Bat Massacre during Boris’ Lockdown Chopdown

Wildlife and habitat protectors along the proposed route of phase one of HS2 today held a series of demonstrations to highlight the fact that HS2 Ltd have been using the lockdown to bypass environmental protections, and almost certainly slaughter wildlife on an industrial scale.

Back in March, the RSPB asked the public to report any wildlife crimes which would be committed by HS2 Ltd in the coming months, following on from previous years when ‘vegetation’ had been cleared in nesting season, with everything simply fed directly into the woodchipper. However, despite the fact we had an organisation as as conservative as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds effectively calling out the Government for conspiring to break the law, lockdown has meant that many members of the public haven’t been out and about to make those reports, and when they have they have been largely ignored by police, as the responses to this rather ill-advised Faceook post by the Warwickshire Police Rural Crime Team shows.

The lockdown has also meant that Natural England, who are meant to licence and monitor activities which impact on protected wildlife, especially during their breeding season have been absent. However, whilst the focus had initially been on nesting birds back in March, once May started and Natural England extended licensed activity a fortnight into bat roosting season, the focus very much moved to bats as not only do they have more layers of legal protection than most birds, there has been at least an attempt to survey and catalogue potential bat roosts by HS2 Ltd, meaning their insistence now that they haven’t found any bats whatsoever in Broadwells Wood (or indeed anywhere it seems) can be measured against where they previously thought there might be bats. In the video below, Matt Bishop explains just now lacking in any crediblity what HS2 Ltd are currently claiming is.

Speaking about the need for the action, Matt Bishop said: “The worst wildlife crime in Warwickshire’s history is taking place now. HS2’s own bat survey confirms that the felling of trees in Broadwells Wood and Kenilworth sites will cause the permanent loss of 1,491 potential bat roosts of eight species of bat, all protected by law. Yet Natural England, charged with upholding that law, has allowed HS2 to be self-policing in accepting a statement from them that ‘no bats had been encountered during the works’, and has given the go ahead for HS2 to continue felling well into roosting season, while bats are still nursing their young.” 

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