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London vicar chains herself to tree in train line protest
A vicar has chained herself to a tree in central London, in protest at plans to clear wildlife for the construction of a new railway line.
Rev Anne Stevens from St Pancras Church joined other demonstrators gathering in a park next to Euston station on Thursday afternoon.
Speaking to Premier from a London Plane Tree, Rev Stevens said: "We're chained to the tree as a sign of the powerless this local community is feeling.
"We have protested against what they were doing but, at every stage, we have not been heard."
Campaigners fear hundreds of trees shall be removed from the area around Euston station once swathes of land become construction sites and work on the High Speed 2 (HS2) line get underway.
Warden at St Pancras, Dorothea Hackman said: "Can you image taking all those trees away and our green spaces, and adding 650 heavy-goods vehicles to the traffic around here [and] what that's going to do to pollution levels that are already sky rocketing?"
Campaigners say HS2 - which will eventually provide a new speed railway connection between Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and London - lacks a strong environmental and economic case.
But a spokesperson for the project said measures are being taken to reduce damage caused to the environment by its construction, adding that the railway line shall provide an economic boost by creating thousands of jobs.
Regarding today's protest, they said: "We recognise the importance of the trees and gardens around Euston to people living and working near the station and we are working with London Borough of Camden to ensure that all trees lost during construction are replaced and other open spaces in the local community are enhanced.
"Supporting the natural environment is just as important to us as building stations, regenerating city centres and supporting the economy. HS2 will create a 'green corridor' consisting of new woodland, wildlife habitats and new amenity facilities to leave a lasting legacy of high quality green spaces all along the route."
Click here to listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Rev Anne Stevens:
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