Thursday, 29 October 2009
While I was spending a stormy night in the Glen Feshie hills (see last post, A Two Night Camp) the information was leaked to the BBC that the Scottish government will soon approve plans for the upgrade of the Beauly-Denny power line, which will mean giant 200 foot high pylons crossing the Highlands. This hasn’t been confirmed but I will be surprised if this despoliation of the environment isn’t approved despite the 18,000 objections and the public enquiry, whose findings have not been published. The pressure from big power companies for the cheapest and most profitable way to make money (ignoring options for undergrounding, subsea or taking the line down the east coast), aided and abetted by so-called environmental groups like Friends of the Earth and the Green Party who would once have been ashamed to be on the side of big industry, is enormous and the Scottish government will use the spurious excuse that by allowing the industrialisation of the Highlands they are somehow combating climate change. Destroying the earth to save the earth.
Back in April 2007 I attended the public enquiry on the day when the witnesses for the Beauly-Denny Landscape Group, a coalition of conservation and environmental groups still concerned with protecting nature, gave their evidence (see my post for April 24, 2007 Victoriana on the Beauly-Denny Line). I felt then that the enquiry was probably a charade and that a decision to approve the line would be made regardless of its findings.
The fight is not over however and the Beauly- Landscape Group has put out a strongly worded statement which you can find on the Mountaineering Council of Scotland’s website here and will continue campaigning against the pylons. John Hutchinson, Chair of the John Muir Trust, one of the Beauly-Denny group members, said “Wind, tidal and wave energy may be renewable but Scotland’s precious landscapes are a finite resource”. And this is the point. Pylons will not just destroy the scenic splendour of the landscape but also any sense of wildness or natural environment. Enough of Britain is industrialised already. The little wild land there is left should be restored and protected not destroyed. If these pylons are built it will be a shameful and damaging act of vandalism.
Photo info: Pylons in the Scottish Highlands, Canon EOS 350D, Canon 18-55 @ 55mm, 1/500 @ f8, ISO 200, flash, raw file converted to JPEG in Lightroom 2.5