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National Forest Company's Response to the Initial Preferred HS2 Route

Monday, 28th January 2013

National Forest Company's Response to the Initial Preferred HS2 Route

Statement from Sophie Churchill, OBE FICFor, Chief Executive, National Forest Company:

“The National Forest Company is a strong advocate for sustainable development which includes sustainable economic growth and certainly supports the distribution of economic activity across the country. There are already important road and rail links through the Forest.

“However this is, potentially, another major transport route cutting a line right across the forest, and one which, by the time it comes about, would require the removal of considerable semi-mature trees, up to forty yearsold by the time the line is open,along the route. It will also affect wildlife and biodiversity and be disruptive to communities. There may in fact be negative local economic impacts which the National Forest Company also takes seriously. It is therefore difficult to see it as other than a cost to the forest as a whole.

“It will be for others to lead the debate on whether the route, overall, is justified for the benefits it will bring to the country. But, if it goes ahead following public debate, we will be fighting hard to achieve the best deal that we can, in recognition of any losses of woodland.”