We have been very fortunate in receiving generous grants from Lush Cosmetics.
Sizewell Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest
Our campaign to save Suffolk's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from the building of Sizewell C new nuclear power station is ongoing. Originally it was thought that there would be only two consultations, but the information from the developers, EDF Energy, was so poor, and so many people complained (including ourselves) that four further consultations were put in place. The examination is now at an end. Taking part was very stressful.
Thanks to our grants, we have been able to inform people about the catastrophic consequences the construction would have on our wildlife and their precious habitats. Prior to lockdown We were able to do this through public meetings, presentations to societies, debates in schools, discussions with councillors, setting up our stall at local events, and also by joining with other campaign groups to organise a protest march. We have been able to purchase essential equipment and pay for the printing of leaflets and posters. Crucially, we had the funds to pay expert witnesses to help us put together Written Representations for the Examination by the Planning Inspectorate.
Yoxford to Sizewell protest march.
Mark Cocker, well-known to readers of The Guardian, came to speak at a public meeting in Woodbridge Community Centre at our invitation. It was entitled: 'For Love of Nature' and was very well attended. Thanks to Lush we were able to pay his expenses and hire this excellent hall.
We held a debate at Farlingaye High School on nuclear power. The older students were very engaged. While some of those studying physics may want to work at Sizewell, others were deeply concerned about the impact on Suffolk's designated sites.
We gave a power-point presentation on the impact of nuclear power on our Heritage Coast. The AONB stretches all the way from Lowestoft down to Felixstowe. Digging up the beach for new defences will mean that we will lose some of the rare plants that grow in the shingle, such as sea-pea and yellow horned poppy.
RSPB Minsmere, the famous bird reserve, is directly adjacent to the proposed site for Sizewell C. If water levels were to change, they would have catastrophic consequences on the ability of some of the rare birds to breed successfully, such as this marsh harrier. These birds currently use the whole of the landscape from Minsmere to Sizewell, but the construction noise would frighten them away, along with many other birds.
We have used social media to send out our campaign message. The sign on the gate says 'No Dogs'. The marshes are so environmentally sensitive that no dogs are allowed, not even on a lead - yet it's OK to build a nuclear power station here, so says the government.
We are regularly invited to local shows. We set up our stall and chat with people as they go by, telling them about our beautiful AONB. We also make bee hotels with the kids, which is great fun and very popular! Thanks to Lush, we have been able to buy the equipment.
A local garden centre was very happy for us to set up our stall there. This was another opportunity to talk to customers about the importance of caring for our wildlife. Among other topics, we focused on bees and how they are suffering through loss of habitat and over-use of pesticides. So far, our AONB is more or less pristine, offering a mosaic of habitats for wild creatures. We don't want it ruined with large-scale industrial buildings.
The permissive paths on the Sizewell Estate are greatly enjoyed by local ramblers and dog walkers - yet most of them would go under concrete if Sizewell C were to be given the go-ahead.
This woodland is the home of rare bats including the Barbastelle. They would be at extreme risk. We went walking here to meet people, give them leaflets and explain what might happen to this lovely place.
THANK YOU, LUSH CHARITY POT, for helping us to achieve so much!