HS2 and The Birds

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is happening THIS WEEKEND!

Join in; you just need an hour to spend watching the birds in your garden on either Saturday 29, or Sunday 30 January 2011. Go – take the time to enjoy our little feathered friends and having fun with your family on a simple task that means so much.

“For over 30 years, we’ve been asking our supporters to count the birds in their garden. During this time, more than 3 million hours have been clocked up watching and enjoying the birds that visit our gardens (that’s more than 380 years!), and every year, some 6 million birds are spotted by people like you.

With results from some 280,000 gardens helping us create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers in each region, we’ve been able to see that some of our birds are disappearing in scary numbers.”

Stop HS2 is terrified of the potential environmental impact on our countryside including our beautiful birds. Here is a list of a few of our concerns which are bird related:-

1)     Loss of habitat in particular bio diverse farmland, woodland and existing wildlife corridors

2)     Reduction in food for birds in particular land dedicated under the Natural England Environmental Stewardship Scheme

3)     Impact on watercourses being disrupted and in some cases diverted

4)     Large numbers of migrating water fowl on reserves directly affected by the line will have their landing approach blocked by the completed railway and overhead lines

5)     Birds are particularly sensitive to environmental pollution and the non vegetation zones we believe are to be weed killed permanently which poses a possible leaching risk.

6)     The sound of the trains will impact habitat either side of the completed tracks making it difficult to assess exactly how much will be affected

7)     Owls and hawks will be badly affected through loss of habitat, roosts and dangers from the overhead lines.

When I walked the line back in September, I met so many wonderful farmers who had invested their hearts and souls into providing for birds on their land.

One farmer, in Warwickshire, has placed every owl and bird box on his trees himself and has spent over 40 years managing his hedgerows specifically to help them and sowing feeding strips especially for our native birds.

He was in tears as we walked through beautiful, ancient woodland, rolling arable fields and alongside the river Leam where Kingfishers dart;  if you are lucky enough to spot them. The feeding strips were full of beautiful flowers and orchids all of which form the rich tapestry of the ecological blanket which homes and feeds small mammals and birds.

I promised this farmer as I did all the others I would try and help them.

I saw so many buzzards on my walk I was amazed. There is a roost near Lower Thorpe, a 16th century hamlet due for total obliteration by HS2, where I regularly watch a family circle and soar above the Northamptonshire countryside. I feel sick inside when I think about what could be coming and watch those amazing creatures.

Help me, help Stop HS2 try and help our birds.

Lizzy Williams


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One comment to “HS2 and The Birds”
  1. Tweet this – the birds would say ‘please save our habitat’.

    RSPB need to come out against HS2 for the sake of our feathered friends and the hundreds of thousands of citizens who enjoy sharing this planet with ‘all things’bright and beautiful all creatures great and small’.

    How many rare breeds will see their natural habitat ruined by HS2? Tell it to the birds?…..we are…..we want to protect our environment even if the rail boffins do not!

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