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Caplich Wind Farm

As most people who know me know, I actually quite like the odd wind farm here and there.

For example, the Wind Farm on the A92, near Lochgelly is really quite pretty. It’s also not causing any real harm or environmental damage, as it has been built on agricultural land.

And that’s just it. I have no real objection to wind farms that are in places like that. They’re replacing monoculture environments, such as intensive agriculture or forestry, and in a strange way, as the land beneath the blades isn’t intensively managed, actually offer MORE biodiversity, and MORE opportunities for wildlife than these intensive practices. That, for me, makes them a bit of a win-win.

There are, however, exceptions. If you want to damage an area of true beauty, or a wild, remote area, that isn’t intensively managed, then you’re probably not putting the wind farm in the right place. The biodiversity damage in itself would make it a stupid idea. There’s no point in destroying the environment in an attempt to save it. Anyone attempting to put a wind farm onto “wild” land is almost certainly doing it for money, rather than from any level of conscience.

Caplich Wind Farm

That brings us onto the topic of the conversation… Caplich Wind Farm (in the interest of fairness, for those who wish to look into things for themselves, linked to the developer’s own site). The short version is that these 20 turbines will not only cause damage, in terms of biodiversity (from their own findings and Environmental Impact Assessment – just for birds…. Consultation, desk study and field survey identified seven valued ornithological receptors that are present within the zone if influence of the development. Each of these is potentially subject to disturbance, habitat loss and collision.), but as it’s being built on an area of peat bog, will INCREASE, in the short term, at least, CO2 emissions (see article in Telegraph HERE)

And that’s not actually the worst of it.

Most of the turbines will be visible from the hills of Assynt.

OK, to most people, that doesn’t mean anything. The hills of Assynt are just hills, right? Like any others? Well, no, they’re not, really. They are, to me, at least, probably the last truly wild place in Britain. Assynt is a place of true beauty.

It’s impossible to describe in words, so let’s try it this way… take a look at the video below, that I took in September, 2013, from Stac Pollaidh. Can you imagine wind turbines in that view?! Really?! (for reference, from what I can gather, at least 6 of the turbines would be in view from where that film was taken)

Enough said, really.

This is an area that relies heavily on the summer tourism trade. I suspect that having views to a wind farm from there would massively impact on that. It doesn’t matter how many jobs you create to build the wind farm, you’ll lose much more in the long term from the loss of tourism.

If anyone is looking for other opinions (admittedly, like mine, they’ll be negative), take a look at the posts by Alan Sloman, James Boulter or Alex Roddie.

And, if you’ve got any love for Assynt at all, and the true wilderness areas of Scotland, please do post your objection, which can be done HERE

I think this was a worthy post to bring the blog back to life with! PS – you’re probably best watching the video on mute. I tend to ruin it as soon as I open my mouth to speak (which is why I’ve never really shared it before)