Updated - HS2 responds ; South Northamptonshire church festival includes graphic anti-HS2 'installation' among the beautiful floral displays

Beautiful floral displays at a popular church festival held in Chipping Warden were spectacularly upstaged by an installation showing the damaged caused by HS2.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:27 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd July 2021, 1:11 pm
The HS2 installation at the Chipping Warden Church Festival last weekend
The HS2 installation at the Chipping Warden Church Festival last weekend

The village has undergone many months of disruption as the controversial, high-speed railway line is being built yards from its historic homes. Roads have been closed and a by-pass built. Residents say they have suffered constant disturbance to their normal life.

However last weekend, the Arts Festival at St Peter's and St Paul's Church gave voice to the unhappiness of villagers about HS2 when one of the displays was designed to express their discontent with the rail company and the inconvenience around the construction project.

"The HS2 display attracted considerable attention," said commentator Rosy Burke. "This depicted the state of the countryside once taken over by the HS2.

The HS2 installation, showing destroyed vegetation, road signs and other building paraphernalia

"Instead of the green and pleasant land that we all love and cherish dearly, a habitat to all creatures great and small, it was shown as a wasteland full of discarded rubbish with a ridiculous amount of unnecessary signage, discarded bollards and non recyclable waste materials.

"Saving the environment for future generations or a ruinous destruction? Alongside displays of such beauty the horrendous truth was obvious."

An HS2 spokesperson said: "It’s a shame this imaginative display doesn’t reflect the work HS2 is doing to minimise our impact on the landscape. In Chipping Warden, we have delivered a new relief road to cut traffic noise and pollution for residents and we will be putting the line into a tunnel to protect views from the village.

"Once built, HS2 will get people out of cars and off planes and onto trains, helping Britain to fight climate change; but even before HS2 starts operating we are working hard to protect, preserve and enhance Britain’s precious natural environment.”