Jones Hill Wood

Jones Hill Wood is an area of Ancient Woodland, between Kings Lane and the A413, and reputedly the inspiration for 'The Fantastic Mr Fox' by Roald Dahl. It was occupied by tree dwelling protesters for a time, who were disputing HS2s right to fell the wood, as they lacked the correct Bat licenses. Following the eviction of the tree dwellers, the Jones Hill Wood protectors have been camped in the section of the wood not owned by HS2. Now read on ...


'Stuff the Bats', court rules

A price cannot be put on the conservation of rare species and habitats. However, the High Court has ruled that the possible presence of extremely rare bats in a single tree should not result in a six-month delay to the HS2 rail project – at a cost of at least £25 to £50 million. (Law report)


Decision Reversed

The injunction to halt tree felling was overturned at the hearing on 20th April, and the chainsaw are back again. The tree protectors plan to appeal against this latest reversal . This (of course) costs money - please support the tree protectors - see their Crowd Justice page (Facebook)


The Empire Strikes Back

HS2 applied to have Justice Lang’s order varied and for there to be a hearing on permission and the injunction on Friday 23rd April.


Jones Hill Wood - at last !

The woodsmen have departed, leaving a peaceful wood,
and a few security guards (with nothing to do)


The injunction arrived - see mailout from Stand for the Trees. There is a good chance that felling will now be delayed until Autumn, after the bat breeding season.

The RSPB had called for an investigation into how the work was affecting habitats, saying: “If the government allowed work to proceed that ignores the laws that protect wildlife, they risk undermining every environmental commitment they have ever made about HS2.”
Further coverage - Telegraph, Independent, BBC,


An injunction has been granted - at least, to save the trees identified as bat roosts, which is a start. Will the bats stick around among the ongoing mayhem ? (Daily Telegraph)

Why do we have to take Natural England to court - rather than rely on their support ? (Save Cubbington Woods)


Cavalry fail to arrive ...

It would seem that the injunction anticipated by the Jones Hill Woodland protectors has failed to arrive, and HS2 continue to attack the wood, judging from the sound of chainsaws throughout the area.

Sign the petition to halt felling, until the case comes to court -

"We believe that Natural England has failed in its statutory duty and that the needs of barbastelle families are nowhere near being met by the compensation proposed. As such we have resorted to the Courts to initiate legal proceedings and hold them to account. However, legal action takes time. This is time the trees and the creatures they home do not have. HS2 continue to fell and seem adamant to destroy what they can before they can be stopped by the law. Another minute, another tree felled."


Natural England roll over & die ...

On 30 March, Natural England issued a bat licence to HS2’s contractors for works at Jones Hill Wood, Buckinghamshire...

"At Jones Hill Wood, we have undertaken a careful assessment of the impacts in this area and requested further hibernation surveys.  Our assessment has concluded that the felling of 0.7 hectares of woodland at Jones Hill Wood will not be detrimental to the favourable conservation of the overall bat populations in this area

The works at Jones Hill Wood have the potential to affect the following species through the loss of breeding sites and resting places: damage or destruction of up to

  • 4 common pipistrelle resting places and 1 breeding site,
  • 1 soprano pipistrelle resting place,
  • 1 barbastelle resting place and 1 breeding site,
  • 1 noctule resting place,
  • 2 brown long-eared bat resting places and 1 breeding site,
  • 1 Natterer's bat resting place.

Works could also result in indirect disturbance of bats (if present) and the transport / possession / control / capture of bats.

The confirmed losses are:

  • 19 trees with potential roosting features as part of the removal of 0.7 ha of ancient woodland
  • one common pipistrelle roost
  • alteration to conditions of trees with potential roost features in the retained areas of the wood."

but it doesnt really matter; HS2 will provide 24 bat boxes nearby, & have sent the bats a leaflet...

The Chilterns Conservation Board comment

"The Board has repeatedly questioned HS2 Ltd on the quality of the ecological surveys on which the licence is based. Whilst a number of safety measures are included in the licence conditions,  we have not been reassured by HS2 Ltd’s answers to our questions."

... which is not surprising, since HS2 refuse to release the reports.


Protect Jones Hill Wood - Crowdfunder

Barbastelle bats are vulnerable to extinction in the UK and Europe and need complex old woodlands with a variety of roost types and habitat features that simply cannot be replaced - which is why they're one of the most highly legally protected species in the UK.
(Jones Hill Earth protectors) have engaged leading environmental law specialists Richard Buxton Solicitors, who will be ready to launch an injunction in the event that Natural England grant inappropriate licenses.
We need to be ready with £15,000 for an emergency injunction and £35,000 for ongoing legal action.

Donate Now !

Most of the wood could be saved, by using a retained cutting for around quarter of a mile ...

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