Plans to deliver a “green corridor” with seven million new trees and shrubs alongside the High Speed Two (HS2) railway line have been set out.
The Phase One route, which covers 216km from London to the West Midlands, will incorporate earthworks and landscaping which will re-use around 90% of the material excavated during construction.
It will also consist of more than 33 square kilometres of new and existing wildlife habitat and tailor-made homes for wildlife.
They are part of the efforts to improve the environment and have a “responsible approach to natural resources” when the rail network is being built.
Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd said: “Alongside improving connectivity, boosting the economy and unlocking new jobs and opportunities, I’m determined to ensure that HS2 also works for the environment and local communities.
“This starts by doing everything we can to reduce our environmental footprint and minimise the expected impact of our construction work. Longer term, we’ll be leaving behind a network of new wildlife habitats, woodlands and community spaces, helping to create a lasting legacy along the route.”
The government has committed an extra £2 million of funding for the HS2 Woodland Fund to help landowners near the route to directly create new native woodlands and restore existing ones.