High Speed Rail and the Natural Environment

Lecture Theatre B34, Birkbeck, University of London,
Torrington Square,
United Kingdom

High Speed Rail and the Natural Environment Speaker: Steve Trotter, Cheif Exec of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

Railway In Country

Speaker: Steve Trotter, Chief Exec of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

Friday 15th February, 18.30

Lecture theatre B34, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London.

Stephen Trotter is a lifelong environmentalist, nature conservationist and advocate for better access to the natural world. He has a degree in Botany from Imperial College, London and post graduate DMS and MSc from Manchester. He spent 20 years with the National Trust, first as warden for the Wallington Estate in Northumberland, then as Area warden for Kinder Scout in Derbyshire and finally 10 years as Property Manager for the Trust’s High Peak and Longshaw estates, covering 9% of the Peak District. In 2006, he joined the New Forest National Park Authority as Director of Conservation, Recreation and Sustainable Development, where he established a new Directorate and helped to set up and establish the fledgling National Park.In 2010, he moved to become Chief Executive for Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

The UK Government proposes to construct a new High Speed Rail line between London and Birmingham with extensions to Manchester and Leeds. Initial assessments indicate that Phase 1 of the route to Birmingham will have direct and indirect effects on many important wildlife sites and the countryside through which it passes. But what exactly are the ecological impacts of major infrastructure developments like this and are there ways of avoiding, mitigating and compensating for the damage? Is it possible to design and build the new line to have a net overall benefit for the environment and wildlife?


Free lecture series, Birkbeck, Ecology and Conservation Studies Society and Linnean Society of London

Wildlife is greatly valued by many of us, but some gives rise to conflicts. Do we all want to see raptors increasing? What about field sports? Can we do anything to stem the inexorable spread of Grey Squirrels at the expense of the native Reds? How best can we halt the spread of TB in cattle, knowing that Badgers carry the disease? Will High Speed Rail cause ecological severance? Most of us would like to see rats controlled, but how far should pest control extend, as far as Feral Pigeons?

Click here for a map to Birkbeck College (marked as '1').