PART OF THE HS2 HISTORIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROJECT
Discussions between society members and the National Trust started early on. The planned route of HS2 passed close to two great Buckinghamshire houses owned by the Trust – Hartwell and Waddesdon (pictured right) – so there was an immediate and clear common interest.
The 17th-century Hartwell House is just west of Aylesbury. HS2 would pass 400 metres away, beyond a belt of trees but close enough to be affected by the noise of passing trains. The line itself would just be visible at the end of the avenue leading north from the main door of the house.
Waddesdon Manor, Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild's 19th-century ‘French chateau&rsquo four miles to the north-west, is more than a mile from the route of HS2, but its position on a hill means that there too there will be a noise issue, and the speeding trains will be fully visible.
The National Trust has put considerable effort into its search for ways to reduce the impact of HS2, both by lobbying its contacts in government and by proposing engineering solutions. These are all set out on their website:
PHOTOGRAPH BY NATIONAL TRUST