Wendover. UK. October 1. 2020. News from the StopHS2 Jones Hill Woods protection camp eviction today.
Originally published by Squat Net.
This morning at 5:30 am circa 40 National Eviction Team officers, working for HS2 & the government, supported by police, entered the woods. Their intention was to clear the camp to enable mass tree felling. Whilst 2 protestors were removed quickly by excessive force, many more protestors occupy multiple treehouses across the site. This ancient woodland has been a protest camp site for over half a year 6 months & is one of 20 ancient woodlands #HS2 is targeting this month. This woodland represents just one of 108 woodlands that are due to be impacted during Phase 1 construction of HS2. Jones Hill Wood also represents the cultural loss that will be caused by this large scale industrial development.
This beautiful & unique habitat was the inspiration for Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox, & is a thriving complex ecosystem.The protectors who have been living here have been carrying out ecological surveys & recording the diversity that is now under immediate threat. This includes 43 species of moth, 7 species of bat including rare & protected roosts, at least 3 families of badgers, an active fox den & countless species of insects & pollinators essential to the survival of an already dwindling countryside. There are currently multiple chainsaws cutting their way into the woodland, destroying the delicate habitat, in order for eviction officers to make their way to the tree houses. Despite this protestors have vowed to stay indefinitely to highlight the issues with HS2.
Ross Monaghan, says from the trees, “The destruction I am witnessing … flies in the face of Johnston’s pledge to save our countryside. We have an opportunity … to press pause, to look at the out of control spending, to redirect the funds to where it is needed!” Steve Masters, local Councillor, living in a treehouse, is continuing to uphold his duties, from 60 feet up said: “I am a public official & I have followed a path of public service throughout my life. This began 34 years ago when I joined the RAF. I swore to protect my fellow citizens then & now as we face the greatest challenge in climate change I am duty bound to continue to protect the people of this country…I’m willing to be arrested & imprisoned in … to highlight the catastrophic damage #HS2 will do to our natural environment. Our PM pledged to protect the biodiversity of the planet while at the same time continuing to support this destructive & unnecessary rail link. As the chainsaws whine around me this morning… I am resolute & determined to fight for a future fit for my grandchildren.”
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