THE proprietors of an award-winning stud on the outskirts of Knutsford have said they are in ‘limbo’ after the announcement of the proposed £33 billion HS2 rail line.

Pickmere Stud owners Pat Mather and John Keleher were left devastated when news broke last Monday that the proposed route of the HS2 high speed rail link would take it directly through their business.

The stud was founded by Pat in 1975 on her father’s farm, and has been successful in breeding riding ponies and show hacks, including many county champions.

“It was a total shock as we didn’t know anything about it,” John said.

“It will be going straight through our land and 20 yards from the house. We’re now in limbo for three years, because it will take that long to go through Parliament and we don’t qualify for moving before then under the hardship scheme, but we wouldn’t want to anyway.

“We’re stuck here without knowing how long we’ve got. I honestly don’t believe the line is worth it and in terms of jobs, 10 will go from here.

“It will also be one of the biggest environmental catastrophes this country has ever seen.”

Pat added: “I am just numb – it is like a nightmare.

“There has been a farm here for well over 100 years and my late father bought it over 60 years ago.

“It’s my home and I may have to lose it just because the Government thinks it important for some people to get from London to Manchester 58 minutes quicker.”

The business partners have set up a petition in the hope of garnering as much support as possible in a bid to stop the line from being built.

“Our MP (George Osborne) and both borough councils in Cheshire are for it, while down south the MPs are fighting it,” he said.

“He was elected to represent us but he’s not doing so.

“We’re hoping our councillor Steve Wilkinson will help us because we want to present a reasonable, rational response to stop this.

“We don’t want anyone chaining themselves to gates or railway lines – there has to be a proper opposition to it.”