Chesham and Amersham MP Dame Cheryl Gillan issued a stark warning in the House of Commons speaking on the impact HS2 could have on the local wildlife.

A petition that was launched calling for the protection of nesting birds from the use of netting has been signed by 1,162 people in Chesham and Amersham, with a further 5,454 signatories in other constituencies across Bucks.

“HS2 is systematically destroying a large corridor of the countryside through the centre of Buckinghamshire, and elsewhere, to make way for a railway that is literally costing the earth.”

“The trouble is that the Government is just as big an offender as any housing developer. The route chosen for HS2 passes through irreplaceable natural habitats and unspoiled ecosystems. Constructing a railway line with a land-take equivalent to a four-lane motorway will have a devastating effect on the natural environment in those areas.

“Over 130 wildlife sites on the first stage alone will be directly affected, including 10 sites of special scientific interest, an area of outstanding natural beauty and 50 ancient woodlands.”

“We are engaged in a major battle for the environment against global warming. Today we are discussing another battle – the battle for our birds in the United Kingdom. If we do not pay attention to the smallest creatures of our wildlife, we shall end up with a sorry, barren world, in which the next generations will be forced to live,” concluded Dame Cheryl.

Dame Cheryl called for no work of this nature to take place throughout the nesting details, and also asked for details of whether the birds and animals are visited on a daily basis by ecologists who monitor the area.