RSPB urges EDF to “Love Minsmere” as Sizewell C public consultation begins

Rupert Masefield

Thursday 3 January 2019

The RSPB is calling on energy giant EDF to protect Minsmere from harm as they develop proposals for a new nuclear power plant next to the renowned nature reserve.

  • The third and final public consultation on EDF’s Sizewell C proposals launches on 4 January 2019 and will last 12 weeks.

  • Sizewell C has the potential to significantly impact on wildlife and visitors to the RSPB’s famous Minsmere nature reserve, which lies immediately to the north of the proposed site for the new nuclear plant.

  • People who know and love Minsmere can support the RSPB’s call for EDF to protect the reserve by responding to the consultation via loveminsmere.org

The RSPB is calling on EDF to

  1. Make a public commitment to protect Minsmere from any potential harm in the development of Sizewell C.

  2. Fully assess the impact that Sizewell C could have on Minsmere's habitats and wildlife.

  3. Publish a clear plan outlining how EDF will address any potential impacts of Sizewell C on Minsmere.

As the third and final public consultation on the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant opens on 4 January, the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, the RSPB, is calling on developer EDF to make a clear commitment to protecting Minsmere nature reserve from potential harm as a result of the development.

Minsmere, on the Suffolk Coast, is one of the RSPB’s flagship nature reserves and one of the most important wildlife sites in Europe. With more than 5,000 different species recorded on the site, it is also one of the most wildlife-rich nature reserves in the UK.

Some of the UK’s rarest birds, such as marsh harriers and bitterns, have only avoided extinction in the UK after surviving in Minsmere’s reedbeds, and avocets – the bird that appears on the RSPB’s logo – started breeding again in the UK at Minsmere in 1947 after an absence of more than 100 years.

The RSPB is concerned that EDF’s proposals for a new nuclear power plant immediately adjacent to Minsmere have the potential to significantly impact on the reserve’s wildlife, as well as the experience of visitors to the iconic site, and is calling on EDF to take steps to ensure its proposals protect Minsmere and its precious habitats and rare wildlife.

Adam Rowlands, the RSPB’s Suffolk Area Manager, said: “Minsmere is a very special and important place for wildlife, loved by the tens of thousands of people who visit the reserve each year from around the UK and abroad.

“After raising concerns about the potential impact EDF’s Sizewell C proposals could have on the reserve in two previous rounds of public consultation, we feel the time is right to ask EDF to demonstrate that they are taking our concerns seriously, by seeking a public commitment from EDF to protect Minsmere and to publish plans for how their proposals will do this.

“This is the final round of public consultation before EDF submit their proposals, and as such it is the last chance to ask them to keep Minsmere safe.

“We will review any new information about the potential environmental impacts of Sizewell C before responding to the Stage 3 consultation. In the meantime, I hope that people who know and love Minsmere will join us in calling on EDF to protect it.”

The RSPB’s chief concerns about EDF’s Sizewell C proposals are:

  • The impact of noise and artificial light from such a massive contruction on rare wildlife that is very sensitive to such disturbance, particularly marsh harriers - one of the UK's rarest birds.
  • The impact on RSPB's ability to manage water levels on the reserve, that is vital for managing the reedbeds and other freshwater habitats that are home to rare wildlife like otters, bitterns and avocets.
  • The potential erosion of Minsmere's coastline, which could accelerate when you build new coastal structures. This could pose a significant threat to Minsmere's special freshwater and coastal wildlife.

Love Minsmere

  • Take action to help protect it from harm by Sizewell C by asking EDF to love Minsmere too. Visit loveminsmere.org to add your support.

  • Find out more about the RSPB’s position on Sizewell C and how we are engaging with the proposals at rspb.org.uk/sizewellc

  • Support #loveminsmere on Twitter and Facebook

Contact

Coast on a stormy day

Rupert Masefield

Communications Officer, Eastern England region

rupert.masefield@rspb.org.uk
01603 697595
Tagged with: Country: England Country: UK Topic: Campaigns Topic: Conservation Topic: Reserves Topic: Site conservation Topic: Transport and energy