Wildlife charities unite in position against Sizewell C

Sarah Groves

Wednesday 27 May 2020

View from sluice at Minsmere

 

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For immediate release

Wildlife charities unite in position against Sizewell C  

  

  • The RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT) say that Sizewell C must not go ahead. 
  • The charities have not seen the evidence that Sizewell C can be built without detrimentally impacting internationally and nationally important landscapes, habitats, animals and plants on the Suffolk coast, at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, Sizewell Belts Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and beyond. 
  • Without this evidence, the charities have been forced to conclude that the build must not go ahead given its anticipated harmful impacts on the environment. 
  • Both organisations also highlighted concerns about the timing of proceeding with this decision, amid a public health crisis, which is likely to impact public scrutiny of plans. 

 

The RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT) have united in a position against Sizewell C stating that the build must not go ahead.  

 

The two organisations also highlighted concerns about the timing of proceeding with this decision, amid a public health crisis, which is likely to impact public scrutiny of plans. 

 

The charities have not seen the evidence from EDF that Sizewell C can be built without detrimentally impacting internationally and nationally important landscapes, habitats and species of the Suffolk coast, at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, Sizewell Belts SSSI, and beyond. 

 

Ben McFarland, SWT’s Conservation Manager said: “Current plans suggest the direct loss of nationally important and protected land on Sizewell Belts, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). An area between 10-12 hectares – or roughly ten football pitches - will be covered in concrete. The loss of this nationally rare fen habitat would be devastating and irreplaceable.” 

 

On neighbouring land at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, the build will bring the Sizewell Estate adjacent to the internationally famous wildlife haven. The building work may increase erosion, upsetting the delicate balance of the reserve. It could affect the water levels in Minsmere’s ditches, impacting its rare wetland wildlife, which includes bitterns, water voles, otters and ducks. Once the construction is in progress, it may increase levels of noise and light pollution. Marsh harriers, ducks and geese and wading birds in particular are very sensitive to this. The effects will be long-term. 

 

With a lack of evidence to negate these concerns, the charities do not believe that the environmental evidence presented will be sufficient to allow for a full and robust assessment of all possible impacts of the application on the neighbouring designated conservation sites. 

 

Adam Rowlands, RSPB Suffolk Area Manager said: “The Government has already recognised in their National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power Generation (EN-6) that Sizewell C could have detrimental impacts on internationally and nationally important landscapes, habitats and species of the Suffolk coast and at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve [Note 1]. 

“EDF have not presented us with sufficient evidence that these disastrous impacts can be avoided.   Without this evidence, we have been forced to conclude given the levels of uncertainty, that the build must not go ahead given its anticipated impacts on the environment.” 

Adam Rowlands added: “It’s outrageous that EDF have decided to proceed with this decision in the midst of a public health crisis. Nature is crucial to many people’s mental and physical wellbeing at this time of national challenge and I’m sure many will be disappointed to know that plans for Sizewell C represent a huge loss for nature.” 

 

Ends 

  

For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact: 

Oriole Wagstaff, RSPB Country Communications Officer, England: Mob: 07595092346 Email: oriole.wagstaff@rspb.org.uk  

 

Sarah Groves, Suffolk Wildlife Trust Communications Manager: Tel: 01473 890089 Email: sarah.groves@suffolkwildlifetrust.org  

  

Photographs: 

A selection of photos and broadcast-quality video to accompany this news release can be viewed and downloaded using the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/z22ea49neyq5uyi/AACLPKllJD2TimDO8yxzd1lBa?dl=0  

 

Editor’s notes: 

 

  1. National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power Generation (EN-6) Volume I: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/47859/2009-nps-for-nuclear-volumeI.pdf and Volume II: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/47860/1943-nps-nuclear-power-annex-volII.pdf 
  2. The RSPB is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations. 
  3. Part of The Wildlife Trust movement, Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s vision is for a wilder Suffolk, where everyone is doing more for nature. 

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Last Updated: Wednesday 27 May 2020

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