IMAGE: Aldhurst Farm heathland and wetland habitat
Sizewell C takes its responsibilities to the environment and local communities seriously. We have a good track record of looking after nature around our operating power station at Sizewell B and have been awarded The Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark in recognition of conservation work on the Sizewell estate. We have already developed Aldhurst Farm Wetland Habitat Creation scheme to mitigate the land required for Sizewell C. The 67 hectare site includes 6 hectares of wet reed habitat and extensive reedbeds and interconnecting ditch habitat and heathland.
The environmental sensitivities of the local area have been a key consideration in the development of our proposals for Sizewell C. Our ecologists have continued to undertake environmental surveys and identify likely impacts to help inform our proposals. Our planners have worked with local councils to develop a transport strategy for workers and freight that minimises the impact on local roads.
We understand that how our workers travel to site and how we move freight is important to local people during construction. We will use rail as well as road transport and a beach landing facility to move freight. We encourage local people to continue to meet with us, to share their views and take part in the consultation for a new power station in Suffolk. Our aim is to maximise the huge benefits in jobs and skills for local people, especially the young, whilst minimising the environmental impact of the project.
Sizewell and RSPB Minsmere
As responsible neighbours EDF Energy is committed to build on the good relationship Sizewell B has with RSPB Minsmere and to continue to work together on proposals for Sizewell C.
We recognise the special nature of the Reserve and its importance both locally and nationally. EDF Energy will fully assess the potential impact the Sizewell C project could have on Minsmere and the wider AONB as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment for the project.
RSPB Minsmere and EDF Energy continue to meet to discuss the proposals for Sizewell C to understand the potential impacts during the construction of the station and how they could be mitigated to protect Minsmere from potential harm.
We look forward to receiving feedback from RSPB Minsmere on our Stage 3 proposals for Sizewell C and will continue to provide support and answer any questions the Reserve may have.
At Hinkley Point C, where we are two years into constructing a power station identical to Sizewell C, a key aim is to minimise the environmental impacts of our activities – this is monitored daily by our dedicated EDF Energy Environment team. With specialists in fields such as local ecology, land management, hydrology and the marine environment, the team is able to manage the wide range of risks on the project. The construction of Sizewell C will be met by the same rigour.
EDF Energy has created new heathland and wetland habitat called Aldhurst Farm from 67 hectares of low grade agricultural land. The new habitat will benefit a variety of wildlife including water voles, otters, eels, amphibians, reptiles and birds, as well as rare plants. This new wildlife habitat has been designed to compensate for some limited change to the Sizewell Marshes SSSI that might be needed should the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station be developed.
The site extends from Abbey Road in Leiston to Lover’s Lane, on the edge of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Sizewell Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Approximately 6ha of low-lying land in the valley has been lowered to create the conditions needed for wetland habitat. The excavated soil, including peat, has been spread across the surrounding fields to reduce the fertility of the soils and create conditions suitable for a mosaic of acidic grassland and heathland over the rest of the site. The existing ditches within the site have been retained with some minor realignment in places.
Aldhurst Farm heathland and wetland habitat