Luci Ryan, Woodland Trust ecologist, said: “It’s already unacceptable that the route itself is set to plough through irreplaceable ancient woods, but HS2 Ltd's failure to properly consider the destructive impact of a temporary access road looks thoughtless and unnecessary.
“Ancient trees like Noddy’s Tree have witnessed generations come and go, yet they appear to be totally expendable in the face of this development.”
The Trust continues to campaign to save as many ancient woods and trees on the entire HS2 route as possible, successfully convincing MPs to support a tunnel extension on the phase 1 route in the Chilterns, saving over 20 acres of ancient woodland.
The government released details about the environmental impact of Phase 2a in the summer; the proposed 40 miles of track between the West Midlands and Crewe, with 17 ancient woods also set to suffer loss or damage covering 26 acres.
Whitmore Wood in Staffordshire, known for its wildflowers such as bluebell, yellow archangel and wood sorrel would see nearly 15 acres alone lost – the most from any wood on the entire route.
For more information and to take part in the charity’s campaign to protect ancient woods and trees visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/actnow