STOURBRIDGE’S own Warrior Queen is waiting to hear if she will face court after spending ten days living in a tree outside the House of Commons.

Fellow members of the group campaigning against the HS2 train line have dubbed their friend Athena, the goddess of warriors and wisdom.

Athena – she has asked that her real name be withheld – is a 22-year-old former Haybridge High School and King Edward VI College pupil from the Blakedown area.

But she is spending much of her time living in or climbing trees as part of the campaign to halt the HS2 high speed rail project from London to the Midlands and beyond.

In fact, when the Stourbridge News rang her she was sitting on a tripod, one of many used to ‘blockade’ a HS2 contractors site on the route just outside London.

She is currently waiting to hear if she will be charged with breaking London bylaws after spending her ten days living in a tree in Parliament Square alongside Extinction Rebellion activists demanding the government fast tracks climate legislation.

Living up a tree is uncomfortable and challenging at the best of times, says Athena, but got worse when police tried to stop food and drink to the protesters. That failed to work when members of the public started throwing it to them.

Athena was arrested when she finally came down and released while a decision is made on charges.

In the meantime she is back campaigning on the HS2 route.

They are far from her original plans. After leaving school she had decided to delay university to go travelling the world, but got ‘trapped by the coronavirus’ in Britain on a break before returning to Australia.

Instead she came into contact with a friend who was involved in the HS2 and general climate change battle and Athena now sees that as the most important thing and has no plans other than to keep on fighting – and climbing.

“HS2 will destroy 108 ancient woodlands, 693 protected wildlife sites and we just cannot afford the £106 billion in a pandemic.

“We have such a small amount of time to reverse the changes happening in the environment.

“I’m scared for my future and my little brother’s future.

“I’m lucky to be in the privileged position of being able to be an environmental; campaigner, and that’s what I’m doing.

“I’ve met some amazing people but this is not fun, it’s difficult. But we need a better future.”