A green spaces expert is calling on landowners to plant trees to lessen the environmental impact of the new High Speed Two (HS2) rail network.
Deric Newman, general manager of national tree supply, planting and relocation specialist, Glendale Civic Trees, says it’s imperative that planting projects begin as soon as possible along the affected routes to provide the most benefits.
Hundreds of green spaces across the country are at risk of damage as part of the creation of the new high-speed railway network, which has been designed to create better connections between cities, and cut journey times.
Preliminary works are underway on phase one of the £56bn project, which will see high speed trains running between London and Birmingham when completed in 2026. The second phase will run between Crewe and Manchester, and West Midlands and Leeds, and is expected to complete in 2032.
Deric says trees are extremely effective in providing a visual barrier to related construction work, while helping to reduce noise pollution by absorbing sound.
“HS2 is happening, so we need to protect what we can now, and mitigate the overall impact wherever possible,” he said. “Trees, specifically large ones, require a number of years to grow and establish. It’s crucial that they are planted at the largest possible size now, not only to have the best effects once the railway becomes active, but also to reduce the impact of the construction phase. We know that trees have a number of benefits, from producing oxygen and acting as carbon sinks, to creating aesthetically pleasing landscapes, as well as helping to prevent flood damage and providing habitats for wildlife. Where HS2 is concerned, large trees, especially evergreen species can create very effective screens, and when planted in substantial numbers can reduce noise pollution. The key is to begin planning and delivering planting projects in good time, ensuring the correct and most suitable species have been sourced, as there is a finite number available.”
Glendale Civic Trees was founded in 1963 and has provided tree supply, planting and relocation services across the UK for more than 50 years.