Woodland Trust asked to sign gagging order to see rail plans affecting SE sites
The Woodland Trust has been told it cannot see detailed maps for a new train line between Oxford and Cambridge, proposed by East West Rail, unless the charity signs a gagging order to prevent sharing information with its supporters , even though the track could cut through five of its sites and is likely to pass through ancient woodland.
The project is currently at the stage of public consultation but the Trust claims it is impossible to give an opinion without knowing the extent of the plans.
Director of Conservation and External Affairs, Abi Bunker, said: “Actively withholding information from a public consultation that they know may sway opinion is flawed and inappropriate. With centuries-old woods and trees potentially in serious danger, it is simply unacceptable to hold back important information from a public consultation.”
The current consultation closes on Monday, 11 March 2019 and concerns five route options for the central section of the project, which stretches between Bedford and Cambridge. 12 areas of ancient woodland, at least six ancient and veteran trees and five Woodland Trust sites are under threat from the central section of the project.
East West Rail has not responded to the Woodland Trust’s claims.