More than 100,000 people petition against Sizewell C being built near Minsmere nature reserve

Watch Tanya Mercer's reportMore than 100 thousand people have now signed a petition calling for the proposed Sizewell C power station to be scrapped over fears it will damage Minsmere Nature Reserve.  Plans to build a new nuclear reactor in Suffolk have split opinion, both in the locally and further afield, ever since they were first announced.Last year the RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust launched their Love Minsmere campaign – asking people to pledge their support to concerns over Sizewell C nuclear power station. 

The conservation charities say the building process – which will be the largest construction site in Europe and last for a decade or more – will have a massive impact on the reserve. 

But EDF refute the claims and say they’re putting mitigating measures in place and creating new habitats. 

EDF says around 250 hectares of land in total will be set aside for wildlife Credit: ITV Anglia

Minsmere is one of Europe's most important nature reserves and a home to more than 6,000 species of plants and animals.

Almost 105,000 people have signed a petition, pledging their support to reserve - something that RSPB President, Miranda Krestovnikoff, was heartened to see.

The number of people that have behind this campaign is enormous. Declaring their interest, their passion, their anger that there is this threat on their doorsteps to this beautiful, biodiverse gem of nature

Miranda Krestovnikoff, TV Presenter and President of RSPB

Marsh harrier, bittern, otters and bats are just some of the rare species here. 

The concern is that having a construction site extending over 620 acres on the border of the reserve will have a dramatic impact on the wildlife.   

Deer at Minsmere Credit: RSPB

We cannot address the climate crisis by exacerbating the diodiversity crisis. We have to have infrastructure projects that are aligned with nature and mean that nature is better served

Adam Rowlands, Suffolk Area Manager RSPB

EDF proposes building a twin nuclear reactor at a cost of £20 billion pounds. As part of their plans they say they’re putting in measures to mitigate the impact on wildlife, including recreating habitats like the wetlands nearby.

There's six hectares of low-lying wetland reed beds and sixty hectares of heathland. We are already putting in measures for the translocation of wildlife who will move during the construction of Sizewell C

Tom McGarry, EDF

Peter Skeet is a keen ornithologist and a retired engineer who worked on Sizewell B.  He hopes the two sides can work together as they did before.  

The same issues and arguments were put forward before in the 90s when Sizewell B was designed and constructed. And here we are, twenty years later and there's no ill affect on the environment

Peter Skeet, Ornithologist and retired engineer
Starlings in the skies over Minsmere Credit: Suffolk Wildlife Trust

But there are concerns this time could be more detrimental.

Radio and TV presenter Bill Turnbull lives nearby and is a big supporter of the Love Minsmere campaign. 

Sizewell C would put an area of outstanding natural beauty, a site of special scientific interest and an eroding coastline nextdoor to the largest construction site in Europe. It's potentially catastrophic

Bill Turnbull, Broadcaster

Campaigners say the message to the Planning Inspectorate and government is this landscape is too precious to risk.