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Beatrix Potter, best known as the author-illustrator of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit“, “supported the efforts of the National Trust to preserve not just the places of extraordinary beauty but also those heads of valleys and low grazing lands that would be irreparably ruined by development… She left nearly all her property to the National Trust, including over 4,000 acres (16 km2) of land, sixteen farms, cottages and herds of cattle and Herdwick sheep. Hers was the largest gift at that time to the National Trust, and it enabled the preservation of the land now included in the Lake District National Park and the continuation of fell farming.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrix_Potter

A friend of Beatrix Potter who arrived in Cumbria in the 1930s remarked: “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.” The atomic (nuclear power) station to which she refers is Windscale, which opened in 1950. The site was renamed Sellafield.

Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, Beatrix Potter, 1902.

Nuclear power is extremely inefficent, for every 3 units of thermal energy produced, it produces 2 units of waste heat! This requires lots of water for cooling! Thus, it is incompatible with hot and/or dry weather! For this reason, France (EDF), which gets about 2/3rds of its electricity from nuclear power, had to import electricity during the 2003 and 2006 heat waves. http://archives.sortirdunucleaire.org/actualites/dossiers/energie/flop-economique.pdf During this cooling process, Nuclear Power Plants are also legally allowed to discharge long-lived, lethal, radioactive materials into the air and water, along with heat. Dilution is the excuse given, but since many of the radioactive materials are long-lived, it is simply a dilute to deceive scam.
Wastwater English Lake District, Public Domain via Wikipedia
The misfortunately named “Wastwater” Lake is in the scenic English Lake District National Park. “The name comes from ‘Wasdale’ plus English ‘water’… Water from the lake is pumped to the nearby Sellafield nuclear waste processing facility as a fresh water supply. The NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) has taken over the licence once held by BNFL (British Nuclear Fuels plc) which allows them to extract a maximum of 18,184.4 m³ a day (over 4 million gallons) and 6,637,306 m³ a year from Wast Water to use on site for various processes including the cooling ponds and reprocessing (electricity production has ceased).” (Emphasis added) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wast_Water. The Sellafield Waste Water actually goes into the Irish Sea (and into the air). The proposed Moorside Nuclear Power Station will extract and discharge even more water!

B. Potter Flopsy Rabbits 1
From the tale of the Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter, 1909
Drawing by Marianne Birkby of Radiation Free Lakeland

Beatrix Potter’s legacy of the Lake District National Park is still endangered not only by a proposed new nuclear power station, but also by nuclear waste, including a proposed underground nuclear waste facility.
Rabbit in bed, B. Potter, 1902
Beatrix Potter, 1902.

Marianne Birkby of Radiation Free Lakeland explains:
Ruskin, Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth are Lake District icons. Not one of these icons would have separated the West Coast of Cumbria from the Lake District as we have been taught to do in the nuclear age.  Why?  The Lake District spread across the boundaries of three counties: Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire.
The Lake District National Park is an artificial construct which does itself or us no favours in its readiness to publicly disown West Cumbria rather than publicly oppose the diabolic nuclear developments in the Lake Counties.
This is what they said in 2012 about the plan for a geological dump for heat generating nuclear waste. ”It remains a concern that significant media interest highlights the potential location of the geological disposal facility in the ‘Lake District’ rather than ‘West Cumbria.”

The Lake District National Park Authority’s insistence that ‘West Cumbria’ is an entirely different geographical area to the ‘Lake District’ is an entirely artificial construct which has come about as a direct result of the ruinous nuclear industry.

When the Lake Counties included Cumberland, Westmorland and part of Lancashire there was none of today’s parochialism and narrow mindedness about what constituted the Lake District.  

Today the plan for the “Biggest Nuclear Development in Europe” is promoted as if in an isolated industrial “West Cumbrian” bubble,  despite being only 20 miles from Keswick and 25 miles from Ambleside as the crow flies.
Where are the protectors of the Lake Counties?


All Nuclear facilities legally discharge radioactive materials into the air and water on a routine basis. The amounts allowed by Sellafield are found here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/tourism-milk-and-cheese-or-nuclear. Sometimes they discharge radioactive materials illegally, as well.

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…

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.
https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/beatrix-potters-evil-master-plan-trash-woodlands-replace-with-woolly-maggots (Monbiot calls the sheep “woolly maggots”.)

Petition and more info here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-moorside-biggest-nuclear-development-in-europe And here: https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com


Sheep on site of proposed Moorside Nuclear Power Station looking toward Sellafield: