Forests

Department for Transport written question – answered on 30th October 2019.

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Photo of Andy McDonald Andy McDonald Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many woodland clearances have been (a) proposed and (b) undertaken by Highways England since 2015; and what estimate he has made of the total number of woodland clearances proposed by HS2 Ltd.

Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Highways England do not hold data on woodland clearances centrally. Data on woodland clearance is, however, recorded within the relevant Environmental Statement or environmental assessment report developed for each project. Given the various stages at which Highways England’s projects are developed and delivered it is not possible to provide an accurate figure at this time of how many woodland sites have been affected.

HS2’s anticipated impacts on woodlands are set out in the Environmental Statements for each Phase of the project. The route between London and Crewe (Phases One and 2a) will affect approximately 3.8 square kilometres of woodland (consisting 0.39km2 ancient woodland, 3.4km2 non-ancient). Along the Phase One route alone, HS2 Ltd will be creating 9 square kilometres of new native woodland. In addition HS2’s Woodland Fund will create further woodland and enhance the quality of existing woodlands.

The working draft Environmental Statement for Crewe to Manchester and West Midlands to Leeds (Phase 2b) assumes approximately 0.5 square kilometres of woodlands (consisting 0.17km2 ancient, 0.34km2 non-ancient) will be affected. Further woodland planting similar to Phase One and 2a will be implemented to mitigate and compensate.

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