PART OF THE HS2 HISTORIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROJECT
THE BUCKS ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY is not opposed to high-speed rail in principle. Our concern is with the damage that the current plans to build HS2 will do to the historic environment: scheduled archaeological sites, listed buildings and the historic landscapes of the Chiltern Hills and the Vale of Aylesbury.
Because we are only an archaeological and historical society, our remit is a narrow one.
This is not true of the two main organisations that represent the interests of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB): the Chiltern Society and the Chilterns Conservation Board.
Their concern is with the whole range of environmental issues: from the effect of construction work on wildlife such as bats and chalkland plants right up to the visual intrusion of overhead power lines into natural landscapes.
THE CHILTERN SOCIETY
The opposition to HS2 from the Chiltern Society is the most outspoken. Its banner headline is ‘No HS2 across the Chilterns’ and calls on readers to ‘Join our campaign against ANY High Speed Rail line across the Chilterns and help us fight the biggest threat to this beautiful area since the M40 motorway sliced through part of it in the 1970s.’
• The Chiltern Society's website sets out its opposition.
THE CHILTERN CONSERVATION BOARD
The role of this independent body set up by Parliament is specifically ‘for the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the area of outstanding natural beauty’ that is the Chilterns. It is made up of representatives from the local community: 19 from local district and parish councils and a further eight appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment.
The Board has concentrated its response to HS2 largely on a proposal to replace the currently planned 11-kilometre tunnel between Denham in the south and Great Missdenden with a complete 24-kilometre Chilterns Tunnel. This would seriously reduce damage to the AONB, emerging from underground beyond the Chiltern escarpment to the north of Wendover.
• The Chiltern Conservation Board's website sets out the Tunnel plans in full.