HS2 update July 2021

HS2 update July 2021

As activity by HS2 Ltd and its contractors in the Chilterns AONB increases, we continue to work closely with key partners including Buckinghamshire Council, Natural England and the Chiltern Society to monitor, question and hold HS2 Ltd and its contractors to account.

Below, we provide information and updates on our efforts during the period May to the end of June 2021. Earlier updates can be found here.

Bottom House Farm Lane

On 27 February 2021, we reported on our long-standing concerns over damage to the bank of the River Misbourne during installation of the bridge for the temporary construction road.

River water spilling into the floodplain through a damaged section of the bank of the R. Misbourne at Bottom House Farm Lane (c) Allen Beechey

Several months of flooding of the riverside meadows followed the riverbank being damaged (see photo above). As water levels started to subside, Allen Beechey (Chilterns Chalk Streams Project Officer) and Neil Jackson (Conservation & Landscape Officer) met representatives from Fusion – HS2 Ltd’s contractor – the Environment Agency (EA) and landowners on 23 June 2021. Fusion and EA agreed to quickly repair the riverbanks adjacent to the construction road bridge as a temporary measure to reduce the likelihood of flooding occurring.



Unfortunately, a full riverbank reinstatement will not be possible until the bridge is removed (2026 at the earliest). At this time, we hope that more comprehensive measures to repair and enhance this stretch of the R. Misbourne will be agreed with HS2 Ltd and other parties.

The damage caused during the construction of the haul road bridge directly contributed to extensive flooding of land downstream of the bridge, which has had a significant impact on landowners and their businesses.

Potential damage to the aquifer

In May we issued a joint statement with Buckinghamshire Council outlining our concerns about the potentially serious impact of HS2’s tunnelling operations on Buckinghamshire’s aquifer and chalk streams. We continue to work with Buckinghamshire Council to hold HS2 to account and will report further as soon as we can.

HS2 across the Chilterns:  Update by the Chiltern Society

After holding a successful update event in January, our friends at the Chiltern Society are holding the second in a series of updates, showing the impact of HS2 as construction continues. The event is free and open to everyone. Booking details are below.

Much has happened with the construction of HS2 since the Chiltern Society’s last update session in January. The Chiltern tunnel south portal near Denham is now complete and the first of the two tunnel boring machines started work in May. There will be a full update on these works and at the vent shafts across the Chilterns.

Work is also now underway to create a temporary haul road from Great Missenden to Wendover. This has attracted much publicity as it involves the removal of a large number of trees at locations including Grims Ditch, Leather Lane and Jones Hill Wood, all of which attracted media attention.

Using a mixture of maps, pictures, visualisations and, most importantly, aerial photographs the talk will show the impact at a number of locations across the Colne Valley Regional Park and the Chilterns.

Keith Hoffmeister of the Chiltern Society, who has been keeping an extensive photo diary of HS2, will lead this online presentation and discussion on 10th July from 10:30-12:00.

Related news

HS2: more sinkholes open up in the Chilterns

We are aware of a further two sinkholes appearing in farmed fields between Sibley’s Coppice and Frith Hill.

Hyde Heath Sinkhole

We have been made aware of a second sinkhole occurring above one of the HS2 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) in Hyde Heath.

Chilterns Conservation Board’s position on the cancellation of the Northern Leg of High Speed 2

The announcement by the Prime Minister cancelling HS2 north of Birmingham undermines the justification for the remaining section of the route.


Chilterns ANOB
Chilterns ANOB

The Management Plan for the Chilterns National Landscape

The Management Plan sets out the policies and actions to be followed by all stakeholders to conserve and enhance this special place. The current Plan (“the Chilterns AONB Management Plan 2019-24”) has been extended to March 2025 and is currently under review.
Chilterns ANOB

Challenging HS2

Find out how we are actively working to hold HS2 and their contractors to account, to reduce environmental damage and seek the best designs possible.