Dewilding Cumbria

The beautiful River Ehen about to be Nuclearised?
“Moorside” The Ehen’s floodplain wildlife including freshwater pearl mussels to be “relocated”

Dewilding Cumbria: Displace and Replace

Rewilding Ennerdale is a cause we can all get behind and was featured tonight on the ITV’s Countrywise programme.  DEwilding  is the opposite of REwilding.  Incredibly there is a dewilding project going on right now in Cumbria.  The rewilding and dewilding projects have one thing in common…..the insidious grip of the nuclear industry.

Wild Ennerdale

There is much to celebrate in Cumbria with the ‘Wild Ennerdale’ project. ‘Wild Ennerdale’ is a partnership between the three main landowners in the valley: The Forestry Commission, National Trust and United Utilities. Their stated vision is: “the evolution of Ennerdale as a wild valley for the benefit of people, relying more on natural processes to shape its landscape and ecology.”

The Ehen

Flowing out of the mountain wilderness of Ennerdale to the Irish Sea is the River Ehen. The Ehen and the Calder join the sea within just a few feet of each other at what was historically a farming hamlet around Sellafield Tarn, on the fertile West Cumbrian plain. Many a “Yeoman of Sellafield” is buried at St Bridget’s Church, Beckermet. At low tide the Ehen and the Calder merge and cross the beach as one. Sadly the last reaches of the Ehen’s sister river, the Calder no longer meanders brimful of salmon, freshwater pearl mussels and eels to the sea, but has been straightened and made into an industrial channel running through the Sellafield reprocessing plant.

Yeoman of SellafieldFresh Water Pearl Mussel; Endangered Species not a Receptor

Freshwater Pearl Mussels

Friends of the Lake District have pointed out that: “the River Ehen is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation. Mussels are indicators of excellent water quality and they help to maintain suitable habitat for other species, such as salmon and trout. Poor river health and an extraordinary lifecycle, including months clamped to the gills of fish, have conspired to put it on one of the famous Red Lists of critically endangered species compiled by the World Conservation Union.

In 2012, Buglife, the Invertebrate Conservation Trust, reported that low outflow levels from Ennerdale reduced the flow in the River Ehen.  Oxygen concentrations dropped to dangerous levels, and up to 90% of the freshwater pearl mussel population in the Ehen was killed. Buglife’s CEO Matt Shardlow said, “This is devastating news. The bloated corpses of animals born when Charles Darwin was alive have been floating out of their beds and being swept into the Irish Sea. The UK supports a large proportion of the world population for this species, and we have an international responsibility to protect these animals. This is probably the UK’s biggest failure to implement the Habitats Directive to date. We must understand the cause of this disaster so that it never happens again.”

 Preventing Extinction?

Since then a lot of money and effort has quite rightly been spent on the “Pearls in Peril” project. The total project budget is £3.4 million. Nineteen of the rivers within the project are in Scotland, one in Wales and just one in England, the River Ehen. The River Ehen in Cumbria is key as it is home to the only breeding and largest population of freshwater pearl mussels left in England. The plan for the “biggest nuclear development in Europe” is slap bang on the last reaches of the river Ehen.  Water flow into the River Ehen is the responsibility of United Utilites who are now phasing out the historic use of the Ehen as a freshwater reservoir. UU are in the process of building a pipeline from Thirlmere to serve West Cumbria including the Sellafield reprocessing plant. A Freedom of Information request revealed that The Environment Agency has issued several licences for Sellafield water abstraction including from the River Ehen. It is safe to say that the nuclear industry is already the single biggest user of freshwater in Cumbria even without the addition of the proposed “Moorside” plan.

Rules for One and Not the Other In Ennerdale, the modern day “yeomen” are strictly regulated as to how they can use the river Ehen and rightly so. However, this regulation is meaningless. When the river reaches its lower reaches alongside the Irish Sea it is being used as a dumping ground for the nuclear industry’s 300 “exploratory” borehole wastes on the “Moorside” site. The West Cumbria Rivers Trust who are coordinating the plan here in Cumbria to save the freshwater mussel have told us that “we are not a lobbying organisation, and in addition, we do not have any funds available ..We are aware of the Moorside development and their plans, and being such a large scale project in this area, we have been responding where we can, with our very limited resources, as a stakeholder to the various environmental assessments and shaping of the scope of the assessments as the development progresses. We feel our knowledge and resources are best placed within ensuring the development proposal as it progresses, has the best possible strategies for reducing runoff and not impeding migratory fish rather than a blanket campaign against the development in general.”

So, armed with the advice from complicit conservation groups what do NuGen say they are going to do about the “receptor” freshwater pearl mussels? “it would be necessary to mitigate any detrimental effects by relocating individual mussels.” NuGen also say they will “provide enhanced/replacement habitats for species that will be displaced.”

“Displace and Replace”

This is of course nonsense and the conservation groups ‘advising’ NuGen must know in their heart of hearts that it is nonsense.  Habitats such as the River Ehen, the floodplain of the Ehen, the Irish Sea, Duddon and Morecambe Bay Estuaries are irreplaceable. Alongside the mussels, “Displacement” of badgers, otters and other diverse wildlife is being promoted. Don’t worry. There would be “replacement” of habitat elsewhere! In the case of badgers and so much else the displacement has already started with the drilling of the 300 “exploratory” boreholes on 552 hectares of varied habitat. We have heard that neighbouring farmers were non-too pleased to receive the “displaced” badgers. Farmers are also being displaced with the existing Petersburgh Farm airbrushed out of the latest NuGen consultation site maps.

 No Raised Eyebrows, Just Bribery

Incredibly there are no raised eyebrows, no outcry from conservation, farming, fishing or wildlife groups. Rather strangely, Friends of the Lake District have not yet galvanised their supporters to strongly oppose the vast and universally damaging Moorside plan, only the pylons have come under fire.  The deep concrete foundations, chemical/oil run off and industrialisation would irreversibly damage the Ehen and the groundwaters, even without the nuclear reactors ever being fired up.

Even though the Moorside consultation is ongoing, Cumbria Wildlife Trust have chosen to nail their colours to the nuclear mast and NuGen are of course more than happy to use CWT and the Wild Ennerdale project as greenwash: “Volunteers, including CEO Tom Samson and members of NuGen’s senior management team, joined teams from Cumbria Wildlife Trust and The Forestry Commission to construct dams and improve natural drainage in this rare landscape that provides a habitat for a number of protected species. NuGen’s Environmental Sustainability Manager, Alexandra Brennan, said: “NuGen is committed to protecting the environment close to our Moorside Project, which is home to some very special, important and increasingly rare habitats – the peatland at Gillerthwaite Mire is a really good example and that’s why we jumped at the opportunity to volunteer our time and help with this work”.

We wonder how much money has already changed hands and how many “replacement habitats” promised to CWT? We already know of tens of £thousands paid to CWT from SITA, whose parent company is one of the two NuGen partners.

This is blatent grooming of public opinion during a consultation and all parties concerned should be held to account for corruption of governance and trust.

NuGen and Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s alliance is a nasty block on dissenting voices.  Ennerdale is of course one the places previously eyed up as a geological dump for heat generating nuclear wastes.  Like Terminator, the plan may not be dead.

Ennerdale Nukiller Dump
Ennerdale – is this the plan? image from a pdf by Professor David Smythe


The resistance to the obscene Moorside project is growing, despite the corrupt climate of nuclear spin in which Cumbrians are gripped. Dewilding the Ehen is not an option either for the freshwater pearl mussels or for Cumbrians.

Over Ten thousand people have now signed the Stop Moorside petition. The Moorside project has the capacity to “displace” and “replace” far more than the freshwater pearl mussel.


More References:

Wild Ennerdale Stewardship Plan



This Wednesday DEMO 5.00 to 6.00pm outside Nuke Dump meeting


Nuclear Waste Here?
Nuclear Waste Here?


Please join us on 30th April in demonstrating to Government that Cumbria (or anywhere else!) should NOT be in the frame for the dumping of high level nuclear wastes underground.

The demonstration will start at 5pm prior to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management meeting in the Hunday Manor Hotel.  Please join us in showing Grrrr.  We will be at the end of the access road to the Hotel alongside the A595 on public land.

To attend the meeting and ask questions -book here – or just turn up!  We are all paying for being brainwashed with “learning and focussing”  so don’t be shy


More info here:

and for those of Facebook – 

30th April, Government Committee Comes to Workington to teach Cumbrians to suck eggs

City of Carlisle - Geological Nuclear Dump
City of Carlisle – Geological Nuclear Dump


…..or in this case heat generating nuclear wastes.  

The plan we were told  was for one mega dump “as big as the City of Carlisle.” Cumbria said No to that plan on 30th January 2013.  It is worth bearing in mind that the area of the City of Carlisle includes much of rural West Cumbria and is ENORMOUS.  Now the government’s increasing and insane nuclear ambitions mean that there would be  not one dump the size of the City of Carlisle but 4 or more  geological dumps.  The Committee of Radioactive Waste Management is coming to Cumbria on 30th April to tell us about their work in advising government.  Originally scheduled to take place in Workington centre, demand was so great that the venue has changed to accommodate more people .  Rather surprisingly the venue has changed to the Hunday Manor Hotel, out on a limb and inaccessible by public transport- we wonder whether this has more to do with ensuring an air of reverence and respect rather than  to accommodate more people.

People can book here – or just turn up!  Your paying!

Its worth a history lesson on the birth of the Committee of Radioactive Waste Management.  To go back nearly 20 years to the original plan,

Immediately after the Nirex inquiry decision by John Gummer (the day the  election was called in 1997) there was a big problem for the nuclear  industry, because their chosen site, Longlands in West Cumbria had been ruled out  as geologically unsuitable, but they knew nowhere else in the country  would be politically acceptable. And the inquiry had only looked at  intermediate-level wastes, not the high-level wastes and spent nuclear  fuel they were hoping to put down there later .  The House of Lords Technology Committee (which is very pro-nuclear) was given the problem  to solve. They recommended the following:

(1) Changing planning law so major infrastructure projects were decided by central government with no cross-examination of scientific evidence so they would not lose again next time (this took them several attempts to get through but became what is now the major infrastructure planning law);

(2) Setting up a process to endorse deep disposal without actually looking at site selection and whether any suitable geology exists (this became the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management who will be coming to the Hunday Manor Hotel on 30th April);

(3) “compensation” for local communities (i.e. money for Copeland, plus what later became the “Energy Coast” PR exercise, i.e. promising jobs that will never materialise). At the same time, Nirex applied to extend the planning permission for their boreholes to continue to investigate the site (they tried to convince a lot of councillors that this would be
some kind of university of geology). Greenpeace and CORE objected to the extension of planning permission. They argued that permission had only been given to the boreholes to investigate the suitability of the site and allowing continuing work would overturn the inquiry decision that  the site was unsuitable. Cumbria County Councillors were persuaded by
this and voted to oppose planning permission and to fill in the boreholes.

New Geological Criteria were later cunningly developed (Criteria Proposals Group and Review Panel) under the auspices of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee to overturn the findings of the Nirex inquiry/appeal and rule Cumbria back in.

It is clear that Committee after Committee is being set up to drive the nuclear agenda.  Any authentic voices that manage to make it onto these government committees are it seems soon forced out, as this letter from former CoRWM members in the British Medical Journal illustrates:

Editor—We have professional interests in the public health impact of ionising radiation, the assessment and management of risk, and the development of policy. After more than a year as members of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) one of us (KB) was sacked and the other driven to resign because of the committee’s wayward modus operandi. CoRWM now lacks serious expertise in these subjects and developing policy to protect the public interest, including its health.1

CoRWM has a membership stronger on public relations than science, is strongly averse to consulting expertise, has adopted a “do it yourself” mode of operation contrary to its overseer role, and commonly relies on help from close associates when needed. Its remit is to advise government on a strategy that can be implemented quickly and will inspire public confidence.

After taking more than a year to eliminate long rejected options such as rocketing high level waste into the sun, the committee now has less than a year to formulate its advice on options that meet the engineering requirement of isolating the waste from the biosphere for up to 100 000 years.

The latest independent review is sceptical that there will be a successful outcome2 given the avoidable damage to the credibility of the committee from its failure to develop a science strategy before January 2005. As then members, we thought that this was not so much a failure as a deliberate antiscience strategy.

If the material stored at many places around the United Kingdom were inadvertently or deliberately dispersed, or some unsafe but seemingly publicly acceptable solution were implemented, the potential for major public health damage would be huge now and in the future. No strategy has been in place for managing radioactive waste in the UK in the past 25 years, and the medical profession should be concerned that this latest initiative is so controversial and lacking in professionalism.

In November 2003 the BMA wrote to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) expressing its concern that the newly formed CoRWM had no medically qualified members. As we have not been replaced (even by co-option) CoRWM now lacks health and risk expertise as well as any hands-on expertise on the science and engineering of radioactive waste management.

Is this a responsible way to make such a momentous decision?

1. Baverstock KF, Ball DJ. The UK Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. J Radio Prot 2005;25: 313-20. [PubMed]
2. Collier D. CoRWM phase 2 evaluation. Oxford: Faulkland Associates, 2005. (Report R06.)
3. House of Lords. Radioactive waste management: 5th report, science and technology committee. London: House of Lords, 2004. 

Don’t mention the ‘N’ word at Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Irish Sea Conference



TOMORROW DEMO OUTSIDE IRISH SEA CONFERENCE – 8th April from 8.30am to 9.30am at the Netherwood Hotel, Grange over Sands.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust are about to pull off a magnificent sleight of hand at tomorrow’s Irish Sea conference.

Despite the Irish Sea being the most radioactively polluted in the world with plans to increase that pollution a billion fold with new build and geological dumps spewing crapola into the Irish Sea, there will no passing reference to nuclear.

Well maybe Sir Martin Holdgate will mention the ‘N’ word in his presentation on the “riches of the Irish Sea and the threats it currently faces, emphasising a science-based approach to conservation”.   But whats the betting that nuclear will be mentioned as an “opportunity” ?

Sir Martin famously campaigned vehemently and successfully against the demonised wind turbines at Whinash, while promoting new nuclear as “an opportunity” and even suggesting it could be seen as “renewable.”

So, while Ireland’s National Trust are throwing down a legal challenge to the UK government’s plans to further pollute the Irish Sea with new nuclear build, our neutered Cumbria Wildlife Trust who by the way are in receipt of nuclear money, says nowt!


Radiation Free Lakeland will be staging a demo outside the conference and handing out leaflets – please join us tomorrow 8.30 till 9.30


More info:

Moorcide – bigger than (!!!) and adjacent to the largest concentration of radioactive crapola in the world.


A4 Poster Radioactive Particles have been found on this beach

Radioactive Particles have been found on this beach


Sucking the Sea Life from the Oceans 101 Uses for a Nuclear Power Station


Thermal standards for cooling water from new build nuclear power stations

(the report can be downloaded from:

Produced by the Expert Panel, British EDF Estuarine & Marine
Studies (BEEMS)

The abstraction and return of seawater used for cooling
represents the most important environmental aspect to the marine
environment of nuclear power station operation. The discharge
introduces significant thermal energy (heat) to receiving
waters, which will continue with little variation throughout the
operational life of the station, which may exceed 40 years.
Return cooling-water will typically be 8–10°C higher than
background. A modest temperature rise adjacent to the discharge
is inevitable with little practical opportunity for mitigation
once the station is commissioned.


Letter from Sellafield Worker Exposes Nuclear Corruption


There is something seriously wrong when the UK nuclear industry’s corruption of governance is exposed not by Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth but by a brave and principled Sellafield worker.

The national media have gone along with the myth that the Sellafield Workers Campaign represent the workforce and West Cumbria. Cumbria is being sold down the radioactive river by unparalleled nuclear corruption that extends to every facet of our society.

SIR – Recently a copy of the Sellafield Workers Campaign (SWC) Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) consultation submission was emailed to me.

While I do agree with some of the document, there are other sections that I’m not happy with.

I work at Sellafield, have done so for 30 years, and pay my union fees, so that I may be represented in pay talks, and other industrial relation issues. This is where my association with my union ends.

The SWC is a small organisation made up from shop stewards, from differing unions. I acknowledge their right to campaign on issues, but do feel that they have absolutely no right to declare that they represent 10,000 employees outside of the work environment.

I’m a member of one trade union, and am not a member of an amalgamation of three. I have not signed up to this organisation. I didn’t vote for this, nor did I agree for them to represent me, in my community.

The SWC assertion that they represent all employees is disingenuous.

I was one of the Sellafield employees who got in touch with Eddie Martin during the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) fiasco. I urged Mr Martin to say no, if there was a risk of a GDF being sunk beneath the Lake District National Park – which will soon (hopefully) become a Unesco World Heritage Site. I still maintain this stance. There has to be limits to this stupidity. To define no red line, and have an open-ended process, where the views of the public are ignored is not democratic, and is dangerous.

We are being rail-roaded into accepting a sub-standard repository, where engineering takes primacy over geology. The last few weeks in West Cumbria have taught us lessons about engineering. A storm lasting a few hours can cause untold damage. If the option of engineering, over geology is sought out, we can expect nature to bite us harder than it has ever done before.

The SWC view themselves as a ‘legitimate representative of the communities of West Cumbria’, and yet they view opposition groups, such as the Cumbria Trust quite differently. At least Cumbria Trust invite people to join their ranks, instead of making assumptions that the SWC have. They are blinkered, and blind to the views of the rest of the community.

My postman has more contact with the communities than what the SWC claim to represent – he’s more of a legitimate representative, than this group will ever be!

The SWC has controlling individuals at its core, whose reach stretches out into local/national government. They control local politicians, influencing their decision making processes through fear of losing seats, and lucrative allowances. They also take part in behind closed door meetings with council leaders. What are they discussing? Are the rest of the community happy for these unelected individuals to influence policy by lobbying?

As well as controlling local politicians, they fill many seats at Copeland Borough Council, with current, or ex Sellafield employees. They only do this for one thing. That is for total control.

There are many similarities with Copeland, when compared with Falkirk (where there was uproar over alleged union interference with election candidates). Union activities should be distinctly separate from politics. Of course, the Copeland Labour party will tell you that they select candidates, not the unions. But, the local Labour party is run by ex, and current union representatives!

For more than 20 years, Sellafield unions have filled many seats at Copeland Borough Council, and selected our MPs. We all know how these nuclear professionals have performed while sitting in office – they have killed the area, by squandering tens of millions of pounds. So, what makes them think that they can do a better job with the MRWS process? Their record has been abysmal. The sooner non-Sellafield councillors take up office, the better.

Union officials, the Copeland MP, backed by kowtowing council leaders have attempted to influence the MRWS process, to the detriment of those that do not work at Sellafield. The general public are absolutely not represented by the reckless puppet masters, who are pulling the strings of local politics. This interference must stop.

The MRWS process should be managed by scientists, and geologists who know what they are talking about, instead of having amoral bullies hijacking something that we owe future generations to get right.


Address Supplied

Image from the Independent

The below was written in 2012 by Radiation Free Lakeland
to MP Tim Farron asking for an investigation into the corruption of governance

* Government Appointed Geologist – Licensed to Kill?*

This year DECC will spend three quarters of its budget on the NDA. Much
of this money is being spent in Cumbria on the quango MRWS. At the MRWS
‘drop in’ sessions throughout Cumbria the public are being induced by the
government appointed geologist to take another step towards geological
‘disposal.’ The language used by the government appointed geologist is
inflammatory and if ” ..I will kill them” had been uttered by a
campaigner the police would have been knocking on the campaigner’s door
the next morning.

“If anyone questions my intellectual independence I will kill them”
unprovoked outburst from Dr Jeremy Dearlove to campaigner Marianne Birkby
on 18th January at Millom.

This is not a forgivable isolated incident said in the heat of the moment.
A separate complaint has been made to MRWS. Dr Jeremy
Dearlove has also been coercing the public with reassurances that a
nuclear ‘repository’ would be so safe he would be happy to have it under
his home. Dr Dearlove is thought to live in Ennerdale.

This inducement of the public and Decision Making Bodies to take nuclear
related decisions in a certain direction is endemic in Cumbria. From Lord
Clark’s conflict of interest as LDNPA Chair and director of Sellafield to
Eric Robson’s role as Chair of Cumbria Tourism and MRWS PR guru, the
corruption of Cumbria’s decision makers is rife.

A joint report by Unlock Democracy and The Association for the
Conservation of Energy called ‘A Corruption of Governance’ has just been
presented to government about how ministers and the public have been
misled into continuing the nuclear agenda

The conclusions of the report are
1. Parliament needs to re-open the nuclear debate, and to make a
decision based
upon the correct and full evidence.
2. Members of Parliament must seek answers as to how this has happened.
3. There should be a Select Committee inquiry into this corruption of

Radiation Free Lakeland would also ask that there should be an independent
inquiry into the endemic corruption of Cumbria’s decision makers into
enabling ‘steps towards geological disposal.’

yours sincerely,
Marianne Birkby
Radiation Free Lakeland


DECCs Budget

Dr Jeremy Dearlove’s statement

Lord Clark – non exec Director of Sellafield and LDNPA Partnership Chair

Corruption of Governance

Beatrix Potter’s Evil Master Plan: Trash Woodlands, Replace with “woolly maggots”


Beatrix Potter's Bequest
Beatrix Potter’s Bequest

Beatrix Potter’s Evil Master Plan: Trash Woodlands, Replace with “woolly maggots” So says George Monbiot.

Nuclear enthusiast George Monbiot has said of the Lakeland fells: “The forests that once covered them have been reduced by the white plague to bare rock and bowling green…the sheep wiped the hills clean.” Sounds persuasive. But is it credible?

Far from the fells being covered in trees the pre-Neolithic landscape would be a relatively open park-like mosaic rather than closed forest. It is a very safe bet that there are far fewer of Beatrix Potter’s beloved Herdwick on the Lakeland fells now than there were when she was the Ennerdale Show President in the 1930’s. It is also very safe to say that the wildlife of the Fells was far more abundant in Beatrix Potters hayday. Recent research into the ‘brand’ of Cumbria has shown that farming and tourism are the two industries most damaged by nuclear developments. Undermining farming and tourism would leave the field wide open for the nuclear industry to achieve its ambition of New build and burying heat generating nuclear waste under Cumbria. A friend of Beatrix Potter, the sculptress Josefina de Vasconcellos arrived in Cumbria in the 1930s:

“When I first came to the Lake District whenever John or I walked there were birds but since the atomic station came there have been less and less and less, they almost died out”.

Josefina’s observations are backed up by science. Lancaster University has been studying the effects of chronic long-term radiation on animals. This includes: “Severe effect on reproduction hatching and abnormal larvae (fish).”

These test studies are backed up by findings in the real world. Many universities worldwide have been studying evidence from nuclear accidents:

“Low-dose radiation has been known to have negative consequences for living beings for almost 100 years. Indeed, background radiation causes the death of tens of thousands of humans annually. These ‘natural’ effects may be exacerbated by the 23 nuclear accidents recorded during the last century”.

Radiation Free Lakeland believe Sellafield to be the equivalent of an ongoing accident with routine releases of radiation to sea, air and groundwaters.

Beatrix Potter left a vast area of Cumbria to the National Trust to be farmed with the express wish of keeping Herdwicks on the land. Her life’s work was to retain the delicate balance created by the domestic and wild community that share and maintain the Lake District. “Rewilding” sounds good but seeks to to divorce domestic animals and humans from the community of the wild. The outcome, a dystopia where humans live only in cities and any link to the wild is through a tv.

While there is no doubt much to improve in farming, blaming sheep for eating trees is disingenuous. Rabbits, grey squirrels and deer are much more problematic than sheep in the establishment of young trees in a dynamic landscape. Nuclear is needed in that living landscape like a hole in the head. George Monbiot’s vitriol against “woolly maggots” has maybe far less to do with sheep than with a desire to further the nuclear agenda at any cost. In Japan Beatrix Potter’s Tales are used to teach English to Japanese children, thousands of whom are now nuclear refugees.

The same companies who designed and built Fukushima have walked away from any responsibility and want to build nuclear reactors in the UK. Many Cumbrians are hefted to the land the same as the Herdwicks but the land is not ours to curse.

For all our sakes … Stop and Contain nuclear.


Wildthings: Childrens Culture and Ecocriticism Of Beatrix Potter : Real “magic” is the delicate balance created by thecommunity of creatures and plants that share and maintain a habitat like the Lake District’s

Rabbit Guards

there is general agreement that the original-natural forest may have been more open than was previously thought,
English Nature

Grey Squirrel Damage

Ennerdale Show Presidents

Josefina de Vasconcellos

Effects after chronic radiation

Fresh Water Use
Podium 4

The A83 and Sheep – The Lie of the Land
George Monbiot has introduced his “Sheepwrecked” premise with a story about the A83 in Scotland, a road notorious for landslips. The premise is that sheep are a major factor in causing landslides. Really? Cattle and sheep have grazed the land in this area of Scotland for longer than the A83 was in existence, not to mention red deer and other land mammals. One Landslide Mitigation method suggested for the A83 is the “introduction of sheep.” This is suggested as having the potential to lessen instability of the hillside from three perspectives:
To keep the height of the grass down to help reduce the build-up of snow in the winter
To prevent un-grazed grass dying off and weighing down the slope
Sheep forming compacted paths as they traverse the hillside thus creating drainage run off
The Landslide Mitigation report’s final conclusion is “it seems prudent to recommend that if vegetation planting is to form part of an on-going strategy to address instability at this location then efforts should be made to limit the presence, or exclude completely, livestock and in particular deer.” All the best lies have a little bit of truth in them and although George is right in a No Shit Sherlock: sheep eat grass, kind of way, it is clear that the principle agents of landslides on the A83 are not the sheep


Cumbria Said (and still say) NO!
Cumbria Said (and still say) NO!
Cumbrians are not your nuke dump test dummies!
Cumbrians are not your nuke dump test dummies!

Today at the Wave in Maryport – Cumbrians Said (and still say) NO!

*MANY THANKS* to all those Cumbrians on the frontline who are strongly protesting at the government’s latest plan. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Energy and Climate Change? Ha! spends a big chunk of its budget on fossil fuel for Sellafield which stopped producing electricity yonks ago) DECC is pushing like crazy for a high level nuclear dump under Cumbria’s leaky geology and today out of all the district councils in the UK the Department of Energy and Climate Change chose to come to sweet talk Allerdale councillors into going on with the whole geological dumping shebang. This is despite most Parishes in Allerdale having already said no.

Tomorrow the Department of Energy and Climate Change will be at Rheged in Penrith with the plan to talk to councillors/NGOs from across Cumbria. The more people who can get along and protest outside the better. The event is scheduled to start at 9am and finish at 4.30

Cumbrians have said No repeatedly to a geological dump anywhere under this land from Morecambe Bay to the Solway. The new consultation announced by DECC is a narrowly focused set of questions with the aim of achieving a Yes response to a ‘geological disposal facility’ as quickly as possible by scrapping the rights of host communities to say NO. The consultation aims to give the few people on the Allerdale and Copeland Borough Council Executive the sole right to make the decision. Cumbrians have already said no repeatedly to becoming the nuclear dumping ground for existing and future radioactive wastes taken out of reactor cores and buried under Cumbria’s leaky geology.

The message to the Department of Energy and Climate Change is “NO!” Nothing less will do – the CONsultation however does not allow for NO.

The new CONsultation can be seen here:

Radiation Free Lakeland are not responding directly to this sham CONsultation which blatantly shoves aside any semblance of local democracy and even says that that any challenges from non government experts contrary to the geological disposal agenda will merely be used for “more effective policy and delivery” of geological dumping (pg 34 2.82).

We are urging all local councils, both parish and district and county to strongly oppose this new and insidious route to geological dumping under Cumbria and the making of a new nuclear sacrifice zone.

Please write opposing the sham and the geological dumping agenda – the more people who write, the more people and groups who ACTIVELY oppose this the more chance Cumbrians have of continuing their lives and livelihoods in Cumbria. There is a big campaign to ‘Keep Ulverston Special’ by raising funds for a judicial review against the local council’s decision to allow a supermarket. Coming from Ulverston myself I understand this is important but it is MEANINGLESS compared to a nuclear dump under Cumbria which would in fact permanently blight and pollute (at best – the worst is unthinkable) not only the whole of Cumbria but our neighbours by land and over the sea. KEEP ULVERSTON – KEEP MILLOM – KEEP WORKINGTON – KEEP KESWICK – KEEP CUMBRIA

Put up signs in fields, houses, gardens – write, write, email, phone, get creative – RESIST!

Contact DECC:

Ed Davey MP
Department of Energy and Climate Change
3 Whitehall Place

Contact Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth and ask them to set up a mock drilling rig for a geological dump outside Whitehall – apparently London Clay is the best geology for a nuclear dump!

Greenpeace Contact

Friends of the Earth Contact

Letter to Ed Davey Opposing Nuke Dump – Come along and Sign at Wasdale Show tomorrow!

The Parishes Roar NO!

To the Department of Energy and Climate Change

Dear Ed Davey,

Cumbrians have said No repeatedly to a geological dump under this land from Morecambe Bay to the Solway. The new consultation announced by DECC is a narrowly focused set of questions with the aim of achieving a Yes response to a ‘geological disposal facility’ as quickly as possible by scrapping the rights of host communities to say NO. The consultation aims to give the few people on the Allerdale and Copeland Borough Council Executive the sole right to make the decision. Cumbrians have already said no repeatedly to becoming the nuclear dumping ground for existing and future radioactive wastes taken out of reactor cores and buried under Cumbria’s leaky geology.

I am not a willing volunteer for the geological dumping of nuclear waste in Cumbria and my representative County council has already said NO.

Yours sincerely,



Find the Unicorn Tears – Wasdale Show Competition

John Barrow Unicorn-by Marianne Birkby
John Barrow Unicorn-by Marianne Birkby

Radiation Free Lakeland will be at Wasdale Show this Saturday. As well as actions for people to take to oppose the geological dump we will have exciting competitions for people to take part in.

Find the Unicorn Tears is a competition based on a large 3D map of Cumbria– it is a £1 a pin to put your mark on the map and the winner will receive a painting of a Unicorn by wildlife artist Marianne Birkby : “ it is based loosely on the writings of famous explorer Sir John Barrow from Ulverston”.

‘Unicorn Tears’ are the black pearls found in freshwater pearl mussels which are an endangered species. In the Victorian era they were sold for almost as much as Sir John Barrow offered indigenous people around the world for the body of a unicorn. Freshwater pearl mussels produce the rare black freshwater pearls that poachers used to keep a keen eye out for along stretches of the Rivers Ehen and Irt in West Cumbria. They are endangered and protected but not from the juggernaught of the nuclear ‘industry’ which is eyeing up the areas of Cumbria in which the rare Fresh Water Pearl is found.

Some Unicorn stuff below – not as important as the diabolic government plan to pollute Fresh Water Pearls and the rest of us with nuclear trash… but Interesting nevertheless!

One of these drawings was seen and copied, a few years later, by the English traveller, Sir John Barrow, who was completely converted by it to a belief in the unicorn. His copy shows the head and neck of a creature with the general appearance of an antelope and with a single horn like that of the gemsbok rising, apparently, from the right side of the brow. This drawing was one of several thousands discovered by Sir John Barrow, all of them as realistic, he says, as the skill of the artists would permit. He makes it clear that in this instance there could be no possible confusion with the rhinoceros, which is also depicted in the South African caves, and he argues earnestly that the long tradition of the unicorn, taken together with what he has heard from the natives of Africa and with this drawing, should be sufficient to compel belief.

John Barrow Autobiography
‘The Unicorn’
We entered the division of Tarka, close to a
lofty mountain named the Bambosberg, from which
proceeds a chain of mountains ; in one of these we
discovered a cavern ftdl of drawings of animals of the
larger kind, such as elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopota-
mi, and, among the rest, one of the giraft’e. The Bos-
jesnien had told us that the people, who make these
drawings, live on the other side of the Great River,
^vhicli may account for the drawing of an animal never
found on the south side of that river. From hence we
made a long excursion in the Tarka Mountains : our
object was to find, as we were frequently told there is,
the drawing of an animal with a single horn. One of
our party said he would conduct us to a cavern where
drawings of many animals were on its sides. At the
place indicated, we found sketches of several animals,
and among them one of the giraffe. Still the object of
our search was wanting, and our farmers seemed to be
as anxious as ourselves that what they had told us
should turn out to be true.

We therefore continued our search in the mountains,
and came, in one of them, to a deep cavern, the front
of it covered with shrubbery. One of the boors
mounted up the steep ascent, and having made his wav
through the brushwood, he called out that the sides of
the cavern were covered Avith drawings. I ascended,
and having got the bushes partly cleared away to let
in light, numerous drawings made their appearance;
some tolerably well executed, and among them was part
of a figure evidently meant to represent an animal wifli
a horn projecting from its forehead : all the body was
covered by the figure of an elephant painted over it.
The resemblance of the head to that fanciful animal
which we call an unicorn may, perhaps, have been
sketched by some of the boors; but that there is a
beast in Southern Africa, with a single horn on his
forehead, there can be no doubt ; or that one species of
the rhinoceros, in Southern Africa, is a monoceros ; for
one of the missionaries brought to England the horn of
one he had met with to the northward of the Orange
Kiver, which I saw, and which I think was about two
feet in length. It is now fifty years since the present
reminiscences were originally written; but no other
unicorn has since been discovered, except the one-
horned rhinoceros above-mentioned. In a letter from
Lord Macartney to Sir George Staunton, dated Castk
of Good Hope, July 24th, 1798, is the following:—

” I must not forget to tell you that, from what 1
hear, I am almost persuaded of the existence of the
unicorn, ten feet high; the horn of brown ivory, two
and a half feet long, twisted, and tapering to the point,
thick at the root as a man’s arm, and thick as a man’s
finger at the end ; hoofs and tail like a bullock’s ; a
black short mane ; skin like a horse’s — colour white,
watered with black (I have a pair of slippers, said to
be made of it); very fierce; roots up trees with its horn,
and feeds on the boughs ; an object of worship to the
inliabitants, &c. I have just put down these loose par-
ticulars, as asserted to belong to this wonderful animal.
I am using my best endeavours to come to the truth of
the matter, and I shall send it to you when cleared

Black Pearls of Ennerdale

Wasdale Show