HS2: Farmers’ lives are on the line

The NFU and CLA are stepping up campaigns to help farm businesses that will be severely affected by HS2. As well as delivering petitions to Government highlighting their concerns about the HS2 Hybrid Bill- including compensation for landowners and the amount of land taken out of production for environmental mitigation-the NFU is gathering personal stories from those whose livelihoods will be destroyed.

Mike and Linda Wood, who will lose 170 of their 206 acres and a 300-year-old house, are devastated that HS2 is putting their business at Portways Farm, Buckinghamshire, in jeopardy. ‘The compensation will not make up for the work we’ve put into this business,’ says Mr Wood.

In Staffordshire, John and Rosemary Barnes will have to make another life as the planned route will obliterate 15 out of 19 buildings at Packington Moor Farm, Lichfield. ‘We have 200 sheep, 450 acres of cereals, a wedding venue, a farm shop and a cafe. HS2 will cut our farm in half and the bulk of it will be demolished, as will my son’s house,’ says Mr Barnes.

The CLA has also submitted an 18- point petition to Parliament. ‘We are fighting for a duty of care for those suffering land take,’ says president Henry Robinson. Like the NFU, the CLA is seeking a better compensation system. ‘Various voluntary schemes proposed by the Government address only a portion of those affected, leaving others to shoulder the financial loss,’ warns Mr Robinson.

* Follow Country Life on Twitter

* Subscribe to Country Life and save