Project Background

Phase 1 of HS2, a new high-speed railway network to connect major cities in England, will provide services between London, Birmingham and the West Midlands and will extend for about 143 miles.

An FCC Environment waste transfer facility and associated railway sidings are located close to the village of Calvert, Buckinghamshire. The sidings are used to transfer waste from the Aylesbury Link railway line to an adjacent landfill and FCC Environment’s Greatmoor energy-from-waste facility. Constructing HS2 requires relocation of the waste transfer facility and the sidings to the eastern side of the Aylesbury Link.

To facilitate construction of the new HS2 tracks and the new railway sidings, the existing 11-kV overhead line needed to be diverted and replaced underground. Working closely with Western Power Distribution and RSK’s ecology and environmental impact assessment, planning and design teams, RSK Habitat Management carried out a wide variety of ecological mitigation work to facilitate undergrounding of the new cable and the associated horizontal directional drilling and open-cut trenching.

Actions taken

RSK Habitat Management:

  • Installed 447 m of semipermanent and temporary amphibian fencing at the old Calvert substation to aid a great crested newt translocation exercise
  • Fabricated and installed three 3.5-m newt grids at the worksite access points
  • Installed two metal field gates
  • Mechanically cleared 32 mature poplar trees using a 21-t excavator and a tree shear
  • Processed and extracted timber to the landowner’s facility
  • Grubbed up and processed stumps using a whole tree mulcher
  • Sided-up and crown-lifted 400 m of hedgerow and mature trees cut back three visibility splays at site entrances
  • Cut back 3 km of roadside hedgerows and verges to maintain visibility and prevent hedgerow slumping.


Working closely with other RSK colleagues, RSK Habitat Management provided a turnkey approach for Western Power Distribution to undertaking the necessary consulting and contracting works.
Our collaborative approach ensured that we were able to meet Western Power Distribution’s tight programme and prevented any costly programme delays.

“RSK Habitat Management was of huge help on this project. They provided a prompt, high-quality service and were always on hand to deal with any issues as they arose. I would not hesitate to use them on my other projects.”

David O’Brien, project manager, Western Power Distribution

Contact for more information

To learn more, contact Dan Thomas, Managing Director of RSK Habitat Management at or call 07467 482 394.