The John Muir Trust has just released a new YouGov poll that shows that more people (40%) want wild land protected from wind farms than want wind farms prioritised over wild land (28%). The survey also shows that 43% of people would be less likely to visit a scenic area with large numbers of wind turbines while only 2% said they would be more likely to visit such an area.
JMT commissioned this poll because previous polls showing support for wind power didn’t ask about locating turbines on wild land. These polls have been quoted repeatedly by energy companies to justify industrialising wild land even though they did not show support for this, only for wind power in general. In fact, as the JMT poll shows, far more people are against wind farms in wild land than in favour of them.
Interestingly, the poll, which covered the whole of the UK, showed that opposition to wind farms in wild areas was strongest in areas like the West Midlands and London, showing that this isn’t a countryside “nimbys” against the rest issue.
Hopefully politicians will take note of this survey and think carefully about where wind farms should be located. It should encourage tourism bodies to more actively object to wind farms in scenic areas too. Overall, I find this poll very encouraging as it shows that those of us campaigning for wild land are not out of touch with public feeling. Rather it is those who wish to industrialise wild land who are ignoring public opinion.