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Anti-HS2 protesters appear in court over attempts to thwart felling of 200-year-old oak tree

SEVEN anti-HS2 protesters appeared in court today on charges of aggravated trespass after attempting to stop a 200-year-old oak tree from being felled. 

The women were arrested on June 3 last year after they sat under the tree in Poors Piece wood, near Steeple Claydon village, Buckinghamshire.

Campaigners suspected that bats were roosting in the ancient tree, making the felling illegal, they argued, and that it was outside HS2’s boundaries. 

Large numbers of trees in the area have been cut down to make way for the high-speed rail line, which has already created a large number of unionised jobs as Europe’s biggest infrastructure project.

The women’s action resulted in the tree being spared that day, but it was cut down later in the year.

One of the defendants, Imogen, who appeared at Milton Keynes magistrates’ court on Monday, said: “Since our arrest, so much has been taken — so many trees, so much biodiversity loss, so many arrests (but so few prosecutions) … but still HS2 continues.

“In the face of climate crisis, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our children, our communities and the planet.”

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