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WATCH: Thousands meet in Love Minsmere campaign against new power station at Sizewell C

PUBLISHED: 20:30 15 September 2019 | UPDATED: 20:30 15 September 2019

Thousands of protesters got together to show their love for Minsmere. Picture: SAMBUTCHER.NET

Thousands of protesters got together to show their love for Minsmere. Picture: SAMBUTCHER.NET

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Thousands of people were joined by Suffolk celebrities to show their love for Minsmere in the face of plans to build a third nuclear reactor at Sizewell.

The 'Love Minsmere' festival in Saxmundham. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEThe 'Love Minsmere' festival in Saxmundham. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

The Suffolk coastal locals were joined by TV and radio presenter Bill Turnbull and actress Diana Quick who spoke out against the plans to extend the power plant, in a bid to protect the wildlife at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve.

Turnbull spoke at the gathering, which saw an estimated 1,500 attendees create a huge human heart on the grounds of the reserve, just a day after chairing a public meeting where locals heard from Sizewell C opponent Richard Cuttell.

At Sunday's Love Minsmere Festival, Turnbull said: "I live just a couple of miles away so Minsmere is right on my doorstep, as is Sizewell.

"It's a beautiful place to come to and the work they have done here is remarkable.

The 'Love Minsmere' festival in Saxmundham. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEThe 'Love Minsmere' festival in Saxmundham. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

"The difficulty is that is all now at risk because of the proposal to put a huge, massive nuclear power station right on the doorstep.

"[Minsmere] is a treasure chest of wildlife and we need to make sure we don't put it at risk.

"Anybody who loves nature has got to think that's a bit nuts."

Quick added: "[Minsmere] is full of sites of special scientific interest and areas of outstanding natural beauty and all of that could be is going to be very compromised if Sizewell C goes ahead."

The 'Love Minsmere' festival in Saxmundham. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEThe 'Love Minsmere' festival in Saxmundham. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

During the meeting on Saturday morning at St Peter's Church, Theberton, near Saxmundham, opponents to the proposed power station were urged to "keep fighting" by Turnbull.

Mr Cuttell, who was a key opponent to Sizewell C's sister power station at Hinkley point in Somerset, told attendees to "question everything and keep fighting", adding: "All I can suggest is persevere and put as much effort in as is humanly possible."

After his presentation, Mr Turnbull - who lives nearby - said he was "grateful for the advice" Mr Cuttell gave, but added: "It made me feel pretty sick."

EDF Energy says a new plant next to its existing Sizewell B and A stations is critical to meeting the country's energy needs.

The 'Love Minsmere' festival in Saxmundham. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEThe 'Love Minsmere' festival in Saxmundham. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

"Our aim is to maximise the huge benefits in jobs and skills for local people, especially the young, whilst minimising the environmental impact of the project," a spokesman for the company said.

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