air, alpha particles, americium, beach, birds, black-headed gulls, bone cancer, Carleton Marsh, cesium, cumbria, dogs, Drigg, drinking water, Eskmeals, Estuary, fine-grained sediments, food, gamma rays, genetic materials, ingrowth Americium 241, Ireland, Irish Sea, kidneys, liver, lungs, mud, mudflats, Newbiggin, nuclear energy, nuclear facilities, nuclear fuel reprocessing, nuclear power, nuclear wate, pigeons, plutonium, radioactive mud, remobilisation, Sediment, Sellafield, skin absorption, soil, St. Patrick, thyroid, water
Ravenglass, in Cumbria, is believed by many to be the birthplace of St. Patrick. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravenglass
The UK has poisoned more Holy sites with nuclear facilities than you can shake a stick at. St. Patrick’s birthplace is not alone.
Increased Levels of Americium 241 were recently reported in the mud at Ravenglass (RIFE, Oct. 2015). Americium 241 has a half life of over 400 years and will remain deadly for well over 4,000 years. Slight increases in cesium and plutonium were reported as well, by the UK government.
From at least Roman times, Ravenglass “had housed a colony of black-headed gulls on local sand dunes across the estuary. In 1981 nature reserve wardens noted a dramatic decline in the estimated 12,000 breeding pairs of black-headed gulls. By 1985 the colony was all but defunct. Many naturalists suspect that Sellafield’s high discharges of the late 1970’s were responsible, in some way affecting marine life and the food chain. Terns also disappeared during the 70’s and numbers of Oystercatchers, Shelduck and Ringed Plovers have also declined.” 
Americium 241 increased in the mud at Ravensglass from 2013-2014 (reported Oct. 2015) even though discharges have supposedly decreased. Not stopped, mind you, they continue to dump all sorts of deadly radionuclides into the Irish Sea. A TBq (terabecquerel) is 1000000000000 disintegrations per second (i.e. radioactive shots per second). That is terabecquerel per year for discharges and becquerels per kilogram for mud.
Plutonium and Cesium have also increased to a lesser degree
“Radioactivity in Food and the Environment, 2014, RIFE – 20, October 2015“, pp. 58-59 
How bad is Americium? Very bad. Americium 241, with a half-life of over 400 years, is the radioactive byproduct of Plutonium 241 (half life of 14 years):
“Upon entering the body by any route of exposure, americium moves relatively rapidly through the body and is deposited on the surfaces of the bones where it remains for a long time. As americium undergoes radioactive decay in the bone, alpha particles collide with nearby cell matter and give all of their energy to this cell matter. The gamma rays released by decaying americium can travel much farther before hitting cellular material, and many of these gamma rays leave the body without hitting or damaging any cell matter. The dose from this alpha and gamma radiation can cause changes in the genetic material of these cells that could result in health effects such as bone cancers. Exposure to extremely high levels of americium, as has been reported in some animal studies, has resulted in damage to organs such as the lungs, liver, kidneys, and thyroid. It is rare, however, that a person would be exposed to amounts of americium large enough to cause harmful effects in these organs.” (US CDC, 2)
“241Am released into water from nuclear facilities will tend to stick to particles in the water or the sediment. 241Am deposited on soil is so strongly attached to soil particles that it does not travel very far into the ground. Ultimately, most americium ends up in soil or sediment… Americium can enter your body from the air you breathe, the food you eat, or the water you drink, or from contact with your skin… ” (US CDC, 2)
The UK RIFE Report states: “The likely explanation is that changes in these concentrations are due to remobilisation and subsequent accretion of fine-grained sediments containing higher activity concentrations. For americium-241, there is also an additional contribution due to radioactive in-growth from the parent plutonium-241 already present in the environment.“, p. 57 “Radioactivity in Food and the Environment, 2014, RIFE – 20, October 2015” 
In the late 1970s a family found that their home overlooking the Ravenglass estuary had high levels of plutonium and americium. In 1977, the UK’s National Radiological Protection Board placed a radiation monitor in the Merlin family yard to see how much radiation was blown ashore from the Irish Sea and the mudflats. The board would not monitor inside the house. The family had dust from a vacuum cleaner bag tested. The plutonium level was 1,000 times higher than the background level from nuclear weapons testing and the americium level was 17,000 times higher. They and their young sons, and their two dogs loved to walk about the Ravenglass estuary.  “The death of their two dogs from cancer of the nose was one factor which convinced the Merlin family they had to move away.“ But, no one wanted to buy their home… 
“A local gun-dog trainer from a coastal village north of Sellafield found that animals, from different litters and which he had sent away to the Midlands, were no longer in demand as they had all died of stomach cancer. He was concerned that pollution from Sellafield could be to blame as the only common link between the litters was that they were all trained and exercised on the local beach.” 
“The radiation exposure of black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus) in the Ravenglass Estuary, Cumbria, U.K.: a preliminary assessment“, Sci Total Environ. 1986 Dec 31;58(3):273-81. By Woodhead DS.
“A variety of fission-product and transuranic radionuclides originating from the marine discharges from the fuel reprocessing plant at Sellafield, Cumbria are detectable in the bodies of black-headed gulls and their environment in the Ravenglass Estuary approximately 10 km to the south-west of the plant. The maximum concentrations of 95Nb, 137Cs and 239/240Pu detected in body tissues lie in the range 2 X 10(-3) to 1.5 X 10(-2) Bq g-1 wet weight. Many more radionuclides are detected in the regurgitated pellets and faeces produced by the gulls and have higher concentrations in the range 7 X 10(-3) to 1.7 Bq g-1 wet weight. The radionuclide contamination of the sediment produces a source of enhanced external gamma-ray exposure which can be measured directly. The available data on distributions and concentrations of radionuclides have been combined with simple dosimetry models to provide estimates of the radiation exposure of the birds. The total whole body dose rate to the adult birds from the contaminant radionuclides is approximately ten times that from the natural radiation background, while that to the developing eggs is approximately four times the natural background. The potential radiation exposure of the cells lining the alimentary tract could be much higher when contaminated food is in transit, but the long-term average exposure in this case is subject to uncertainty. The limited data on the effects of radiation exposure on birds do not indicate any response at dose rates below one hundred times that from the natural radiation background.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).”  (Emphasis added; This was published in 1986, and probably written in 1984 or 85. Some tried to blame foxes. It would be interesting to compare to more recent findings at Chernobyl by Anders Moller and Timothy Mousseau. They found that with increasing radiation levels there was a drop in bird numbers, as well as diversity. Note that 1.7 Bq per gram is 1700 Bq per kg.).
“That Sellafield seagulls’ droppings are radioactive was revealed through the Channel 4 Mark Thomas comedy programme. The contamination from Caesium-137 is believed to have come from two sources, their habit of swimming on Sellafield’s contaminated storage ponds,and from a diet of Irish Sea fish. Samples had been analysed at Manchester University.” 
Sellafield B30 and Seagull, The Ecologist
“Pigeons around Sellafield have also been found to be highly radioactive…“
Note the high levels of Amercium 241 and Cesium 137 in the areas of Carleton Marsh and Newbiggin/Eskmeals. Drigg is home to the “low level” radioactive waste repository (it is unclear if it is a repository or dump).
“Radioactivity in Food and the Environment, 2014, RIFE – 20, October 2015“, p. 60
 “Radioactivity in Food and the Environment, 2014, RIFE – 20, October 2015” http://www.sepa.org.uk/media/163231/rife_20.pdf This is the report which discusses the radiation in honey at Dounreay. However, the extremely high levels of radiation in Dounreay beach particles appear of much greater concern. The radiation in honey appears a bad sign for the bees, though. Bees do not fare well with radiation, which may be why they are disappearing. Bees fare better in downtown Paris than in rural France. There are high levels of air pollution in Paris, but no nearby nuclear reactors.
 CORE: http://www.corecumbria.co.uk/tour/ravenglass.htm
 See “Still Fighting for Gemma” by Susan D’Arcy and Rob Edwards: http://www.robedwards.com/files/Sataninthehouse.doc
Of related interest
See Figure 4 of Cs 137 at Ravenglass post Chernobyl: Sanderson, D.C.W. and Scott, E. (1989) “Aerial Radiometric Survey in West Cumbria 1988. Final Report: Project N611.Project Report. Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre.” http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/57332/ Deposited on: 24 January 2012 (Recall that Chernobyl disaster started in 1986.)