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Wicker turbine set to fan flames in wind-farm dispute

IT sounds like a bizarre sacrificial ritual from a 1970s horror film. But the effigy to be burnt at Auchencorth Moss in Midlothian is not a wicker man - but a wicker turbine.

The 30ft-high straw structure is to be set alight this week by residents opposed to a wind farm at the beauty spot near Penicuik.

Campaigners from the Penicuik Environmental Protection Association (Pepa) want to raise public awareness of the planned 18-turbine farm ahead of a meeting on March 19.

The protesters hope the burning effigy, to be displayed and burnt on the site earmarked for the wind farm, will attract as many people as possible to the meeting, where environmentalist David Bellamy will address the community in support of the campaign.

But they insist the effigy has nothing to do with the famous 1973 horror film The Wicker Man which saw Edward Woodward play a police sergeant burned to death after coming to an island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl.

Burning wicker structures were a historic tradition at an annual music festival in nearby Carlops village and the campaigners have utilised the skills of local experts to create the straw turbine. A Wicker Man is also set alight at a music festival held annually in Kirkcudbright.

The turbine is to be made out of a pole wrapped in straw, with straw-covered blades on the top.

Pepa spokesman John Thompson said he expected... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
The 30ft-high straw structure is to be set alight this week by residents opposed to a wind farm at the beauty spot near Penicuik.

Campaigners from the Penicuik Environmental Protection Association (Pepa) want to raise public awareness of the planned 18-turbine farm ahead of a meeting on March 19.

The protesters hope the burning effigy, to be displayed and burnt on the site earmarked for the wind farm, will attract as many people as possible to the meeting, where environmentalist David Bellamy will address the community in support of the campaign.

But they insist the effigy has nothing to do with the famous 1973 horror film The Wicker Man which saw Edward Woodward play a police sergeant burned to death after coming to an island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl.

Burning wicker structures were a historic tradition at an annual music festival in nearby Carlops village and the campaigners have utilised the skills of local experts to create the straw turbine. A Wicker Man is also set alight at a music festival held annually in Kirkcudbright.

The turbine is to be made out of a pole wrapped in straw, with straw-covered blades on the top.

Pepa spokesman John Thompson said he expected around 40 people to turn out to the burning of the turbine, which is planned for one night over the next week.

He said: "The music festival hasn't taken place for a few years now, but there still seems to be a fair amount of expertise in building and burning wicker men in this area. The ones for the festival were much more ornate, so this isn't too much of a challenge to our team."

He added: "The wicker turbine is obviously not as big as the real thing, but when it's dark and it is on fire, the whole sense of scale will disappear.

"We just really hope people will realise what the wind farm proposals are all about and know exactly where the wind farm is planned to be built.

"I think a lot of people are not even sure where Auchencorth Moss is and don't realise the effect the turbines will have on the views. They will even be seen from some parts of Edinburgh."

Earlier this month, plans for the wind farm were put before Midlothian Council by German energy conglomerate E.ON UK.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "We believe that Auchencorth Moss is a great site for a wind farm. It is now in the planning process and the decision is with the council."

The land at Auchencorth Moss is a designated site of special scientific interest, containing a bog with rare types of moss and plant life and is near Gladhouse reservoir, which attracts rare geese.

The meeting will take place at 4pm on March 19 at Beeslack School, Penicuik.

Source: http://edinburghnews.scotsm...

FEB 21 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/1409-wicker-turbine-set-to-fan-flames-in-wind-farm-dispute
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