Campaigners “Run the Hams” in fight to save wildlife and ancient farmland near Bridgwater

A group dedicated to preserving their local landscape have joined together to “Run the Hams” for the second time this year (May 5th) in order to raise awareness of the proposed salt marsh creation by EDF.  This followed a sell out “Rock the Hams” music event at Pawlett Pavilion at the end of April.

Save Pawlett Hams’ campaign goal is to inform and empower local people on how they can make a difference and oppose EDF’s Salt Marsh proposal.

A nature reserve next to Hinkley C, Pawlett Hams, could be flooded and turned into a salt marsh at a reported cost of £50m to compensate for the immense amount of fish being sucked into Hinkley C’s cooling pipes. The salt marsh could be as big as 313 hectares (773 acres) along the River Parrett at Pawlett, near Bridgwater.   The Guardian reported this as the “Odd Hinkley Point C salt marsh plan“.

EDF has rolled back on its initial plan to save millions of fish by installing an “acoustic fish deterrent” (AFD) system, due to safety reasons, and this was essential to EDF not causing harm to the Severn Estuary. The salt marsh is meant to compensate for the loss of fish life. The Bristol Channel and Severn estuary are hugely important habitats for species including salmon and eel.

EDF’s salt marsh proposal could affect part of the Somerset levels, where Saxon king Alfred the Great is said to have hidden from the Vikings – includes farmers’ fields used for grazing, as well as a nature reserve.

Pawlett Hams is well known in aquatic beetle circles and the EDF proposals would certainly lead to a serious diminishing of freshwater aquatic biodiversity for little seeming biodiversity gain, and a huge loss of fish from the Severn estuary.

Other wildlife that could be lost include great crested newts, water voles in the ditches, and hares.

Many locals are vehemently opposed to EDF’s salt marsh plans and are standing up for their local wildlife. Local Lib Dem MP Candidate Claire Sully is supporting the campaign and joined the runners, walkers, cyclists and horse rider! 

Related news: Shining a light on our wonderful communities, join Claire with Agratas, EDF and In Charley’s Memory.

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