To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the construction of High Speed Two on the (a) habitat and (b) population of barn owls.
22 October 2018
The impact of HS2 on barn owls was assessed to inform the Phase One Environmental Statement which recorded a nationally significant adverse effect on the UK’s barn owl population.
HS2 Ltd has therefore developed a barn owl mitigation plan to reduce this significant effect. The plan assumes that 80 pairs are affected by the Phase One Scheme and consists of measures to: avoid disturbance to the species during construction; reduce the collision risk of the railway to the birds; provide new artificial nesting sites at a safe distance; and monitor the new nesting sites to ensure uptake by barn owls.
The potential effects on barn owls have also been assessed in the Phase 2a Environmental Statement, and will be assessed in a Phase 2b Environmental Statement in due course.