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Aerial view of Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire

Trent Sow Parklands and Cannock Chase AONB HS2 Group

“Conserving and enhancing the area’s special character and qualities to provide lasting benefit for its communities”

The Trent Sow Parklands and Cannock Chase AONB HS2 Group is an independent body working with HS2, focused on the area where HS2 will cross the Trent valley north of Great Haywood. The Group is grateful to the Cannock Chase AONB Partnership for hosting their web presence on the AONB’s website. Map of area Click the map to view a larger size


This area contains the washlands at the confluence of the rivers Trent and Sow; the historic designed landscapes of Shugborough, Ingestre and Tixall; 18th and 19th century transport infrastructure; the conservation areas of The Trent and Mersey Canal; Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal; Ingestre, Tixall, Great Haywood and Shugborough, and Colwich and Little Haywood; together with numerous listed buildings, scheduled monuments and environmental designations. Part of this landscape is in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the remainder is an important part of the AONB’s setting. 

The Group

The Trent-Sow Parklands and Cannock Chase AONB HS2 Group – ‘the Review Group’ – was established in 2018 during the passage of the HS2 Phase 2a Bill through Parliament. This followed the approval of a proposal put to the HS2 Select Committee by the National Trust on behalf of the Group’s members. The Group exists because its members, including HS2, recognise the particular significance of this area: its rich historic and natural environment, landscape beauty and value to local communities and those from further afield.


The Group’s Members:

Staffordshire County Council
Cannock Chase AONB Partnership
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
Natural England
Historic England
The Canal & River Trust
The Inland Waterways Association
The Landmark Trust
National Trust
High Speed Two
The Review Group was formed to assist HS2 in achieving a high quality of design for key design elements and mitigation measures. The group has been very active during 2019 and continues to be so in 2020 and meets regularly to carry out its three roles:

Developing Design Principles

The Group has developed a set of general and detailed design principles that can be applied to HS2’s works in the area with the aim of achieving exemplary landscape and viaduct design. HS2 will pass these to the contractor designing the railway and viaduct as part of their instruction.

Advising on and Responding to Designs

As the actual designs of the HS2 Great Haywood Viaduct, Ingestre Green Overbridge, landscape earthworks and planting in the area emerge, the Group will have the opportunity to respond to them, advising on how to achieve the best and most locally appropriate design for the area. This is separate from and additional to the statutory role some of its members have in the planning process.

Funding Environmental Enhancement Projects

The Group has been awarded £1.5 million to spend on projects that conserve and enhance this area’s special qualities. Following consultation with local residents, parish councils and local groups, the Group is drawing up a programme of environmental improvement projects in the local area focused on the themes of: Landscape; Historic Environment; Biodiversity; Access, Enjoyment and Connectivity; and Community.



Find out more

If you would like to find out more, please contact the Group’s Project Manager, Sam Caraway: