RSPB says cables plan will cause 'huge damage' to nature reserves


Proposed new underground cables would cause "huge damage" to an area of protected wildlife, the RSPB has said.

National Grid is planning an electricity link between Suffolk and Kent, mostly under the sea, to help deliver on the UK's net zero targets. The suggested route would pass underneath RSPB Minsmere near Saxmundham and RSPB North Warren near Aldeburgh. National Grid said it gives "careful consideration" to the environment.

Russian White-fronted Geese are among the many birds that use North Warren RSPB reserve (Nick Brown).

But RSPB Suffolk area manager Adam Rowlands said: "Steam-rolling through the middle of areas which have been afforded protected status due to their exceptionally high value to nature and wildlife and scenic beauty just makes no sense, especially at such a critical time when we are in a climate and nature emergency and nature seems to be under threat from every direction. We strongly urge National Grid to remove these nature-damaging proposals and look at alternative routes which would not heavily impact wildlife."

National Grid has proposed a route for its EuroLink project, which is a submarine cable between the UK and The Netherlands. It said it would harness the volumes of offshore wind and power up to 1.8 million homes. Its second project, Sea Link, would build 10 km of onshore cables and 140 km of undersea cables linking Suffolk and Kent.

An eight-week public consultation on both projects is due to end on 18 December.