9 Feb 15

From birds to bats there is something for all wildlife enthusiasts in the habitat around Hunterston B nuclear power station.

Most people who think of Hunterston B nuclear power station will picture a big grey industrial plant producing enough electricity to power more than 1.7 million homes. But there is more to this well known landmark than meets the eye. It has just been awarded the Biodiversity Benchmark by the Wildlife Trust for all the hard work done to protect and enhance the unique and diverse wildlife around the North Ayrshire site.

The EDF Energy power station is right next to Southannan sands which is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and is teaming with all kinds of special wildlife. The sands are important for their intertidal sandflats and dwarf eelgrass beds. They also support a variety of wildfowl and waders such as curlews, oystercatchers and shelducks.

Hunterston B employees have created a new pond which has proved very popular with teal in the winter.

A number of bird and bat boxes have also been put up and there has been work done to control some of the invasive, non- native species of plant like Himalayan Balsam and Rhododendron.

Hunterston B station director Colin Weir is pleased with the award, “The wildlife survives here thanks to the employees at Hunterston B who work closely with North Ayrshire Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Hunterston Estate. Together we ensure these fantastic birds and plant life are looked after properly, so people can enjoy the area for years to come.”

Peter Dorans, Corporate Relations Manager for The Wildlife Trusts said “I am delighted that we are able to recognise the fantastic work that EDF Energy has done at Hunterston B nuclear power station. Wild places and our ability to access them are vital to our wellbeing. This award just goes to show that with partnerships and careful management wildlife can thrive, even alongside key energy infrastructure.

“Our assessor was particularly impressed with the work that EDF Energy has done with local farmers to enable them to add to the efforts on site. This site completes the set; every EDF Energy Nuclear Power Station has now achieved The Wildlife Trusts Biodiversity Benchmark. This is no mean feat, it’s a tough standard so very well done to everyone involved”

Fiona Fisher, operations officer for Scottish Natural Heritage said: “It’s great to see the work carried out by EDF Energy to improve the diversity of wildlife habitats at Hunterston and the wider contribution that this makes to biodiversity in North Ayrshire. We hope that other businesses are inspired to follow this example of good practice.”

Christine Blythe, EDF Energy’s biodiversity manager said, “We are very pleased with this fantastic award. Hunterston B is home to some special and rare wildlife. We are committed to protecting and enhancing biodiversity working in partnership with other conservation organisations and this award recognises our work in fulfilling that commitment.”

For more information contact:

Lindsey Ingram
Media Officer - Scotland
01355 846283
07813 230379

Notes to editors

The Biodiversity Benchmark enables organisations across the country to assess the standard of their conservation management, improve their environmental management procedures and demonstrate their commitment to enhancing biodiversity in support of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy. It is composed of a set of detailed requirements which an organisation must be able to meet.

All seven of EDF Energy’s nuclear power station sites across the UK have now been awarded the Biodiversity Benchmark.

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.

These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.

In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/