Above, Minsmere’s unique mix of reedbeds, lowland wet grassland, shingle vegetation and lowland heath provide valuable habitats for a huge array of wildlife and are of vital conservation importance. Photo: David Tipling/rspb-images.com

 

THE RSPB IS appealing for the public to support its concerns over EDF Energy’s development of the Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk – which is right next to its nature reserve. On World Wetlands Day, February 2, the charity released a video to publicise its concerns and encourage the public to have their say.

The EDF Energy facility will be located next to the RSPB Minsmere, prompting the charity to outline its misgivings about the massive development so close to an area that provides unique habitats for some of the UK’s rarest birds and other wildlife.

The RSPB has launched the Love Minsmere campaign, which is calling on EDF Energy to clarify the impact that the development will have on the reserve’s habitats and wildlife and to put in place safeguards to ensure that the effects are minimised.

It has highlighted a number of concerns, which include: the effect of noise and artificial light levels on rare wildlife such as marsh harriers (Circus aeruginosus); the management of water levels vital to the reedbeds and other freshwater habitats that are home to protected bird species such as bittern (Botaurus stellaris) and avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta); and the threat of potential erosion to Minsmere’s coastline, which could impact on the reserve’s freshwater and coastal wildlife.

Spokesperson for the RSPB, Rupert Masefield, said: “We are still awaiting a response from EDF to the campaign and our asks, which are to make a public statement to reassure our community that Minsmere will be protected from any potential harm from the development of Sizewell C.

“[And] to fully assess the impact that Sizewell C could have on Minsmere’s precious habitats and wildlife and, finally, to write a clear plan outlining how EDF will overcome these impacts, so we can be sure this natural treasure can be safe for generations to come.”

Stage three of the public consultation on the development of Sizewell C will run until March 29 and, so far, nearly 7,000 people have responded.

  • To sign the petition, visit www.rspb.org.uk and search for “Love Minsmere”. To view the RSPB’s video, visit: www.youtube.com and search for “Love Minsmere this World Wetlands Day”.

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