High-speed rail link puts wildlife ‘at risk’

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Wildlife will be put at risk by plans for a high-speed rail link which is on track to go ahead after a Supreme Court challenge failed.

Chiefs at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said the HS2 line – which is to travel through Sheffield on its way between London, Birmingham and the north – could affect more than 360 important wildlife sites.

The court unanimously dismissed accusations by objectors that the Government was “cutting corners” to push the £50bn HS2 project through Parliament, in breach of European environmental laws.

Dr Rob Stoneman, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust chief executive, said: “The Government’s argument for going ahead with plans as they are has been of a purely economic nature – an argument that seems to have an ever-changing value attached.

“There has been no mention of how HS2 will help to improve the lot for wildlife in our country.”