THE construction of the HS2 high speed railway across the Chilterns is now beginning to make itself felt.
This week Chiltern Society photographer Keith Hoffmeister managed to get up in the air to see the impact HS2 is already having on the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
This, of course, is only the beginning. So far the contractors are concentrating on the ventilation shafts and the Chilterns tunnel entrances near Denham and South Heath.
The real work starts when the two giant tunnel boring machines begin their ten mile, three year dig later this month, extracting billions of tons of chalk spoil.
This week Buckinghamshire Council, the Chilterns Conservation Board and the Chiltern Society all expressed “deep concern” that the tunnelling could disrupt water courses and water supplies in the area. The Environment Agency has yet to give HS2 permission to begin its drilling.
Initial work is also underway on the two mile viaduct over the Colne Valley Regional Park near Denham, a one mile cut and cover “green” tunnel near Wendover and a viaduct that will cross the Aylesbury to Amersham Road at Wendover.
Meanwhile archaeologists have been working this week on the site of the former eleventh century church, St Mary’s in Stoke Mandeville, which is on the route of the high speed railway. Later this spring around 3,000 bodies will be removed from the churchyard and reburied elsewhere. The bodies were interred over a 900 year period.
Pictures courtesy of Keith Hoffmeister, Chiltern Society.