A family fun day and picnic has been organised to help raise awareness of the impact of the HS2 development on the Crackley Woods Nature Reserve.
The event set for 11.30am to 2.30pm on Sunday June 2 will include a family picnic time in the meadow area, along with some woodland activities and games for children.
The event will also include a guided (10-15 minute) walk to show people parts of the ancient woodland impacted by the HS2 project.
There will also be two longer walks where the HS2 is planed to go through Crackley, Roughknowles and Broadwells Woods.
The walks will start at 12pm and 2.30pm from the clearing in Crackley Woods next to Crackley Farm, and five minutes later from the Crackley Farm Greenway bridge.
Matt Bishop, who has organised the event through the group Walk the Line – Stop HS2, said: “The message is if people want to save Crackley Woods they need to come on the day, and they need to sign the petitions online. At the moment the petition only has about 20,000 signatures.”
Anyone interested in attending the event should see the Walk the Line – Stop HS2 Facebook page. Over 50 people have already confirmed their attendance to the event, and over 300 have showed interest.
Matt, who lives in Leamington, contends the impact for Crackley Woods will be much larger than the 15-20 percent proposed by the project coordinators of HS2 development.
He added: “The event is to show people where the train line goes through Crackley Woods. People aren’t aware that this is what is coming."
“People don’t realise that the HS2 is going to cause massive road closures. Crackley Woods has been designated an ancient woodland. It has trees 300 to 400 years old."
“We shouldn’t be losing any of our woodland at this time. The existing government has declared a climate emergency. Just because you plant 100 saplings doesn’t replace a 300-year-old oak.
“The woodland has those kind of trees in it. That is a unique environment. You can not replace it.”
Matt recently walked the route of the HS2 from Cubbington to London in order to bring attention to their ongoing campaign against the high-speed rail line.
His mother, 72-year-old Gerry Bishop, who lives in Eathorpe, took part in the walk with him. The walk, which started on April 22, and finished 11 days later after interviews of residents along the route.
Matt said: “I did it because I wanted to inspire people to do something. We’re so placid today. They don’t have any faith that they can do something. I walked the line to show people you can do something.”
He added: “It’s destroying the countryside around a lot of the villages. I couldn’t believe it when I heard about this project. We have a mainline from Leamington to London already, and they’re going to put another one that nobody can get on. It’s a vanity project.”