CAMPAIGNERS walked eight miles this morning to protest against the planned high speed rail route which they say will “destroy the Chilterns”.

About 75 walkers took on the eight miles from Amersham to Great Missenden stopping about a mile into the walk at where the railway tunnel would come out.

Organised by the Chiltern Society, protesters stood across the approximate 100m width of the proposed tunnel to show the extent of the impact the railway would have on the Misbourne Valley.

Organiser Carol Rainsford, 60, from South Heath said: “People want to say no and put their point over. This will be gone.

“We want to say don't ruin the Chilterns. Don't destroy the Chilterns.”

The preferred route for the project, known as HS2, between London and Birmingham would cut through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in a series of cuttings and go in a tunnel underneath Amersham and the Chalfonts.

Lindsay MacDonald, 60, from Little Kingshill said: “ We were rather expecting the new government would postpone or at least review the plan for HS2- both because of the excessive cost and environmental impact.”

He said scrapping the plan would be an “immediate way” for the government to save billions of pounds before the spending review next month.

The project announced by the Department for Transport earlier this year has caused outrage in the county with many campaign groups being set up.

Maggie Lorimer, 46, from South Heath said: “We need to keep the momentum up. HS2 is going to destroy the Chiltern countryside.”

Walkers were asked to raise money for Chiltern Society’s fighting fund against HS2.