CHESHIRE Wildlife Trust has breathed a "sigh of relief" after the scrapping of HS2.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced today that they would be axing the northern leg of the high-speed rail network.

This news has been welcomed by the wildlife trust, who say the project would have destroyed the county's countryside. 

"A collective sigh of relief for nature and wildlife in Cheshire," read a statement shared on CWT's social media.

"The cancellation of HS2 in Cheshire will save countless trees, hedgerows, farmland birds, water voles and wild places across our region.

"The price nature has paid in the south has been immense, and there is relief that the destruction, like that seen at Calvert Jubilee Nature Reserve in Buckinghamshire, will not be seen this far north."

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The Prime Minister has promised to invest "every single penny" saved by cancelling HS2, which he says is worth around £36 billion.

This money will be spent on "hundreds" of new transport projects in the North, the Midlands, and across the country.

CWT has said it will continue to work to ensure any such projects are environmentally responsible.

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Jo Darlington, acting CEO of CWT, added: "Cheshire and Manchester need sustainable transport solutions to tackle the climate crisis.

"So, our attention now shifts to ensuring future projects can regenerate our cities, increase access to nature and connect our landscapes without causing irreversible environmental damage on a scale never seen before in this country.

"Green bridges, ambitious habitat restoration and better access to nature for all must be at the heart of future projects.

"We need our political leaders to deliver projects that work for the climate, people and wildlife."