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HS2 may generate construction interest with new wooded areas

HS2 may generate construction interest with new wooded areas

The government has announced plans to plant seven million trees and shrubs around the route of the HS2 rail line between London and Birmingham.

It intends to head off concerns about the visual impact of the huge construction project by planting 650 hectares of new woodland. As well as obscuring the view of the line in areas without stations, it will also help restore areas of lost woodland and provide green corridors to link up isolated small patches of wood.

The measures will also more than compensate for the loss of some woodland in the construction phase, with a new £5 million woodland fund designed to help the further development of broadleaf woodlands near the line.

Crowders Nurseries in Lincolnshire has been given the contract to grow the trees and shrubs, the largest order in its 218-year history. The company also provided trees for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Commenting on the project, HS2 minister Andrew Jones said: "The planting of these trees along the route of the first phase will contribute to making HS2 one of the most environmentally responsible infrastructure schemes this country has ever seen as well as one of the most ambitious ecology and woodland projects anywhere in the UK."

The announcement may have the most direct impact on jobs in the arboriculture industry, but the planting of more trees may help attract residential construction developments to areas with lots of woodland close by, as this will make them more pleasant places for families to live in.

HS2 is already being developed with a number of environmental considerations in mind. This includes the building of a tunnel under the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It is one of several tunnels being constructed as part of the project, with others passing under urban locations such as west London, south Manchester and the centre of Crewe.

Image: iStock

 

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