Call for Tourism To Save Scotland From Wind Farms

© Andy Merrick
In any National Park visitor survey when asked why they visit national parks the overwhelming majority agree that it is the chance to enjoy outdoor activities surrounded by beautiful scenery in a peaceful and tranquil setting.

This is the same for any wild place or mountain area, but some think that the beautiful scenery and tranquil settings that people value is under threat from industrialisation in the form of wind turbine farms. As reported at UKH previously, nowhere is this threat more imminent than the wild places of Scotland.

'RenewableUK figures show that Scotland has 170 onshore wind farms operational or under construction. A massive 295 more are already consented or in planning, and if all are approved, could result in over 5,000 turbines supported with miles of service roads,' reports the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS).

As part of their lobbying against wind turbine farms in Scotland's mountains, MCofS's Chief Officer, David Gibson is attempting to mobilise travel and tourist businesses to voice their dissent against this 'industrialisation'.

"We are calling on travel trade businesses to contact MSPs, and the Scottish Government's tourism agency VisitScotland, to help them understand that damaging our number one unique selling point, Scotland's highland scenery, to the extent being proposed will undermine our tourism economy"

For more information on how to help, contact the Mountaineering Council of Scotland

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28 Aug, 2012
Look at DECC's carbon emissions calculators online. Fun version: Serious version: Now look at how much energy you'll gain from covering the last of our wilderness in turbines and ask yourself, do you think it's worth it? I've nothing against a but of wind power here and there but wilderness has a value too. Alas it can't be so easily quantified in kilowatts or tonnes of CO2 so we run the risk of ignoring it.
28 Aug, 2012
we are going to need all the energy we can manage to farm for the future
28 Aug, 2012
Can't say I'm with the MCofS on this one. If it's a choice between nuclear power stations and wind farms I'd take the latter. At sites where the wind turbines have been removed, they leave no lasting impact. As climbers/walkers, I think we're also on shaky ground complaining about spoiling wilderness. Look at the tracks on all the popular munroes, are they any more unsightly than windfarms? We have to produce energy some way and if windfarms are the most environmentally friendly way to do it, so be it.
28 Aug, 2012
I work in the offshore survey industry, windfarms arent the answer, with the best will in the world they only just pay for themselves....with the government subsidising them, the reason for this is the wind isnt always blowing, over the next few years the plan is to put thousands of turbines up in the middle of the north sea, where no one can see them, there really is no need to put them onshore in large numbers, still this will only provide a fraction of the power needed in the UK, the second highest tidal range in the world is in the severn esturay, 14 meters, thats millions of tonnes of water flowing in and out every day and the plans are still on the drawing board to utilise this! the moral here is rather than trying to use one technology to fix everything use everything we can to solve the problem, solar, wind, tidal, and eventually (if we can ever get it to work...) Nuclear fusion all the wonders of fission power without the risk of massive explosions and higher cancer rates!
28 Aug, 2012
Mikey and Brendan both make good observations. However, it is incumbent on all of us to consider this in a bigger context. Our electricity use as a nation needs to be satisfied (unless we all start to use a lot less),and it has to come from somewhere. The dominant source to date has been burning stuff (coal / oil / gas), which I am sure we would all agree a much bigger impact than windmills. Nuclear is not much better, although it defers the downsides for much greater periods of time. As I look at the comments and the issue, it seems that aesthetics are the main concern being expressed, whether it be the sight of pylons or roads? Is this the main concern? Mikey makes a very good point, in that there are plans for large offshore wind farms around Scotland in the coming years. The Onshore Windfarm applications and approvals seem to be moving in the direction of smaller scale installations across Britain (unless I am ill informed). The tidal flow systems are also promising by the look of things, but at a pretty early stage in teh commercialisation of the technology. No doubt this technology will grow. Personally I applaud the commitment of the Sottish government to renewable energies. It may result more visibility of windmills, but I think it is selfish to reject this important direction on the basis that some people don't like to see windmills when they are on the hills.
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