UK: The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced more than £8 million of funding for an HS2 Green Corridor of new, native woodland and wildlife habitats around the infrastructure project’s Phase One, from Birmingham to Crewe.
The new woodlands will encompass 7 million native trees and shrubs across 9 square kilometres around the line, including artificial habitats for fauna, from badgers to bats and great-crested newts.
In addition to this money, the ‘HS2 Woodland Fund’ will provide £2 million to support landowners in planting their own natives trees along the line.
Nusrat Ghani, HS2 Minister, said:
“As we deliver the new high-speed railway our country needs, driving forward economic growth and better journeys for passengers, it is imperative we set a new standard for protecting and enhancing our diverse woodlands and wildlife. HS2’s ‘Green Corridor’ is one of the most significant tree-planting and habitat-creation projects ever undertaken in this country.”
The DfT believes that incorporation of the ‘corridor’ into the design of HS2 ‘sets a new environmental standard for construction projects’. This emphasis on the environment reflects increasing concerns for improving the eco-friendliness and sustainability of the rail industry.
The government has also announced £6.5 million for the HS2 Road Safety Fund. The fund includes a designated pot of £35 million for towns and villages in the area to improve services for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers around the line.
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