Archive for Hinkley Point Nuclear tree protest occupy EDF

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 7, 2012 by Theo Simon

Warm socks v Hot Nukes

Hinkley Tree Action Update

Overnight on February 6th, anti nuclear activists occupied trees on EDF’s proposed new nuclear site west of Hinkley Point in Somerset. This was in response to intial ground-clearance work being carried out by contractors the day before.

Although EDF have subsequently said that the work being done was only the clearing of dead elms, this is undoubtedly the first stage in preparing for major clearance, since EDF have now been given the go-ahead to begin reducing this beautiful piece of Somerset coastline to a lunar landscape. They are being permitted to do this even though it will be 12 months before they will know if they have planning permission for the 2 new nuclear reactors and a radioactive waste dump. They obviously think this is a done deal!

In response to media interest today, including BBC TV Points West, Somerset Sound and Radio 4, and the Western Daily Press, EDF have also claimed that this stand of oak is not scheduled to be felled as part of the so-called “Preliminary Works”. However, WSDC Planning Officer Andrew Goodchild has confirmed that this is untrue, and ALL vegetation within the site will have to be cleared in the next 4 to 6 weeks under the aptly named “Phase Zero”. The nesting season won’t be a big problem though, as they have a special license from “Natural England” to destroy the feathered songsters homes. It seems they have a special license for just about anything!

Money talks, but actions talk louder. The gallant folk who took command of the situation have acted pre-emptively and spontaneously and are currently few in number. They are in a net off the ground and “just about” warm enough. They need ground support – people to just visit them with treats, flasks, and warm words – which will also help defend them by keeping everything in the public eye. A video camera would be extremely helpful, and maybe more phones. RIGHT NOW THEY NEED A DELIVERY OF WARM SOCKS.

Other people may decide to prepare for joining them, either in trees or in tents. Currently access is by Public Right of Way. See Google maps TA5 1UD. These particular trees are near the existing nuclear site and run down to the beach.

Today they have been observed by the mobile security (who patrol the planned site in landies, but have no power to remove people walking through). They have been visited by a pleasant local copper who said they are doing nothing illegal at present, but he’d warn them if they do. This could be if they prevented work (Aggravated Trespass). They have also been visited and photographed by 10 men in blue hard-hats, whose purpose was not clear, and did not communicate. Possibly management and security assessing the situation. Again, people on the ground and local observers could help in these situations. There is one permanent security observer on foot, at least in daylight.
There is now a mobile wood-chipper and a storage area for the contractors nearby, but of course they could always decide to clear other stands of trees and hedgerows elsewhere on the site while these trees are occupied. The Planning Officer seemed to think that it would be several weeks before the serious clearing work begins.

EDF will try and spin this away from hard talk and keep it all friendly and “respecting concerns” while telling lies to deflect attention from the biggest lie of all: That we HAVE to choose nuclear, and that it’s ok to leave it to future generations to clear up our toxic crap. Meanwhile they are off somewhere planning furiously how to deal with the new scenario. No doubt they have contingency plans in place, but if people stay fluid, determined and clever they can be outwitted. Whatever happens over the next few days, the battle over this ground and our right to a democratic say in what happens there has now begun. There will be setbacks and frustrations, but if we take the lead from these fellows in the trees, we can maybe achieve something quite unexpected. Over to you. Bring socks.

For a video diary of the threatened land visit: