09-Mar-2021

Grim's Ditch - FOI

The woodland surrounding Grim's Ditch, an ancient monument, was felled in November 2020. See this album for the photographic record.The destruction was not worth a mention in the Advanced Works Notice. Attempts to ascertain what ecological surveys took place before the clearance, and what mitigation measures were taken, have been refused - to prevent harm to the environment of protected species ! - an environment which HS2 contractors have just destroyed.

FOI-20-3931

"Please treat this as a request for Ecological Surveys and any other reports related to the protection and conservation of wildlife, undertaken in the area of Grims Ditch, for the 3 months preceding 18th November this year."

Response -

"Some of the information has been withheld under Regulation 12 (5)(g) protection of the environment, because disclosure would allow the identification of protected species, which would increase the likelihood of harm to the environment or the protected species if their location were known."

FOI-20-3931 Review

"(This) request relates to the woodland which previously surrounded the Grims Ditch ancient monument, and this environment no longer exists since HS2 contractors have felled all the trees, and removed the undergrowth”

Response -

"this location is not a site in isolation, but is part of an integrated landscape. Any protected species moving on from this specific site would likely be found in nearby habitats including hedgerow, woodland and. Thus releasing data on any such species found at the specified site would provide, as a minimum, a starting point for those interested in such species and encourage a nearby exploration of the area, disturbing those species and others that may be in the vicinity, whether accidently or on purpose."

FOI-21-3974

Since 20-3931 was declined to prevent identification of protected species -

"Would you please provide

Response -

"As no bat roosts were confirmed in the trees at Grim's Ditch, HS2 Ltd’s mitigation during construction has taken the form of ensuring all trees were fully assessed by licensed bat ecologists and, although no evidence of breeding birds or roosting bats was identified, the tree felling was undertaken with supervision of a suitably experienced professional ecologist in a manner that would not cause harm to any other wildlife present."

Badgers ?

One protected species was present at Grims Ditch - badgers. This is clear because HS2 contractors have netted two setts present within the ditch -

The protected species are in most need of protection from HS2 themselves.