Anti-High Speed 2 group signs up David Cracknell and Cavendish Communications

A conservation lobby group has brought in dual public affairs firepower to the anti-High Speed 2 campaign.

Chiltern Hills: area of outstanding natural beauty
Chiltern Hills: area of outstanding natural beauty

Conserve the Chilterns and Countryside has appointed Cavendish Communications as well as former Sunday Times political editor David Cracknell to push for 'environmental mitigation' along the £32bn preferred HS2 rail route.

The brief was won following a competitive pitch, as the Government works towards the introduction of the HS2 Hybrid Bill at the end of 2013.

However, CCC has vowed to oppose the preferred route unless the Government puts a more coherent economic case. It has also called for a full bore tunnel to be provided under the Chiltern Hills, which has been classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Cavendish has been brought in to build the group's profile among stakeholders, parliamentarians and within the coalition Government.

Cavendish MD Alex Challoner said: 'HS2 will be devastating, driving a track as wide as a six-lane motorway through the hills, causing irreparable damage to the environment.'

Cracknell quit as political editor at The Sunday Times in 2008 to join City PR firm FD. However, he left that role after just six months and went on to form his own agency, Big Tent Communications.

The pro-HS2 Campaign for High Speed Rail has used Westbourne Communications, while opponents have called on Quiller Consultants.

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