Napton girl gives emotive recital of poem in defiance against HS2 'monster train' coming through Cubbington wood

Filmmaker Joe Harvey and his daughter Evelyn at South Cubbington Wood.
Filmmaker Joe Harvey and his daughter Evelyn at South Cubbington Wood.

Stop HS2 campaigners have been 'moved to tears' by a Napton schoolgirl's recital of a poem used on a video to highlight the impact the high-speed rail project will have on Cubbington wood and other parts of the countryside along the line.

Seven-year-old Evelyn Harvey's reading of poem The Monster Train features on a short video created by her filmmaker father Joe for his friends who are part of the Stop HS2 movement.

The video, which includes aerial footage of the woodland and shots from the camp set up by protesters, has been posted on the Stop HS2 group's Facebook page.

The post has been viewed more than 30,000 times and shared by almost 800 users.

Joe said: "When I speak to Evelyn about it she gets really upset that so many trees will be cut down and the effect HS2 will have on the wildlife in the wood.

"I thought having her read the poem and having a young person's voice on the video would have a strong impact and that's obviously been the case."

Joe and Evelyn attended an event held at the wood on Sunday which was aimed at raising people's awareness of what will be lost if, as expected, the HS2 works proceed.

Children left messages on, and tied red ribbons around, trees and enjoyed activities such as toasting marshmallows on a camp fire and tree climbing.

Lizzie Williams, a founder of Stop HS2 who lives in Worcester, wrote the poem for a Halloween Parade and for campaigners along the line.

She said: "I wanted children who will be affected by HS2 to have some inspiration.

"HS2 is like a monster to them but I wanted to show them that they can do something about it and that they can stand up against it.

"When I heard Evelyn's recital I was in tears - it was very moving.

"It shows that we need to stop this monster not just for our children but for their children as well."

National newspaper The Times has reported that it has seen a draft report into the Oakervee review and that the document "recommends that ministers proceed with the full Y-shaped line as it stands, connecting London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds".

Stop HS2 have reacted angrily to this, describing the report as "a whitewash" and expressed concerns over the "spiralling cost of the project".