HS2 has revealed new designs for the ‘green tunnel’ at Burton Green and Kenilworth Greenway.
They include environmental features such as tree planting, new footpaths and connections to local woods.
Since receiving community feedback in November 2019, HS2’s contractor Balfour Beatty Vinci has been working with the local authorities to develop the detailed design of the HS2 route through Burton Green.
The controversial high-speed rail line will travel through the area in a 400-metre green tunnel which will see landscaping over and around the tunnel.
New designs show how the roof of the tunnel will aim to integrate with the existing landscape.
And there will also be a realignment of the Kenilworth Greenway, which provides a link from Burton Green to Kenilworth and Berkswell for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.
The planting of native trees and shrubs will provide habitats for wildlife while also aiming to shield the Greenway visibly from the new railway. The work will also re-establish connections to Black Waste Wood and Little Poors Wood.
Steve Fancourt, HS2’s senior landscape design manager said: “As we work to deliver Britain’s new high-speed railway, we are presented with an unrivalled opportunity to leave behind a lasting, positive legacy for communities.
“Our designs show how we will ‘drape’ the landscape over the tunnel by placing soil to conceal the tunnel roof to support new native woodland planting, reconnected wildlife corridors and new public footpaths.
“New ecological features such as wildflower species found locally, and bat and bird boxes will create bigger and better wildlife habitats.”
Shaun Ruffles, landscape design director at Mott Macdonald, Balfour Beatty Vinci’s design partner, said they recognised the importance of green space around HS2.
He added: “By working with residents and authorities, we are committed to conserving, enhancing and transforming the landscape in Warwickshire for local people and wildlife to enjoy for many years to come.
“The design for the permanent realignment for the Kenilworth Greenway and the landscape infrastructure created over the green tunnel is central to how we deliver this, linking the local community and HS2 project with the wider landscape.”
The south tunnel portal and the portal services building will be built in a bowl-shaped landscape, planted with trees and shrubs so as to not be so easily visible from the surrounding area.
The portal building, which provides emergency access to the tunnel, will also have a green roof to increase biodiversity and integrate it with the surrounding landscape.
While the line is being built, HS2 has created a temporary route for the Kenilworth Greenway for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, which starts at the site of the new Burton Green Village Hall and then follows the existing field boundaries linking with Berkswell Station.
People can sign up for community engagement face to face events in Burton Green on March 8 (burton-green-tunnel-design-event-1.eventbrite.co.uk) and March 10 (burton-green-tunnel-design-event-2.eventbrite.co.uk).
There will also be an online webinar on March 15 (www.hs2.org.uk/events/burton-green-tunnel-design-webinar/).