During topical questions to the Secretary of State for Transport this morning, Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan MP urged the Secretary of State to adopt the proposals of the recent report by Natural England, to avoid net loss of ancient woodland. The Chesham & Amersham MP said that the Department for Transport appears to be dismissing this.
Mrs Gillan urged Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP to make this a priority, to counter the loss of ancient woodland caused by the HS2 project.
The Secretary of State said that the government backs biodiversity but there was disagreement about the formula proposed.” We must replace lost woodland”, Mr Grayling said, but did not undertake to follow a stipulated formula.
“ Ancient woodland is a rare and precious habitat and we must strive for the best possible replacement to avoid irretrievable loss to the ecology,” commented Cheryl Gillan MP, who was recently appointed President of the Buckinghamshire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.