Work starts on new wildlife habitat in Leiston

EDF Energy has started preliminary works in Leiston, Suffolk, to convert up to 67 hectares of arable land into a new wetland habitat.

The new habitat will benefit a variety of wildlife including water voles, otters, eels, amphibians, reptiles and birds, as well as rare plants.

EDF Energy is proposing to create this new wildlife habitat in advance, 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 work is being carried out by C.A. Blackwell, based in Earls Colne, Essex, in conjunction with EDF Energy’s own environmental and ecological experts.

Suffolk Coastal District Council approved the new habitat creation project in March this year. EDF Energy will create the new habitat regardless of whether Sizewell C receives planning consent and has committed to opening up some areas for public use in the future.

The scope of the preliminary work includes establishing the contractor’s temporary compound, site entrance improvements, a footpath diversion, ecological surveys, fencing, groundwater monitoring and trials works.

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).

Amber Brinkley, new Community Relations Manager for Sizewell C said: “The local community will be able to see the new habitat take shape over the coming months. Anyone keen to find out more about the project is welcome to come in to the Sizewell C information office in Leiston.”

Approximately 6ha of low-lying land in the valley would be lowered to create the conditions needed for wetland habitat. The excavated soil, which would include peat, would be spread across the surrounding fields to reduce the fertility of the soils and create conditions suitable for the establishment of a mosaic of acidic grassland and heathland over the rest of the site. The existing ditches within the site would be retained with some minor realignment in places.

The planning permission from Suffolk Coastal District Council for the new habitat creation followed a period of informal consultation with the public that ran from 17 November to 28 November and formal consultation by SCDC. Anyone who would like to find out more about the project can visit the Sizewell C information office in Leiston on weekdays or call 0800 1976102 or email sizewell@edfconsultation.info

Posted by Sizewell C media team

The Sizewell C team brings you news, updates, blogs and information on the Sizewell C project.