As we go to press, the future of the proposed Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey is insecure. On 17 January, Horizon Nuclear Power announced it will suspend its UK nuclear development programme, following a decision taken by its parent company Hitachi. For now, at least, this is good news for the terns to who return every year to breed at Cemlyn Nature Reserve: a place we have kept safe for them for over 45 years.
The news came part-way through the inquiry which would give the development consent to proceed. As part of this inquiry (the future of which is also now up in the air), our Biodiversity Planning Consultant, Teresa Hughes, gave evidence over 3 days to the Planning Inspectorate on the impacts of Wylfa Newydd on Cemlyn Nature Reserve, the nearby valuable wetland Tre’r Gof and other wildlife habitats. She said: “The Inspectors listened very carefully to all our views and that the scheme could have real negative effects on the terns and wildlife. We have been working hard with our partners; the National Trust and the RSPB, to influence this process over 3 years, and this is the culmination of all this work”.
Our response to this threat has demonstrated a true team effort. Teresa was supported by members with specialist knowledge, particularly Drs Rod Jones and Ivor Rees, and a trustee who provided free lodgings during the inquiry. We are also indebted to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who created the Wildlife Trusts Wales Fighting Fund upon which we were able to draw to fund this work. Last, but by no means least, we have benefitted from pro bono barristerial support and encouragement and advice from other Wildlife Trusts – thank you, all.