Athazagoraphobia…… Re-wiggling Rivers….Blasting The Sea-bed….

by Bernie Bell - 08:04 on 27 April 2023



I’m not bothered by snakes or spiders.
I love climbing trees and exploring caves.
Public speaking excites some minor anxiety
but much less than an invitation to a party.

No, I’m afraid of an empty inbox, of a phone
that never chimes. I fear greeting a friend
and receiving in return the polite stare
of a stranger. I fear being forgotten.

I’ve made my peace with dying alone.
I’d rather end it all with some dignity.
I’m just afraid that I’ll disappear a piece
at a time and no one will notice.

It’s why I post my poetry for the world to read,
in the fool’s hope of leaving some stray memory.

Bartholomew Barker

Reading Bartholomew’s poem prompted the following exchange….


“My lord Bart – you pull the guts out of things.

I’m not so bothered about being forgotten when I’m dead – what I don’t like is being forgotten – or ignored – now.


“Pulling the guts out of things seems like a bad thing but I think that’s what a poet is supposed to do.”


“I wrote that on impulse – then realised that it could send a confusing message.

It’s something to do with your poem being visceral – getting right into the core of a person – their brain – their heart – their guts.

Then you bring out what’s in there, and place it in front of the world – something like that.

Years ago I wrote a short poem for a friend who wrote poetry, which began ‘He gives himself away you know’ – and he did, in his poetry. I gave him the poem – didn’t keep a copy – and now that’s all I can remember of it. That’s what Marty did – gave himself away – laid himself bare to the world.

Marty wrote this…

Saw this and thought of you….

I cried today over you

For the last time.

I thought of you fondly today,

For the last time.

Today, I put your photos away

For the last time.

I laughed today over something you said,

For the first time.

Marty Grief

And Wendy …wrote this…


Poetry is terribly personal,
Invites people to ‘look inside’,
This is how I perceive what surrounds me,
How I live, what I love, why I cried.

It’s risky, sometimes, to be open,
Court ridicule, pity or contempt.
But it comes, all the same, from within me,
Bursting out, whatever my intent.

And it hurts, now and then, in the making,
Then it grows and takes on its own form,
And I wonder just where did it come from,
Then I’m proud of this new thing, I’ve borne.

Wendy Alford July 2006

I’m fortunate in the people I know, and have known.”


Re-wiggling Rivers….



Simple as that.


Blasting The Sea-bed….


Up-date from Marianne Birkby…….


Dear Friends,

It’s been a while since the last update but we have been busy with the very sad task of collating information about the marine deaths following the seismic blasting and working with lawyers Leigh Day to call for a halt into any further testing for a nuclear dump under the Irish Sea.

The following is a press notice just sent out this morning - lets hope the press give this ongoing crime some attention.

Many thanks to everyone for continuing to share and talk about the petition which is still growing!




25th April 2023


Marine Deaths of harbour porpoise, dolphin, pilot whale, seals and other protected species following last August’s seismic blasting looking at the geology of the Irish Sea for a deep sub-sea nuclear dump have prompted calls for a halt and an investigation.

A legal challenge has been threatened by campaigners against further seismic blasting in the search areas which include the Irish Sea and Allerdale’s Solway Firth area. The Copeland seismic blasting went ahead for 20 days from the 1st August 2022 despite a petition of over 50,000 signatures.  The testing of the Copeland Irish Sea area centred off Sellafield was contracted by Nuclear Waste Services in their quest to find a place to dispose of high level nuclear wastes in a Geological Disposal Facility.

Environmental Lawyers Leigh Day acting for Lakes Against Nuclear Dump, a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign have now written to the Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey and to the Marine Management Organisation.  

The letter includes an Appendix of “Events” beginning with strandings of protected species including dead seals and harbour porpoise at Drigg  on the 8th August and includes deaths of dolphin, pilot whale and jellyfish (food for protected turtle species). 

The letter highlights that Nuclear Waste Services assured the Marine Management Organisation that testing would be carried out in July to mitigate disturbance to marine species and this was the basis for approval : “The Applicant (NWS) is proposing to undertake the survey in July and has clearly stated that regardless of weather conditions, the survey will only take place during this month, over a maximum period of 20 days.” Similar conclusions were reached by the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) in respect of the impact of underwater noise on marine wildlife. 

Marianne Birkby of Lakes Against Nuclear Dump said “as well as the reckless timing of the seismic blasting,  the blasts of sound from the airguns were every 5 seconds rather than 10 seconds (as for oil, gas and wind exploration). This would have been an intolerable wall of deafening sound for Irish Sea marine life over 20 days. We are urging an investigation into the deaths of marine species following NWS seismic blasting and call for a halt into further NWS contracts for “investigation.”  

The Leigh Day letter concludes with:


We are extremely concerned that the Survey may have been causative (at least in part) of the Events, given:  the Events happened immediately after the Survey and in exactly the same geographical area; and NWS was aware that the Survey was likely to disturb exactly the same species that were killed as part of the Events (namely common dolphin, harbour porpoise and whale).

Consequently, we ask for the following urgent confirmation, namely that: the Secretary of State will immediately initiate an investigation into the Events (the “Investigation”); the MMO will issue a stop notice prohibiting any future survey activities by the NWS relating to the siting process for a GDF, pending the outcome of the Investigation and/or the NWS obtaining a marine licence for those activities.

Further request for information 

In view of the circumstances and duties outlined above, and the reported Events contained in Annex 1, please explain (in addition to answering the questions in bold above): 
What steps the Secretary of State and/or Marine Management Organisation are taking to investigate the Events;

What monitoring arrangements the Secretary of State has made to satisfy its duties under reg.50, 52 and 53 of the Habitats Regulations and how these have been actioned in relation to the Events;

What steps the MMO has undertaken to assure itself that the EPSL for the Survey, including any conditions placed on it, has been complied with;

What steps have been, or are being, taken to confirm whether the number of deaths of animals linked to the Events has affected, or has the potential to affect, the population levels, and therefore, favourable conservation status of any protected species; and

What, if any, further consultations or assessments the MMO or Secretary of State has carried out in order to reassure themselves that the impacts of the Survey period changing from July to August 2022 would not affect species at a favourable conservation status.

Please also provide:

A copy of any reports, published as per the MMO’s duties under reg.55(15) and (16), which specifies the supervisory conditions taken to check that the required conditions of the EPSL for the Survey have been complied with, any monitoring that has been carried out of compliance with the conditions of the licence, and the results of any monitoring; 

A copy of any documents demonstrating the MMO’s decision not to include all the EPSL
conditions recommended by Natural England;

A copy of any records kept during the Survey, including (but not limited to) the marine
mammal recording form as per the Guidance;

All data you hold on similar strandings to the Events which have occurred in the last 10
years in the same geographical area as the area in which the NWS is carrying out surveys
in relation to the siting process for a GDF;

A copy of annual reports published by CSIP since 2018;

Details (including time, location and any related documentation) of any upcoming
surveys the NWS proposes to undertake in relation to the siting process for a GDF; and

Any documents evidencing how the UK is implementing the aims of ASCOBAN.

Next steps 

If you do not provide a satisfactory response by the requested deadline, we will advise our client on whether to send a formal pre-action protocol letter for judicial review.


Leigh Day Letter and Appendix - attached




Feature: Seismic testing for nuclear disposal risks harming marine life by Charlie Jaay https://environmentjournal.online/articles/feature-seismic-testing-for-nuclear-disposal-risks-killing-marine-life/

 UK Gov News - Marine Geophysical Survey Successfully Completed https://www.gov.uk/government/news/update-nws-marine-geophysical-survey-successfully-complete: “


Here’s one I made earlier….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/12/09/beware-of-myths/


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