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Consultation ‘last chance’ to keep Minsmere safe
The Marsh harrier, one of the UK's rarest birds, is particularly sensitive to artificial light and noise.

RSPB calls on developer EDF to protect important wildlife site

The third and final public consultation on plans for a new nuclear power plant in Sizewell, Suffolk, launched on Friday (4 January) and will continue for 12 weeks.

In this consultation, the RSPB is calling on developer EDF to make a clear commitment to protecting Minsmere nature reserve, which lies adjacent to the proposed Sizewell C site.

It says the proposals have the potential to significantly impact the reserve’s wildlife as well as the experience of visitors.

“Minsmere is a very special and important place for wildlife, loved by the tens of thousands of people who visit the reserve each year from around the UK and abroad,” explained RSPB’s Suffolk Area manager Adam Rowlands.   

“After raising concerns about the potential impact EDF’s Sizewell C proposals could have on the reserve in two previous rounds of public consultation, we feel the time is right to ask EDF to demonstrate that they are taking our concerns seriously, by seeking a public commitment from EDF to protect Minsmere and to publish plans for how their proposals will do this.

“This is the final round of public consultation before EDF submit their proposals, and as such, it is the last chance to ask them to keep Minsmere safe.”

Minsmere is one of the most important wildlife sites in Europe and, with more than 5,000 different species, it is also one of the most wildlife-rich nature reserves in the UK.

Among the concerns raised by the RSPB about the new site is the impact of noise and artificial light on rare wildlife. The Marsh harrier, one of the UK's rarest birds, is particularly sensitive to such disturbance.

The RSPB has also stressed concern over the impact on its ability to manage water levels on the reserve - which is vital for managing reedbeds and other freshwater habitats - and the potential erosion of Minsmere's coastline. 

Image (C) WIkimedia Commons/AshishTripuwar

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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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News Shorts
NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”