Minsmere reserve is recognised as one of Europe’s most important areas for nature and biodiversity. Yet, the much-loved reserve faces potentially significant harmful impacts from EDF’s proposed new nuclear power station, Sizewell C.
The story so far to #LoveMinsmere
With more than 6,000 different species recorded on the reserve, RSPB Minsmere is 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. 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 and continue to thrive.
However, the Sizewell Estate, on the southern boundary of Minsmere, is where EDF plan to build a new nuclear power station, Sizewell C. This could be catastrophic for wildlife. 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, otters and ducks. Once the construction is in progress, it may increase levels of noise and light pollution. Rare marsh harriers, breeding ducks and geese and wading birds are very sensitive to this. The effects will be long-term.
EDF have held five public consultations from 2012 to 2020 on their proposals for Sizewell C. The RSPB were heavily involved in each consultation stating our concerns for nature.
In 2019 we launched our #LoveMinsmere campaign which saw an incredible 20,419 of you take action and write to EDF stating why you love Minsmere and why the reserve must be protected.
Your support was seen again at the #LoveMinsmere Festival which saw over 1000 people gather on Whin Hill, site of the BBC Springwatch studio, to form an outline of the #LoveMinsmere love heart with Sizewell in the background. This sent a visual message to EDF that the reserve must be protected.
Then, in November 2020 Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin launched the RSPB’s and Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s new #LoveMinsmere e-action during a live online event, #LoveMinsmere Live.
We called on supporters to take make nature’s voice stronger in the planning process.
On February 15 the e-action closed.
An amazing 104,836 people stepped up and signed our e-action - this will help to show the Planning Inspectorate how many of us Love Minsmere.
#LoveMinsmere has been supported by Chris Packham, Bill Turnbull, Michaela Strachan, Mike Dilger, Alison Steadman, Anthony Horowitz, Iolo Williams, Emma Kennedy, Miranda Krestovinkoff, Dr Amir Khan and Love Island’s Jack Fincham.
What happens now?
EDF’s Development Consent Order application for Sizewell C was accepted by the Planning Inspectorate in June 2020, for further examination. This initiated the pre-examination stage.
During this period, interested parties can contribute their views, either in writing or by attending hearings. On the 30th September 2020 registration to become an interested party closed. We registered as an Interested Party and submitted a summary of our key areas of concern (known as a Relevant Representation), which allows us to take part in the examination.
We will put all we can into engaging with the application examination process to achieve the best outcome for nature and continue to stand against harmful developments such as Sizewell C.
Minsmere: In pictures
Keep up to date with the case and the progress of the application.