MUSICIANS in Oxfordshire have produced a song during lockdown about the woodlands being destroyed to make way for the HS2 railway.

The proposed railway has received criticism for the trees that will be cut down to allow its creation.

HS2 is described as a ‘state-of-the-art, high-speed line critical for the UK’s low-carbon transport future’.

The railway from London to Birmingham proposes to increase connectivity and be the low-carbon option for long distance travel.

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However, due to its impact on ancient woodlands, it has faced fierce criticism.

Laura Middleton wrote the song, titled ‘Unnamed - a lament for ancient woodlands’, after finding a list of woodlands online.

The Eynsham resident said: “I’ve always been interested in singing and I got started thinking about writing a song about all the trees being lost to HS2.

“I started doing a bit of research and found a list of all the woodlands.

“Seeing all the names felt like a good way to put together a song.

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“I wanted to get the song out there during lockdown and get it out in the world.

“It’s an awareness thing, understandably everyone is caught up in Covid-19, and this has gone under the radar.”

The 50-year-old then shared the song with friend Rachel Fox.

Mrs Fox, 64, from Finstock, said: “Laura was talking passionately about HS2 and had found this list online.

“We’d come together prior to lockdown and were well into getting it together and then lockdown happened.

“After that, we knew it wasn’t good to meet so that’s when I got in touch with Helen [Graham] who got hold of it like a dog with a bone.”

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Mrs Fox and Mrs Graham grew up together and used to make music during their teenage years in Stonesfield.

The duo learnt to play guitar together and remained in touch when Mrs Graham left West Oxfordshire in 1976.

Mrs Graham, 62, mixed the tracks together and produced the final video.

She said: “I got all the recordings from mobile phones and used GarageBand to tidy them up.

“It was quite a challenge to put it together and polish it all out, it took the best part of a week.

“It’s really heartfelt and struck a note with me as a lot of people are going to want to lament these woodlands.”

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An HS2 spokesperson said: “Our published assessments state that just 62 of 52,000 ancient woodlands in England will be affected by HS2’s full route - not 108 as claimed in this video.

“On Phase One of the route, 32 ancient woodlands are described as affected, but in 19 of these the total area of loss is less than one hectare.

“By providing a cleaner, greener way to travel, HS2 will help cut the number of cars and lorries on our roads, cut demand for domestic flights, and help the country’s move to a net zero carbon economy.

“We’d urge all green groups to help us in getting people out of their cars, off planes and onto low-carbon, high speed rail.”

The song was released on YouTube and can be listened to at: