No Protection for Bats by HS2 as it continues to fail our wildlife and our environment

A group of campaigners from the Wendover and Chilterns area gathered at the roadside opposite Wendover Active Resistance camp.

The site, which has many bats roosting and where no mitigation is in place, is a serious area of concern. This listed building and barn are due to be destroyed as part of the HS2 development, and will become and industrial hub of construction for the Wendover Viaduct, including a proposed Bentonite factory.

Ann of Wendover shared her views asking, “Bats, Barn Owls, or Bentonite. What would you prefer?”

Bat populations in the UK have already declined significantly in the 20th century, with some of the country’s 18 species – such as the Barbastelle and Greater Horseshoe bat – exceedingly rare.

During nesting season bats and their roosts are protected. This means no disturbances to them. It’s Illegal to interfere with them in any way…unless you apply for permission and it’s granted. Obviously HS2 has done this for some sites and the licenses were granted but with mitigation.

The mitigation is that they provide alternate man-made roosts to replace what they will be destroying. Included in this are supposedly 2/3 storey bat houses that so far there is no evidence of.

The local protectors want to ensure HS2 adhere to this as they believe that HS2 don’t have a very reliable history when it comes to mitigation.

Sue, a local concerned Wendover resident commented: “Judging from an article 3 years ago the Bat Society think these homes should have been done a while ago! Why have HS2 got a licence to destroy our homes and countryside!”

Today’s event is part of a week of awareness raising of the destruction of bats by HS2 across the 140-mile line, including actions at Broadwells Wood and Steeple Claydon. The group have vowed to keep surveying and documenting wildlife activity in and around the Wendover Valley, and Jones Hill Wood area. They plan to use the evidence as part of the ongoing legal battle brought by Chris Packham and others.