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Topical Tuesdays from The Week Junior – Animals and the environment


This week's story is about how the HS2 rail line could cause permanent damage to England’s natural habitats and wildlife, according to a recent report.

HS2 is a high-speed train link that is planned to run between London and the West Midlands, then up to Manchester and Leeds.

The project, which could cost £106 billion or more, has been criticised by experts who have been gathering information for the Government about whether it should go ahead.

It reports that the route will damage five internationally protected wildlife sites, 693 local wildlife sites and 108 ancient woodlands, among other places of special scientific interest.

It will put several species at risk of extinction, including barn owls, rare bats and the dingy skipper butterfly.

This PDF resource includes this article, as well as accompanying activity ideas:

  • The HS2 is designed to help the northern areas of our country prosper. But is it worth the cost, both financially and environmentally? Or is this just a big fuss about nothing? Surely, a rail line cuts a comparatively narrow path through the countryside. What do you think?
  • Write a personal recount of an encounter you have had with local wildlife. It might have been a visit to local woods or a park, or perhaps a time when you came face to face with a particular animal
  • Read the poem Daffodils by William Wordsworth. Write your own version (of the first verse, at least) based on a natural scene that has inspired you.
  • Research at least three animals that live wild near you. Write a fact file for each one, covering key details such as size, appearance, diet, behaviour and reproduction.

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See the whole range of free Topical Tuesday resources here.