HS2 gives £1.5m to Staffs environmental projects

An aerial view of the Shugborough Estate and Trent Sow area.

High Speed 2 is providing £1.5 million to fund six environmental projects in Staffordshire’s Trent Sow Parklands and Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The projects will help to deliver HS2’s ‘green corridor’ benefits, enhance the landscape, preserve the historic environment and create new wildlife habitats. HS2 says it has worked with the National Trust, Cannock Chase AONB Partnership and local partners through the Trent Sow Group to identify schemes around the Cannock Chase AONB on Phase 2a of the railway.

The six projects are in an area of around 3,500 hectares extending roughly 3km north and south of the HS2 route. The Shugborough Woodpasturescape will create 40ha of new and restored habitat linking Shugborough to Brocton Coppice. The Trent Sow Washlands Project, meanwhile, will work with local landowners to restore wet grassland and wetland habitats along the Trent Sow river corridor.

Connecting Towpaths will provide an improved towpath on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal to provide a safe and accessible off-road route between Great Haywood, Tixall and Milford. Ingestre Orangery Garden will restore key historic features of the Ingestre Hall garden including the Long Walk and yew arches, and the Shugborough Estate Gardens Project will improve the quality of the garden and landscape views. The final project, Revealing Tixall’s Halls will improve understanding of the below-ground archaeology and heritage around Tixall Gatehouse.