ahead.
According to the Woodland Trust, if the woodland destruction goes ahead, this will wipe out all the barn owls ‘breeding within a mile of the new line, either by destroying their habitat or collisions with trains’. That’s more than 100 owls, ‘an estimated one per cent of the UK population’.
Another rare species is Bechstein’s Bat, which roosts ‘among the remnants of the medieval forest of Bernwood, now under threat’.
The intelligent thing to do would be to use the money to improve the existing railway and make public transport in general more affordable and reliable.
But I sometimes wonder about the intelligence of those running the country and unfortunately, while Brexit distracts the electorate, billions of pounds will be wasted and a vital habitat will be vandalised.
And for what? A slightly quicker journey to London?
So maybe it isn’t just the Brazilian Government which is guilty of environmental vandalism and crimes against precious forests…
For more information and to sign a petition, please visit https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/hs2