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Noddy’s Tree needs help from Mr.Plod

An ancient oak tree, thought to be several hundred years old, is likely to become another victim of HS2 – but it won’t be felled for the rail line, only a mere access road which needs to be widened to enable vehicles help construct the route.

The 8.3m girthed “Noddy’s Tree” near Stockwell Heath in Staffordshire has been recorded on the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree Inventory and is one of 27 set to be felled on the phase 2a route alone.

The conservation charity has just submitted its response to the route consultation, which also received over 15,000 objections sent by Woodland Trust supporters during the period.

Ahead of a number of imminent decisions related to housing and planning policy which could affect the future of hundreds of threatened ancient woods and trees, the Trust is also calling on the public to contact government ministers this autumn and demand increased protection.

Noddy's Tree in Staffordshire. (Photo Jordan Fox photography/WTML)
Noddy's Tree in Staffordshire. (Photo Jordan Fox photography/WTML)

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

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