Uncovering the devastating impact of the HS2 rail project on our last remaining ancient woodlands
Watch our latest panel will be live on the HS2 rebellion youtube channel.OUR YOUTUBE
Lost Along The Line is the groundbreaking directorial debut from environmental activists turned filmmakers, which exposes the challenging truth at the heart of the UK's "most sustainable infrastructure project ever"
“The film is excellent , in fact not excellent - brilliant.” - Chris Packham, CBE
“The insanity of HS2 unveiled. Thankyou to @LATL_Film for speaking up for our ancient woodlands.” - Steve Backshall
When destruction began across the UK to make way for the HS2 rail line, wildlife filmmakers joined campaigners to document deforestation not seen in the nation for millennia.
Their journey down the line led to encounters with bats, badgers and foxes, as well as a whole host of dedicated woodland protectors.
Join the team documenting and fighting for the ancient forests that were soon to be lost along the line of HS2.
Writer & Editor
BENJAMIN WARD is a wildlife conservationist with over 4 years experience working in the field with UK species alongside The Wildlife Trusts, particularly in woodland management. Also known as 'Moth Man' he has a passion for moths and believes they can be a 'gateway species' to connect more people with wildlife. Benjamin has been part of a team campaigning to save habitats to be destroyed by HS2.
With experience in wildlife filmmaking, Ben was keen to capture the habitat loss caused by HS2 - a scale of loss he hadn't seen within his country in his lifetime. Once Benjamin realised what he was he was up against, the film Lost Along the Line was born.
Activist & Presenter
CHRIS PACKHAM CBE is a naturalist, nature photographer, television presenter and author, best known for his television work presenting shows including, Springwatch, The Really Wild Show and Nature’s Weirdest Events.
Chris is a passionate campaigner for animal rights and an outspoken critic of the High Speed 2 Rail project. In 2020 he launched a legal challenge to the HS2 project on the grounds that the government was not properly briefed on the extent of irreversible destruction of ancient habitats and woodland that would be caused. Despite not being successful in his challenge Chris continues to fight for a rethink of HS2 - "Winning is not standing outside a courtroom with a smile on our faces. Winning is not giving up."
Director and Cameraman
JIMMY CAPE is a wildlife cameraman with a zoology background and MA in Documentary Film. His work has taken him on remote expeditions across six continents and his footage has been featured in primetime shows for the BBC, NatGeo, AppleTV+, Netflix and others.
A chance encounter by the campfire at Crackley Woods Protection Camp with Benjamin Ward led to a seven day sleepless road trip of non-stop driving and filming in ancient woods all along the line, in what could turn out to be the last chance to record of wildlife in their natural habitats.
Activist & Organiser
INDRA DONFRANCESCO is an ecological and social activist organising for 28 years with Earth First UK, Occupy, Reclaim the Power and Extinction Rebellion. Mother of two daughters and in service to our great Mother.
Indra on HS2: "I love trains. But knowing everything we now know about biodiversity loss, deforestation and climate chaos, I will fight to protect that which no one has the right to destroy. Our small island has a finite ecology that has been privatised, polluted and plundered to near infertility, we are Nature defending itself. All this so an exclusive train can get to an airport 15 minutes faster. It is more than a tragedy, it is ecocide.
Lecturer & Activist
DR LARCH MAXEY is a university lecturer and climate change activist. He holds a PhD in sustainability and has been involved in the fight against the ecological destruction for the last 25 years. After taking sabbatical from his post-doctoral researcher position in 2019 he has worked full time as strategist for XR and is now putting his full attention into the HS2 Rebellion Campaign.
In early 2021 Larch and several other climate activists spent over 27 days in makeshift underground tunnels in Euston Square Gardens, London. At the time of writing Larch is in prison awaiting trail for non-violent protest against the ecocide being caused by HS2’s construction.
KEVIN HAND is a conservationist and environmental consultant. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Ecologists and Environmental Managers and Vice President of the Cambridge Natural History Society.
After becoming aware of the Stop HS2 protest camps Kevin began running training and monitoring sessions This helped local activists better inform the growing team of ecologists, lawyers and others who were volunteering their expertise to ensure Britain’s wildlife laws were not broken by HS2. This in turn led to his discovery of a barbastelle bat roost at Jones Hill Woods (Roald Dahl Woods). As one of the rarest bates in the UK their presence caused felling to be halted for over six months until further survey’s could be conducted.
Dr Larch Maxey
Written and Edited by
Benjamin Ward @m0ff_man
Filmed and Directed by
Jimmy Cape @jimmycape
Talia Woodin @taltakingpics
Research and Artwork
Freya Neighbour @freyaneighbour
Location Assistant & Photography
Dominic Hamilton @dom121
Aflie Warren-Knight www.filmstrikeforclimate.org
Camilo Toston @itsdeparture
Alex Williams @alex_williams92
Sound Recordist & Story Producer
Emily Goldblatt @EmilitaNature
Sam Dyson www.freehousemusic.co.uk/
Tom Campbell www.tomcampbellcamera.co.uk
Eoghan McDonaugh @eoghanmcd
Tom Sweetland @insta_sweetland
Ben Tutton @bentutton
Matt Jarvis @jarvismj
Nina Constable @ninaconstablemedia
Russell Savory www.russellsavory.com/
Mat Larkin www.scotlandbigpicture.com/
Mark Thrushton https://www.youtube.com/user/eyupmate
Matt Jones https://www.youtube.com/user/miterdale
With Special Thanks
Billy Boyd Cape @boydcape
Nick Street www.streetfilms.co.uk
Stand For the Trees
Martin >need second name<
Dr Larch Maxey
Directed and edited by
Benjamin Ward and Jimmy Cape
Director of Photography
B Camera Ops
Sound and Script
With Thanks To
Art and Researcher
HS2 (High Speed 2) is a controversial (1) new rail line that will connect London to the Midlands, via Birmingham, and up north to Scotland via Manchester and Leeds. It’s being built in three phases, and will run at top speeds of 225mph (360 km/h) between London and Birmingham. (2) First given the go-ahead in January 2012 at a cost of £32bn, estimates have since risen to more than £170bn. (3)
In the United Kingdom, an ancient woodland is a woodland that has existed continuously since 1600 or before in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Planting of woodland was uncommon before those dates, so a wood present in 1600 is likely to have developed naturally. Just 2.4% of the UK land is covered in ancient woodland.
- 108 Ancient woodlands, an irreplaceable habitat
- 5 Wildlife refuges of international importance, protected by UK law
- 33 Sites of Special Scientific Interest which are protected by UK law
- 693 Classified Local Wildlife Sites
- 21 Designated Local Nature Reserves
- 4 Nature Improvement Areas awarded £1.7 million of public money
- 22 Living Landscapes – partnership schemes to restore nature
- 18 Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves – many are also designated wildlife sites
- Other irreplaceable habitats such as veteran trees, wood pasture, old meadows
HS2 risks triggering local extinctions of species such as the Dingy skipper butterfly, white-clawed crayfish. Other species at risk include the barn owl, Bechstein’s bat, red kite and willow tit, the UK’s most threatened resident bird. Not only does it reduce their ability to recover populations, but this very negligence is contrary to Government biodiversity policies and international obligations.
HS2 will not cut carbon emissions. According to HS2’s own forecasts, even over 120 years, its overall construction and operation cause carbon emissions of 1.49m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The Department for Transport suggests only 1% of HS2 passengers will be people who have flown, and 4% those who would have driven.
HS2 has congratulated itself for being the 'Biggest environment project in Britain' but unfortunately this is simply greenwashing and their efforts to mitigate the damage fall short of what's needed.
1. Visit HS2 Rebellion website for up to date information on how to support local resistance camps. This can be by bringing food, donating camping equipment or joining the woodland protectors to show solidarity for as little as a few hours.
2. Donate to the crowdfunder to help progress the campaign by funding outreach, media and communications. Without continuing to engage the public and mobilizing new people into action, HS2 will bulldoze through more ancient woodland.
3. Use your own voice online and among friends to spread the word about the environmental damage HS2 is causing.
- Email your local MP or write to Grant Shapps, the Transport Minister
- Share articles, films and photos of destruction on social media using #STOPHS2
- Have discussions with your friends or family
- Become a community ecologist and document any signs of local wildlife crime
- Sign the petition, started by Chris Packham, to stop HS2
4. Get educated on the issue by reading the damning 2020 report by the Wildlife Trusts entitled 'Whats the Damage' for a detailed breakdown of the true impact on biodiversity that will be caused by HS2.
5. Take part in local or national protest against the HS2 project whenever you can and engage in direct action to put pressure on the government and the HS2 contractors to listen to our demands for a rethink of HS2. For information about upcoming events visit HS2 Rebellion and Stop HS2.
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