Eco-warriors ‘risk lives’ digging tunnel to stop being evicted from HS2 protest camp

ECO warriors have risked their lives to dig a "dangerous" 100ft tunnel to stop being evicted from an HS2 protest camp.

The brazen mob set up camp in trees outside the busy station in September to protest against the £106bn rail scheme.


They claim their tunnel – nicknamed Calvin, and near the busy Euston Road -took two months to dig and is their "best defence" against eviction.

But one 18-year-old protester called Blue admitted to the BBC: "It is all very dangerous and life-threatening, but it is all worth it.

"This is the only way I can effect change, I would sacrifice everything for the climate ecological emergency to not be happening.

"We want to be as safe as possible. It is not about us martyring ourselves, it is about delaying and stopping HS2."

TUNNEL VISION

An HS2 Rebellion spokesman said members "worked around the clock, using pickaxes, shovels, buckets, and shifts of 2-12 people at a time" to dig the tunnel.

Shocking footage shows group members showing off the makeshift tunnel shaft with a wooden ladder leading underground.

Flimsy wooden posts are seen propping up tonnes of earth in the subterranean lair, right in the heart of central London.

One hippy in a head lamp boasts the tunnel goes off"in all sorts of directions".

A young protester seen squeezing through a tiny gap in the makeshift shoring admits "it's quite tight to get through".


Another man in a high-viz jacket admits: "The shoring up is reallyimportant to keep us safe."

One of the tunnel burrowers says hopefully: "We've made it as safe as we can, I think" as they shovel earth with a spade.

The group claims HS2 is the "most expensive, wasteful and destructive project in UK history".

They say the project will "destroy or irreparably damage 108 ancient woodlands and 693 wildlife sites".

It is all very dangerous and life-threatening, but it is all worth it.

HS2 bosses insist seven million trees will be planted during phase one of the project and most ancient woodland will "remain intact".

A spokesman for HS2 said the tunnel protests were “costly to the taxpayer”.

They added: “These are a danger to the safety of the protesters, HS2 staff, High Court enforcement officers and the general public, as well as putting unnecessary strain on the emergency services during the pandemic.


“Safety is our first priority when taking possession of land and removing illegal encampments.”

The Met Police said no complaint has been made.

HS2 is set to link London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds with the hope the 20-year project will result reduce rail passenger overcrowding and boost the UK’s economy.

HS2 Rebellion claim the project is too expensive and will destroy 108 ancient woodlands and 693 wildlife sites.

Project managers have said seven million trees will be planted and that much ancient woodland will “remain intact”.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told MPs in September that the first phase of the high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham would not open until 2028 at the earliest.

The second phase, to Manchester and Leeds, was due to open in 2032-33 but that has been pushed back to 2035-40.


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