Work begins on wetland habitat for wildlife
Sizewell C has commenced work to create a new compensatory wetland habitat for foraging marsh harriers near Lower Abbey Farm in Leiston.
Our environment team will create and maintain about 4.52 Ha of brand new, high-quality wetland habitat. This will include a mosaic of wet reedbed with 20-30% open water and 1km of lowland ditches. The wetland will be a single basin fed by groundwater. It will support a range of plants and animals typically found in this kind of habitat.
The work, expected to be completed in spring 2023, will further enhance the 47 Ha of foraging habitat already created by the project on former arable land at Lower Abbey Farm. This is in addition to the compensation wetland created by the project at Aldhurst Farm which is already home to breeding marsh harriers.
We have written to local residents to inform them of the work and the timeframe for construction, which will involve a peak of up to 115 workers, from September 2022 to May 2023.
It is important to note that these works will be taking place before any of the other construction activities for Sizewell C, and on the northernmost part of the site.
Stephen Mannings, Sizewell C's Development Consent Order Environmental Lead, said: “This latest wetland is being created to help mitigate potential impacts on marsh harriers during construction of Sizewell C. However, the wetland which will be retained on a permanent basis will also benefit a wide range of other rare and notable species, including water vole, otter, frogs, toads, grass snakes and a variety of other wetland birds including sedge warbler, bearded tit and kingfisher.”
Sizewell C is committed to protecting wildlife and maximising opportunities for biodiversity net gain in the construction and operation of Sizewell C. Marsh harriers started nesting within the new reedbed created by Sizewell C at Aldhurst Farm a few years after its creation, and have nested there every year since.
Note to editors
The image accompanying this article is of a wetland already created by Sizewell C at Aldhurst, Leiston, where marsh harriers nest. Photo credit: Andrew Hendry