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Either Lower Thames Crossing option would cause ‘irreversible damage’ to ancient woodland warns Woodland Trust

PUBLISHED: 11:52 15 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:52 15 March 2016

Option C Lower Thames Crossing south side

Option C Lower Thames Crossing south side

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Five areas of ancient woodland could be at risk

Both routes proposed by Highways England for Option C of the Lower Thames Crossing could cause damage to “irreplaceable” ancient woodland according to the Woodland Trust.

The trust, which was set up to help protect forested areas across the country, claims “irreversible damage” would be done to up to five areas of woodland.

The ongoing consultation is consulting on two potential routes, the eastern southern link and the western southern link, both of which would lead to a bored tunnel east of Gravesend.

Oliver Newham, lead campaigner at the trust said: ““Yet again irreplaceable ancient woodland is considered dispensable in a major construction project. Surveys show these woods are incredibly valuable; home to badgers, rare orchids and all three species of woodpecker which breed in the UK.

“It also highlights a further flaw in the planning process, with one proposal set to result in the loss of the very woodland planted to compensate for destruction of a previous ancient woodland – you couldn’t make it up.”

The consultation ends on March 24.

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