Ecological work is left up to locals in the battle to protect the 15 Leather Lane oak trees as HS2 road closures commenced at 6am this morning.
These oaks are part of a green corridor that allows bats to forage and travel between habitats, their loss would have a great impact on the biodiversity in the area. Felling during the height of summer is also extremely damaging for all wildlife who are active at this time, and goes against HS2’s own environmental commitments.
Click here for the press release by Campaign for Leather Lane Oaks.
Currently, with the various licenses granted to HS2 by Natural England, the police are happy with the level of ecological surveying, so it’s up to ordinary people to go out and witness and evidence the ecocide that is going on.
HS2 workers and their hired thugs are aware of the range of wildlife that call even this small row of oaks home, and as a result, tree protectors like these at Leather Lane a few nights ago, are met with intimidation in an attempt to discourage any surveying which could slow HS2’s destructive advances, as it has done so many times in the past.
In the video below you see Black Onyx not only witnessing the birds that will lose their home this week, but also disturbing them, following a pattern of deliberately hostile behaviour towards creatures in the way of HS2.
I spoke to one gardener and amateur ecologist who goes out several nights a week, and faces stalking and intimidation every single time, however, they have never been harmed while doing ecology, and advised anyone who’s unsure but looking to do their part to get out there, but be discreet and remain non-confrontational.
“It’s a very healthy thing to be in a war zone and not to engage in conflict.”
This gardener had a very positive take, and it’s this that I want you to take away. The security, Black Onyx, and the HS2 workers are there to follow you, so the power is in your hands. There is value in confronting these people when they are wrong, but we speak about using a diversity of tactics, and this is where we can employ a different approach.
If you refuse to play their game of confrontation, what ends up happening is, you’ve got private security being paid to be out in nature, listening for animals, and staring at trees. This can be a much needed meditative experience for your stalker, especially if they are a HS2 worker most of whom hate their jobs and are underpaid.
Ecology is the easiest and most accessible way you can help the campaign on the ground and make a difference. It also strengthens your bond with nature and the land where you live, all you need is a phone or camera, and a passion for your planet.
I’ll leave you with a quote from our gardener friend…
“If you believe this is your planet. Go out. Go. now.”
All photography by the amazing © Maureen McLean!