RESEARCH on the animals and wildlife affected by HS2’s route through Warrington will begin this month.

The high speed rail track is planned to cut through Hollins Green, Glazebury and Culcheth, with HS2 Limited starting ecology surveys on the land between the middle of March and the end of June.

But a nature conservation group says the train track will affect bird species on the RSPB’s threatened list.

A spokesman for the high speed rail project said: “HS2 is committed to minimising its impact on the environment and needs to gather ecological information as part of this.

“In March we will start ecology surveys of breeding birds and great crested newts all along the Phase 2b route, which includes areas either side of the route near Warrington.”

Geoff Settle, chairman of Warrington Nature Conservation Forum, said surveyors are likely to find bird species including the corn bunting, cuckoo, lapwing, linnet, skylark, song thrush, willow tit and yellowhammer along the route, which are all on the RSPB’s red list of urgently threatened breeds.

He added: “This part of Warrington is a place where important species live, breed, visit and prosper unlike other areas of the UK.

“The land is not only productive agricultural land but it is a finite resource and already under threat from other developers for housing.

“There has even been a sighting of a deer that stealthily sneaked up behind a member while he was doing a bird survey. Who knows what else is to be discovered?

“We don’t really know yet what impact it might have on other wildlife such as badgers, bats, great crested newts or brown hare but we envisage a great deal of mitigation work will be required to protect them before and during the construction phase.”

After the surveys are carried out, HS2 will mitigate or compensate for the impact on wildlife by creating new habitats and migration paths. for animals.