Today, Sizewell C has started the next phase of planting for the woodland and heathland habitat creation at Aldhurst Farm.
A total of 5,375m2 of woodland will be planted in an area located along the north-west boundary. Species will include common oak, silver birch, field maple, wild cherry, hawthorn, blackthorn, common holy, common gorse, and broom. Just under 2,400 plants will be planted in total.
There will be 12 heathland scrub clumps of various sizes and shapes in the Eastern field, covering 4,667m2. Common gorse and broom will account for 80% of the species, with hawthorn, blackthorn and field maple also included. There will be a total of 2,077 plants.
Dr Stephen Mannings, Aldhurst Farm Project Manager, Sizewell C, said: “We started this habitat creation five years ago. 67 hectares of former arable land are being transformed into a fantastic mosaic of wetland, grassland, heathland and scrub that was once widespread across East Suffolk. Otters and marsh harrier have returned and this planting will help attract other wildlife to the site as well as being enjoyed by local people.”
Trees and shrubs will be planted as 20-60cm cell grown planting stock, with their root systems contained and protected by compost. Plants will be protected by rabbit-proof fencing.
All works will be undertaken on weekdays only, between 7am and 5pm. A maximum of eight workers will be on site at any time.
The works are expected to take approximately seven weeks, with preparatory activities from 17 January.
Sizewell C will boost local biodiversity
We will look after the local environment before, during and after the construction of Sizewell C.
Wildlife has thrived for decades around the existing Sizewell B station and before that at Sizewell A. We will build on a great track record and continue to protect this precious area of the Suffolk coastline.
The measures we are taking to look after nature include:
- Designating 250 hectares of land for wildlife
- Increasing biodiversity around the power station by 19%
- Setting up an Environment Trust to manage the Sizewell estate and promote rewilding
We are not building on any land owned by RSPB Minsmere. Where a small part of our boundary meets RSPB land, we are creating a new area of wetland to allow wildlife to thrive. We will limit construction when necessary to reduce noise and we will use directional and low-level lighting. We are confident our plans will not have an impact on this important nature reserve.
Once Sizewell C is constructed, the nuclear licensed site will amount to 69 hectares - that's less than 0.2% of the total area of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. Nuclear produces a lot of electricity from a very small land footprint leaving more room for nature.
The biggest threat to biodiversity is climate change. By lowering carbon emissions, nuclear energy will help to protect the natural environment.