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Written Question
High Speed 2 Railway Line
26 Oct 2018

Questioner: Victoria Prentis (CON - Banbury)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that High Speed Two does not cause the death of barn owls.

Answered by Nusrat Ghani

HS2 Ltd has produced a barn owl mitigation plan to manage and reduce the anticipated significant effects to barn owls caused by construction and operation of the Phase One scheme. The plan has been developed by a team of professional ecologists, including a barn owl expert, and has been informed by additional research undertaken by the British Trust for Ornithology.

The plan assumes that 80 pairs are affected by the Phase One scheme and consists of measures to: avoid disturbance to the species during construction; reduce the collision risk of the railway to the birds; provide new artificial nesting sites at a safe distance from the railway; and monitor the new nesting sites to ensure uptake by barn owls.

It is expected that the barn owl mitigation plan will be expanded and refined for future phases of HS2.


Written Question
High Speed 2 Railway Line
26 Oct 2018

Questioner: Victoria Prentis (CON - Banbury)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that the mitigation measures agreed by HS2 Ltd to reduce the negative effect on biodiversity are (a) secured for the duration of the project and (b) monitored.

Answered by Nusrat Ghani

HS2 Information Paper E2 outlines how ecological impacts have been assessed and how they will be mitigated or compensated for during the construction of Phase One of HS2. It refers to the commitment to seek no net loss to biodiversity. Mitigation measures include the creation of habitat to maintain the populations of protected species. New areas of woodland, grassland, heathland and ponds will be created.

A route-wide monitoring strategy will be put in place. HS2 Ltd is responsible for maintaining and monitoring the new or managed habitat for a sufficient period to ensure that the nature conservation objectives are achieved. Indicative periods for the management and monitoring of habitats are set out in HS2 Information Paper E26. These include plans to monitor replacement woodland for up to 50 years.

A similar approach is being adopted for future phases of the scheme.