Four HS2 protesters evicted at Buckinghamshire camp

·3-min read

Four protesters have been evicted from a camp set up by environmental activists opposed to HS2.

An eviction, which is expected to take weeks, began at Wendover Active Resistance (WAR) camp in Buckinghamshire on Sunday morning.

A spokeswoman for the protesters, who have been digging an underground tunnel, said four people had been evicted so far, while a fifth person left voluntarily.

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Environmental activists opposed to HS2 are evicted from the camp (Lachlan Macrae/PA)

The activists said bailiffs face tunnels, tree houses, a cage, and a 15m high tower on the site.

It is not known exactly how many protesters are still there, but they include Dan Hooper, 48, also known as “Swampy”, who was among climate change protesters who had charges against them dropped last week after they occupied tunnels near Euston Station.

Mr Hooper said the eviction has been “quite chilled” so far, telling the PA news agency: “The bailiffs came in quite quick and tried to break into the tower but then they realised that it was dangerous to do that.”

He said they were “poking around” and sorted the air supply.

“We’ve got a good rapport with the tunnel eviction team. We’re just basically digging while we’ve still got the upper ground,” Mr Hooper said.

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An environmental activist in a tunnel at the camp (Satchel/PA)

He said the eviction will not come to a quick conclusion, but expects to be out by the end of the year.

“They’ll probably get us out before Christmas I would imagine. One of the bailiffs keeps joking about us being there at Christmas, but I would imagine they will probably have us out before Christmas.

“I’d probably be in a lot of trouble with my family if I’m not there for Christmas,” he said.

Mr Hooper added: “We could be here for quite a while I think. It’s definitely not going to be quick.”

The camp is on a narrow area of land between the A413 and the local Chiltern railway line south of Wendover.

Heading north, the HS2 line will pass over the road and railway on a low viaduct before entering a tunnel to pass to the west of the village.

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The Wendover camp (Satchel/PA)

An HS2 spokesman said: “HS2 has a legal right to possession of this land which is needed for the safe construction of the railway.

“We are currently working to safely remove a number of illegal trespassers who have put themselves into dangerous positions.

“Their irresponsible actions are wasting public money, putting our staff at risk and putting unnecessary strain on the emergency services.

“The construction of HS2 is playing a vital role in Britain’s economic recovery from Covid-19, with over 20,000 people already working on the project and tens of thousands of additional jobs supported through our supply chain.

“We urge everyone who cares about our natural environment to support a project that is providing work across the UK today, and in the future will get people out of cars, off planes and onto low carbon rail travel.”

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