THE Woodland Trust wants people in North Yorkshire to urge their MP to help protect ancient woodland when planning for Phase 2 of HS2.

Various options are currently being considered for the high-speed rail line, and with afinal announcement is expected in the new year, the Trust believes there is still time to influence the route.

Campaigners say 14 ancient woods and five ancient trees currently lie directly in the path of the proposed Phase 2 route, with a further 21 ancient woods perilously close by.

The Trust’s Oliver Newham said: “Ancient woodland covers just two per cent of the UK and is widely acknowledged to be a nationally important, irreplaceable habitat. Ancient woods are places of inordinate beauty, reservoirs of archaeology and economic history, and a source of inspiration for local culture and folklore.”

Route changes which have been made to protect businesses should also be made to protect irreplacement habitats, he added.