Sunday, 13 June 2010
Threats to the Wild: Hill Tracks and Wind Farms
The last week has seen a rush of both good and bad news on conservation issues in the British hills. The debate on hill tracks in the Scottish Parliament took place on June 9th and many good points were made about the damage such tracks are doing to wild places. As a result the Scottish government is going to look at the lack of control over hill tracks. (See BBC News report). Hopefully this will result in effective planning controls. I urge anyone concerned about these tracks to support the Hill Tracks Campaign and write to MSPs and the Scottish Government.
News came in too of objections to proposed wind farms in wild places. The John Muir Trust is objecting to three proposed 77 metre high turbines that will be visible from the track to Sandwood Bay in north-west Sutherland. This is a gloriously remote and wild area of Scotland that would suffer greatly from the presence of wind turbines.
At the other end of Scotland in the Borders protesters have been campaigning against a 48-turbine wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills. (See this BBC News report). The developers seem to think that because this is one of the remotest parts of the borders building a wind farm here is a good thing.
Finally the excellent To Hatch a Crow website reports on a plan by Scottish Power for 26 wind turbines on the south eastern fringes of the Snowdonia National Park on the unspoiled upland range of Mynydd Mynyllod. This is the latest of 26 applications for wind farms in North Wales which conservationists say will be highly visible from every peak in north and mid Wales. I have good memories of hillwalking and backpacking trips in Snowdonia. If these wind farms are built I won’t return. It would be too depressing.
Further News: Monday 14th June.
I've just heard that the Scottish Government has dismissed an appeal against the refusal for the proposed Auchencorth Wind Farm, which would been visible from the Pentland and Moorfoot Hills. This is good news. Official decision here and reasons for objecting to the turbines here.
Photo info: Paul’s Hill Wind Farm, not far from the borders of the Cairngorms National Park. Canon EOS 450D, Canon 55-250 IS at 250mm, email@example.com, ISO 200, raw file converted to JPEG in Lightroom 2.7.