Anglican vicar chaining herself to London tree to fight HS2 green destruction

An Anglican vicar will chain herself to a tree today outside London's Euston station, as part of a protest against the clearing of more than 200 trees planned to make way for the controversial HS2 rail network.

Anne Stevens, the Vicar of St Pancras Church, central London, will be tied by a 10-metre chain to one of the trees in Euston Square Gardens earmarked for felling, according to The Guardian.

Development and construction for HS2, the UK's divisive high-speed rail project, is expected to require more than ten years of disruption in affected areas, including pollution, increased traffic and the destruction of hundreds of homes.

N ChadwickEuston Square Gardens in central London.

The Euston Square Gardens area has been designated as a temporary construction site for the HS2 development at Euston. The hundreds of trees targeted including many more than a hundred years old, and several giant London plane trees, the common urban tree species known for its resistance to pollution. Protesters are keen to save the small park space in an otherwise highly polluted and urbanised part of the city.

'We won't have a single tree cleaning up the air or providing green space and shade in this part of central London,' St Pancras church warden Dorothea Hackman. The church has invited participants in the anti-HS2 protest, taking place at 12 noon today. The site is due to be fenced off on Monday.

Hackman added: She said: 'It is incomprehensible that the government is ignoring all the evidence that shows that this is nothing more than a devastating waste of over £100bn of taxpayers' money, while the country is crippled by debt and austerity.'

The HS2 network is set to connect London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester with unprecedented high-speed rail.

A HS2 spokesperson said: 'We recognise the importance of the trees and gardens around Euston to people living and working near the station and we are working with London borough of Camden to ensure that all trees lost during construction are replaced and other open spaces in the local community are enhanced.'