Kent Wildlife Trust ask National Grid to "Rethink Sea Link" - Kent Wildlife Trust

Conservationists ask National Grid to examine alternative route for cable linking Suffolk and Kent due to fears that decisions are based on the cheapest cost rather than minimising cost to wildlife at “internationally important” National Nature Reserve.

Kent Wildlife Trust has launched a campaign calling on the National Grid to “Rethink Sea Link” and avoid the proposed route which causes the most environmental impact.

Conservationists are concerned the current route for a proposed electricity cable that links Kent and Suffolk will cause disturbance to wildlife at the internationally important National Nature Reserve Pegwell Bay and surrounding nature sites.

Whilst Kent Wildlife Trust supports renewable energy solutions, the trust is worried that the plans are harmful to wildlife and will potentially involve trenching areas of Pegwell Bay, a wildlife-rich habitat with multiple protections.

National Grid acknowledges that the proposed route for Sea Link has numerous environmental constraints that will directly impact marine and terrestrial designated sites for nature conservation and that these impacts can be mitigated through careful design and trenchless techniques.

Kent Wildlife Trusts Planning and Policy Officer, Emma Waller said: “We are hugely disappointed to see that nature is yet again not valued and are asking the National Grid to review the strategic alternative routes and their impacts on the environment to choose the least damaging route. In short, we want the National Grid to “Rethink Sea Link. We have already experienced the impacts of trenching at Pegwell Bay, when in 2018, the National Grid, in partnership with Belgian Elia Group, installed the Nemo Link electricity cable. Like Sea Link, trenchless techniques were the preferred method of installation, however, commitments were reneged, and open-cut trenching techniques were used, resulting in irreparable damage to the salt marsh and marine habitats. We are concerned that the mistakes of the past will be repeated.”

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Posted On: 07/12/2023

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