The Chiltern tunnel is a subsection of the wider High-Speed Train Two (HS2) project that has sparked controversy across the UK for the last decade. In recent years the Chiltern tunnel has begun construction, slicing through a number of towns and the unique countryside around them, notably Great Missenden, Chesham and Denham. Over the last 3 years, every day on my school journey I have witnessed the gradual but impressive development of an engineering marvel in Denham; a towering web of red metal beams suspended on a curving concrete bridge finished with a string a glowing lights that makes for a stunning sight once the sun has set. But is it enough for the destruction it’s caused? The ripping apart of miles upon miles spawling fields and nature that provides a home for wildlife and ultimately home for the people of the Chilterns.

If you have seen the project in action, particularly in Denham its innovation and engineering impressiveness is undeniable. Admittedly its structural size plays a part in this but in my eyes the size of the effort on this project is more admirable. Over the last 3 years I have been able to appreciate the huge number of workers that have worked 9-5 everyday in the construction of the Denham bridge alone and the masses of resources that have been thrown into creating this national transport link. To give you an idea of the masses of thought, planning, resources and time that has gone into this project each digging machine used to create the tunnel has been custom made to suit the geology of the Chilterns with these machines excavating 2.7 million cubic meters of material in the construction process.

Whilst the project is impressive, and its goal is logical its environmental impacts are extensive. In Denham and Harefield, the lake which was home to water sports centre HOAK has been disrupted by HS2. Consequently, HOAK have had to relocate and are yet to find a new home furthermore, the lake has now become vulnerable to noise pollution and fume pollution that will drive animals out their habitats. The environmental impacts are detrimental and ultimately in my opinion can’t be made up for by the shiny lights that cover up the truth of HS2; its destructive.