Love Minsmere campaign passes total responses to previous Sizewell C consultations in first week
More than 1,400 people have joined the RSPB’s call for EDF to make public promise to keep famous nature reserve safe from harm by Sizewell C.
Neither the Stage 1 (1,298) or Stage 2 (“over 1,000”) consultations attracted as many responses in total, running for 10 weeks each.
The RSPB is urging anyone who knows and loves Minsmere to tell EDF as part of the current Stage 3 consultation via loveminsmere.org
Friday 11 January 2019 – Since launching alongside the Stage 3 public consultation on EDF’s proposals for Sizewell C last Friday (4 January) the RSPB’s Love Minsmere campaign has generated more responses in its first week than either of the previous public consultations achieved in total over 10 weeks each.
The nature conservation charity has again called on EDF to publicly commit to keeping Minsmere nature reserve safe in their proposals for Sizewell C nuclear power plant.
Adam Rowlands, RSPB Suffolk Area Manager, said: “The early response from people who know and love Minsmere has been fantastic and clearly shows the strength and depth of support for protecting this special place.
“I hope that EDF will take note of the concerns people are helping us to raise and make the public commitment to keep Minsmere safe that we are asking for.
“This would be the first step to safeguarding Minsmere as a home for wildlife and a place people will be able to continue to visit to experience the wonders of nature for many years to come.
“We still need people to keep adding their voices to our Love Minsmere campaign.
“Already, more people have called on EDF to act to keep Minsmere safe than responded to either of the previous rounds of consultation in total. Who knows how many it will be by the end of March.”
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
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.
The RSPB’s chief concerns about EDF’s Sizewell C proposals are:
- The impact of noise and artificial light from such a massive construction 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.
The conservation charity is calling on EDF to
- Make a public statement that Minsmere will be protected from any potential harm from the development of Sizewell C.
- Fully assess the impact that Sizewell C could have on Minsmere's habitats and wildlife.
- Publish a clear plan outlining how EDF will address any potential impacts of Sizewell C on Minsmere.
The RSPB is reviewing the environmental information in the Stage 3 consultation documents before submitting its own detailed response.