Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal

Paul Mobbs’ photographic record of his walks around ‘Banburyshire’ and ‘The Irondowns’, and occasionally, as part of his work around Britain, the areas beyond.

‘Last Chance (HS)To See’ – Scene 19:

‘Chilterns Tunnel Portal, Frith Hill’

Enjoying the birdsong near Bury Farm at the end of the ‘Chilterns Tunnel’

18th May 2018

Directly out of Great Missenden, walking up Frith Hill, the footpath eventually levels out and you arrive at a patch of woodland which covers some old earthworks. This is where HS2 emerges form the Chiltern Tunnel into a cutting on its route north. To 'protect' the earthworks and woodland, the small farm track around edge of the woodland marks the edge of the excavations for HS2.

The image above looks northwest down what will be the cutting. The panorama below looks across what will become the tunnel portal.

A recording of the May birdsong from the edge of the woods in this location is available in the soundscapes page.

The top of this hill is flat, which doesn't give a very good view; and the view isn't enhanced by the pylons anyway.

What makes this location valued is its relative transquility, isolated by elevation from the road and urban noise. The woodland and its fringe is alive not only with birds, but with the hum of insects. That's an ever rarer thing in the south east generally, and that's the one thing that the tunnel portal development will definitely take, irrespective of efforts taken to landscape the scene and to protect the woodland and the earthworks.

Chilterns Tunnel Portal, Frith Hill

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